Our reasons for homeschooling were longer than I could list in my last post, so here’s the continued list!
One of the reasons I think homeschooling is producing unique, quality individuals is this right here. They have time to pursue and develop their interests. As soon as they finish their “school” work, which by the way takes waaaaay less time than a full school day! (Think about how much time is wasted riding the bus or getting every student on the same page at the same time with all their pencils sharpened or taking 20 first graders to the bathroom or gaining classroom control or . . . ) Our kids are quick to get to the learning that they care about the most, their passions! Our oldest, Ty, spends his free time playing drums and developing his blog where he reviews video games. He and Luke, our second son, love basketball, so they often do basketball drills or play each other one on one. Luke plays his guitar or teaches himself new ways to solve the Rubix cube. Jenna, who loves drawing, will do drawing lessons via YouTube or look for craft ideas on Pinterest. Brinley, taking her inspiration from the British Baking Show, searches the cupboards for ingredients to bake something new. Our animal lover, Afton, takes off outside to check on our barn animals or halter our calf. Sometimes any one of them can be caught in a corner curled up with their favorite book. Our youngest are still developing their interests. When kids are not herded from the bus to school to after school activities, they have more time to develop their skills, more time for the things they enjoy.
Many things double up in homeschooling. Here’s just one example, but I could list many more. Remember in elementary school learning how to write a friendly letter? There’s the heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature. Remember filling out worksheets on these and writing a sample friendly letter? What’s wrong with just writing real letters?! Often! Sometimes I hand our girls a copy of our extended family’s calendar of birthdays and assign them to send out birthday cards as part of their school work. Friendly letter practice and birthday cards from our family all in one.
As I was writing this article and asking for input, someone mentioned the issue of safety, and in particular, bullying. And to be honest, it never occurred to me. The worry or fear of a school shooter has never crossed my mind in the safety of our home. There’s always sibling rivalry and spats, but bullying is never allowed. I am here, hands on. I am in touch with the needs and emotional state of each of my “students” in a way no one else can be.
8. Home as a place of life and activity
I love that our home is always bustling with life. When I walk through our neighborhood during the day and see empty houses, it makes me sad. What is it out there that is so much more attractive to call us away for so many long hours from the beauty of home? I realize I am being a little idealistic here and many of us have no choice in providing the basic needs of family other than to work long hours away from home. But, if you have the choice, and if you were the child, would you rather live and learn in the beauty of home or in the confines of a building? What if the world was your classroom rather than the classroom your world? If COVID-19 has had one redeeming quality for me, it has been to see people, (including children!!) out in the middle of the day, working, playing, learning!
Throughout history, good parents of every faith pass down their values to their children. As Christian parents who operate from a Biblical worldview, we see homeschooling as a prime opportunity to share our faith with our kids. We want something that goes deeper than church on Sunday. Discipleship requires time. We want to guide them as they find answers to life’s most important questions. Where do I come from? What do I believe about the world around me? What is my purpose? We want them to be exposed to other faiths and thoughts while also drenched in the faith we espouse. Before they leave our home, we want them to have read the Bible through for themselves. We want for them to love the thing we love the most- a personal relationship with the Creator. We want to share with them the hope of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus that has become the driving purpose of our lives. We want to inspire them with stories of great men and women of faith. This kind of discipleship takes purpose and time.
Of course, as they grow, they make their own choices. They form their own beliefs about God and the world. As parents, we hope that they will find the same unshakeable faith that we have, BUT may it be with clear understanding and full freedom! As they study other religions and belief systems and compare them to the gospel message of the Bible, we pray that God’s Word will emerge in their hearts as the true, life-changing, hope of the world.
“And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” Psalm 12:6
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12