Why I Homeschool and What I Have Learned Along the Way

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Many have asked why I homeschool and what I have learned along the way and today I am excited to share with you about just that! Back in 1997,  I was a full time career woman – a surgical coordinator and administrative assistant in a busy ophthalmology office.  My husband and I had been married for seven years and we were both new believers.  We had two young sons, ages five and three and my daily heartbreak was leaving them at school each morning.  I struggled daily to balance the needs of my employer and my family. Unfortunately, my employer often received the best of me, and after a long day at work, my children experienced the leftovers.   I was exhausted and sad that someone else was raising my children.

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Why I Homeschool and What I Have Learned Along the Way

To make matters worse, my oldest son was enrolled in a private Christian kindergarten and he was being bullied for having to wear an eye patch, wearing glasses and for following the rules. While the ratio of students to teacher was 12 to 1, the teacher and the staff of the school were seemingly unable or unwilling to help him. He came home day after day in tears, and would often cry himself to sleep. Being five years old, and on the autism spectrum, he was unable to defend himself. He was entirely overwhelmed by the hurtful actions of his classmates.

Needless to say, 1997 was a difficult year, but it was also the year that God changed our family – a beautiful transformation – from the ugly raw of an unbelieving life to the stunning grace of a trusting life.

So we turned to Christ, and one of the first issues the Lord began to address in our hearts was raising our children to know Him.  We enrolled our boys in Sunday school, while my husband and I began a parenting Bible study.  It was in that parenting class that we met several families who homeschooled and we were intrigued.

We were told many things about homeschooling that were true.

1.  Homeschooling fosters strong family relationships.  (The caveat is that you have to actively work on those relationships!)

2.  Homeschooling offers many opportunities for socializing with others. 

3.  The one on one tutoring relationship within homeschooling, is far more effective than classroom education.

4.  Homeschooling is less expensive than private school.

5.  Homeschooling does not require a teaching degree, but it does require dedication.

6.  Homeschooling gives you freedom to educate your children in the manner that is best for them.

7.  Homeschooling gives you a daily opportunity to trust and follow Jesus.

We were also told many things about homeschooling that are false.

1.  Homeschooling protects your children from the world.  Our children are in the world whether they are at home or in a school building.  Sin is not on the outside of our homes.  It is right here in the room with us.  Our children will experience hardship and hurt in this life.  They will be tempted.  They will be rejected.  They will fall.  Someone will offend them, entice them, strike them, or judge them.  The very best we can do is be there to guide them to Jesus in all circumstances.  He is their Helper and their shelter.

(There is security at home.  In a classroom, a child is surrounded by other children and teachers who may or may not be helpful or encouraging to others.  Many children thrive in the peace and quiet of the home environment.  It is important, however, to avoid “hiding,” at home.  Home does not save us – only God can do that!)

2.  Homeschooling is easy.  Homeschooling is hard!  It requires sacrifice and perseverance, but take heart, when God calls, He equips!

3.  Homeschooling will guarantee that your children will be strong Christians. Our children have a choice to make – to follow or not.  Homeschooling cannot make them believe.

4.  Homeschooling will ensure that your children will go to college.  (God calls people to all walks of life. College is not for everyone.  I learned this the hard way.)

When I discovered that I was going to have baby number three, I knew that God was calling me home. We could not afford three children in Christian school and/or daycare, and my heart longed to be at home loving and raising my children in Christ.  I knew I needed to trust God to provide for us.  Homeschooling seemed like our best option. So our journey began…

I have been home educating my children for seventeen years now.  I’ve graduated two sons from our homeschool/high school.  My oldest has just graduated from trade school, and the other is majoring in web development.  My third son is dually enrolled at our local community college and will graduate from high school next year.  His major is business administration. My youngest child is finishing up 6th grade this year.

My reasons for homeschooling have morphed over the years.  In the beginning, I homeschooled because I wanted to redeem the years that my children spent in daycare.  I wanted to know my children and strengthen our relationships.  When my boys showed evidence of learning disabilities (autism spectrum, and auditory processing disorder), I homeschooled them because tutoring is far more effective than classroom learning.  I wanted them to see that God created them just the way they were and that He has a purpose for their lives.  When they began middle and high school, I homeschooled them because I wanted them to grow in confidence, rather than peer dependence, and I wanted to individualize their educational experience.  Through it all, however, I have homeschooled my children because that is what God led our family to do.

The Lord has used our homeschooling to make us more like Him.  He has taught us day by day, moment by moment to trust Him – to choose His way, rather than our own.  He has redeemed my early parenting years and has called me to my mission field.

My Family Mission Statement

My heart is my family that’s why I homeschool. My mission field is my home that’s why I homeschool. It is our purpose that we learn to love Jesus, and others everyday.

It is not easy and there are days that I want to give up, but I have learned to wait upon the Lord.  He has always been faithful.

He who calls you will bring it to pass

 

My favorite family and homeschooling resources:

Educating the WholeHearted Child — Third Edition

Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity

Heartfelt Discipline: Following God’s Path of Life to the Heart of Your Child

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)

Why do you homeschool your children and what have you learned along your homeschool journey?

So very grateful,

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