If you have children, you may have considered (or are considering) homeschool. If you don’t have children, you may just be curious about those odd families who do school at the kitchen table. At either rate, this post was written by a guest blogger who shares some important thoughts when reflecting on this issue.
A Case for Homeschooling by Randi Brunansky
Randi is a graduate of Wichita State University with a BA in communications. More importantly, she is the mother to four amazing and squirrely kids ages 1 to 6 and has made the brave choice to homeschool.
Our oldest daughter is in the last few weeks of her first grade year, and our second daughter is finishing preschool. Unlike a majority of their peers, their schoolteacher is their mom. We sit at the kitchen table to have spelling tests. We do science experiments on the back patio. I change diapers, mediate play, and fix meals in between teaching addition, subtraction, and reading. My kids have no category for school bells, homework, large classrooms, and daily hours away from home.
My husband and I both attended public school and have our bachelor degrees from state universities. Homeschooling wasn’t even on the radar for us when we got married.
I had heard homeschooling was on the rise in the United Sates, but according to this study, the number of children from kindergarten through 12thgrade who are being homeschooled has grown by 75% since 1999! Why are so many more families making this choice?
To understand our decision, and perhaps the motivation of some other Christian families joining the homeschooling ranks, I think it’s best to start with a list of reasons that did not motivate us to homeschool.
- We are not homeschooling our children because we are afraid of exposing them to sin and think we can shield them from it if we keep them home with us. Adam and Eve were tempted in God’s perfect garden at a time in their lives when God Himself was walking with them. We would be fools to think that we could protect our kids from sin in our less than perfect home with less than perfect parents.
- We are not homeschooling our children because we believe it’s sinful to put them in school. It’s a preference.
- We are not homeschooling our children because we think we can make them Christians by educating them ourselves. Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of homeschooling parents (Titus 3:5).
- We are not homeschooling our children because we think it’s non-stop fun and easy. If we only did what was fun and easy, we probably wouldn’t homeschool.
- We are not homeschooling our children because of the poor test scores of our nation. Having the opportunity to teach mastery of subject to our children is a perk of homeschooling, but not the reason we do it.
So why did we choose homeschooling?
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
In our nation’s quest for tolerance, God is not only ignored in the school system, He is attacked or dismissed. Children are taught that they make their own truth. One’s religion and one’s academic life are treated as separate entities with the mantra cry of our nation’s leaders “separation of church and state.”
But for the Christian, there is no separation of church and state. Our faith is the lens by which we interpret the world around us and make all our decisions. We clearly see in Proverbs 1:7 that God and knowledge are intertwined. God and academics are intertwined.
As a family, we see homeschooling as way to give our children an education that teaches them from the beginning that the science, math, art, and communication they are learning about are rooted in the characteristics of the God who created those subjects.
We have four children. We learned early on that we would not be able to afford private school for all four of our kids. I’m thankful it’s the path the Lord had for us. Teaching my girls (and one day my little boys) to read and to write, and the importance of these subjects related to studying the Bible have been the high of my mothering moments.
Homeschooling allowed me to teach my oldest about the Fertile Crescent and Confucius right along with the Creation account in the Bible and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. It wasn’t Sunday school and regular school, it was just school.
In the early years, we are seeking to build a solid foundation in the Word of God with our children’s education. Working them both out together. Our hope is to be able to put them in the public school system when the foundation has been laid, and watch them be a light for truth there.
The time we spend together, the fruitful discussions, the enjoyment over learning something new, the relationships of siblings being strengthened, the ability to go slower over challenging subjects, the freedom to do a mastery of a subject before moving on, the absence of peer pressure and bullying, are just some of the benefits we’ve experienced personally as a homeschooling family.
These aren’t the reasons we made the decision to keep our children home. They are unexpected benefits that make our choice sweeter. We chose homeschooling because it allows us the freedom to teach our children that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” on a daily basis. And that makes the work of teacher and mom worth it.