Posted by: Ety W. | May 26, 2008

Why I Homeschooled My Children

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I can’t blog about loving our children and not mention homeschooling. In our study of Titus 2:3-5 we’ve gotten to verse 4, “to love their children.” We’ve seen that children need kindness, gentleness, nurturing, encouragement, discipline, and instruction in the Lord.

For me, the conviction to homeschool started with this verse:

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons (children) and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deut. 6:5-7 (NASB)

From that verse I realized that education:
1. is a God-given responsibility belonging to parents.
2. is a lifestyle rather than a classroom experience.

We started with faith and $75 for textbooks and supplies for our two children: a 2nd grader and a 6th grader. I gave up teaching my Precept Upon Precept Ladies Bible Study, which had been the absolute joy of my life, to be obedient to this conviction to homeschool. At that time I knew only one other person who homeschooled. Except for the support of my husband, who shared this conviction, I was pretty much on my own.

Understanding followed obedience, and though my reasons for homeschooling grew, there were two which were especially important: worldview and socialization.

Worldview is the set of assumptions from which we view others and the world around us. These assumptions define:
– What we believe about the existence and nature of God
– Our understanding of the origin of the world (created or chaotic?)
– Where we believe knowledge comes from (from God or man?)
– How we view moral right and wrong (is there a standard or is it all relative?)
– Our view of the origin and purpose of the human race (evolved or special creation?)
– The meaning of human history (does God have a plan or do we create our own?)
– What we believe happens after death (heaven or hell, reincarnation, nothingness?)

There are four basic worldviews which have different answers to these questions. Everyone has a form of one of them whether they recognize it or not, because everyone believes something. Consequently there is no worldview-neutral educational system; it is the nature of education to answer these questions. We teach and act on what we believe.

For example, from public education children will learn that the world and everything in it evolved, that humans have all the answers to life and can solve their own problems, that all religions are the same, to be silent about the Christian God, and to put self first. A couple of hours a week church and family prayers at meals and bedtime isn’t enough to change this.

The other reason I homeschooled was because of socialization. Every homeschool parent has been plagued with the question, “what about socialization?” Many respond with a long list of social activities that their children are involved in. My response was,

Socialization is the reason I homeschool.

I think that most folks assume that “socialization” means “social interaction,” so that homeschooling raises concerns about social isolation. However, the actual definition is –

Socialization – a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

The question then becomes, from whom do you want your children to learn their behavior, values, and sense of identity? If you are satisfied with the behavior and attitudes you see in children in the public educational system, then that’s the way for you to go. If you aren’t, then public education is out of the question. The same question should be applied to any private school being considered as well.

No one (besides the Lord) knows and loves your children better than you do, nor has their best interests at heart. I believe this is why parents are the best educators for their children. If a teaching degree was all that was necessary, then schools would be be turning out well-adjusted geniuses. But they’re not.

Homeschooling meant financial sacrifice as it meant living on only one income. It was a sacrifice of my own time and sometimes meant having to learn subject matter along with my children. However, one of my goals was for them to become independent learners; to know what information they needed, where to find it, and what to do with it once they got it. As their grade level progressed, they personally took on more of the responsibility, so that I didn’t need mastery of every subject myself.

Three years after graduating my youngest from high school, I can honestly say that I have no regrets. Nor can I think of a better way that I could have loved my children.

Next……. Public Education: Children as Missionaries

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