|Photo Credit: Dusty Marshall (my awesome hubby)
I love learning. I absolutely love it. I think that if I had enough money I would just stay in school forever. Don’t get me wrong, I know you should always be learning and not rely on some type of formal education to be the only source of learning. But there is just something about sitting around with a group of people all soaking in the same knowledge from someone who has spent time gathering that information to pass on.
And I also love watching people, but most importantly children, learn.
I love seeing the light bulb go on when a concept that has been challenging them for weeks finally makes sense. I love the enthusiasm that comes along with the idea of learning from young children.
I truly believe that is one of the number one reasons why, from the time I was junior in high-school, I wanted to home school my children.
While watching my children learn and grow, being the one that sees the light bulb go on each and every day, and not some person, is a GREAT reason to home-school in my opinion, it is not a good enough reason alone to make the decision to do so. So here are 3 main reasons why, as a family, we made the decision to home-school for as long as we can.
We have 100% control of where our children are going to be and what they will be learning.
The world is a scary place these days. From teachers acting in appropriately with students to a rapid increase of unpredictable violence, the idea of sending my children off for 8 or more hours a day with people I barely know is just not all that appealing. Couple that with the increase in government involvement when it comes to the content that is being delivered and I am just not all that confident in the public education system.
I don’t believe that there is a bright line in Scripture where it tells us that everyone who is a Christian should immediately take their children out of the public school systems and all educations should be done at home. However, I do believe that the Bible is clear that we are to be the NUMBER ONE educational resource for our children. God gave us these precious gifts and it is our responsibility to make sure they know what they need to know.
And what they NEED to know is Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to be sharing the love of Christ to our children constantly. Deuteronomy tells us exactly how we are supposed to be doing that:
The reading, writing, and arithmetic that are necessary in life to find a job and be a productive member of society are important and should not be disregarded, which is why we believe that we can incorporate everything they need to know to survive along with everything the need to know for salvation.
I love the idea of a super flexible schedule to allow us to do things as a family that we want to do.
We have a family member who made the decision to home-school all 3 of her children and she (whether she knows it or not) has been one of my biggest inspirations to take on this home-schooling journey. While we are not close, thanks to the joys of social media, I have watched her be able to take grand adventures with her family during times that most people are tied down with classroom requirements. However, with the freedom of home-schooling they are able to go where they want, when they want, and not have to question if it will interrupt someones school schedule.
My mom, who has also been a great inspiration and encouragement toward my home-schooling decisions, always instilled in us that everything can be educational if you try hard enough. As we would take family vacations in the summer we stopped at the historical markers along the road and we visited the obscure monuments so that we could learn just a little bit more. With the freedom that home-schooling brings we have the opportunity to make everyday an adventure. If we are studying wild animals, instead of sitting at a desk reading a book about them we can jump in the car and drive to the zoo for the day to get real life experience. If we are studying nature, we can jump in the car and drive to a park to see the world around us. When you home-school the only boundaries are the ones you put on yourself.
We are in the Ministry. We never know where God is going to take us next.
Probably one of the biggest reasons, beyond instilling a love of God’s word in my children, is that we are living life in the ministry. And with that comes the possibility of moving at any time. We never know where God may be calling us and I would rather know that my children’s education will stay consistent. There won’t be any of the hassle of withdrawing from schools, re-enrolling in new schools, and trying to figure out if our kids are ahead of or behind the other students in a new place.
We will be able to stay constant. If we have to take some time off for a transition, we can do that and it won’t be a challenge to get back on track and caught up.
These are the main reasons why we have made the decision to home-school our children. I am not going to say that things will be perfect all the time. In fact, we are only part of the way through our first official year of home-schooling and things have been tough at times. There have been days when I have seriously contemplated driving down the street to the closest elementary school and just leaving my son there. But then we have our GREAT days and I am reminded of why WE made this decision. Home-schooling isn’t always the right choice or even a realistic choice. It is a decision that I believe is to be made with a lot of prayer and guidance. I talked with A LOT of people and looked into a lot of different options before I made up my mind.
I am blessed to have a lot of support from family and friends as well. I am pleased to say that I have come up against very little criticism. But I am sure, as time goes by, that will change. And I am ok with that. Because at the end of the day, I know that after my time in prayer and discussion with my husband, we have made the decision that is right for us. And that is all that matters.
Are you a home-school family? What lead you to make that decision? If not, what type of education do you choose for your children?