While the concept of homeschooling has made great advances over the past decade, the traditional education model remains relatively unchallenged. According to the Department of Education, homeschooling only represents around 3% of the population. People, to include our beloved families and neighbors, are often guarded against things that are unfamiliar. Sometimes, what may be innocent curiosity can come across as abrupt and abrasive. Maybe it’s the Washington, DC area, but I’ve come to expect questioning. However, I have benefited from having thoughtful responses to frequently asked questions.
Why do you homeschool your kids?
Why would you homeschool when the schools here are rated 10/10?
Aren’t you worried about socialization, and your kids becoming socially awkward and unable to function in society?
Oh, so you don’t want your kids involved with team sports?
Your reasons to homeschool are your own. Whatever convictions you hold, own them! You want your convictions forged on a solid foundation – so when others question – you remain strong. So, what drives you to homeschool?
I’m convinced homeschooling will better equip my children to be more successful and more well-balanced than traditional school settings. I value academics and developing the brain to solve complex problems. I value developing children of strong character who will someday stand for something. Most importantly, I value enabling my children to develop a relationship and reverence for God. As a former educator, I believe our schools and communities are failing our youth (if we’re honest with ourselves). For my value-system, homeschooling is the best option to inject life-giving influence into my children that will enable them to overcome any of life’s challenges.
Whether you are a devoted and experienced homeschooler, or someone considering the adventure, I hope these thoughts offer some insight or encouragement into why I have chosen to homeschool.
I am a christian; my husband is a christian. We consider faith to be a vital aspect of our lives, and yearn for our children to become christ followers as well. Homeschooling enables me to provide the right amount of christian influence (love, compassion, kindness, strength, courage, etc…) in daily activities.
Community and friendship is powerful from a learning and socializing aspect. Homeschooling provides greater control with whom my children socialize, so I can shield them from truly deviant/destructive behaviors. Similarly, homeschooling allows me to expose my children to other Christ followers, so they can grow in faith together.
As I already alluded to, I value the development of strong character to successfully overcome life’s challenges. While I believe faith can influence a person’s character for the better, it would be unreasonable to assume faith is the only path toward a strong character. Building character in our youth requires us to be deliberate and persistent in all environments.
In my opinion, positive characteristics are undervalued in traditional school settings. Teachers – who are largely under appreciated and underpaid – are often forced to abide by “standards” that limit the teacher’s ability to develop positive personal characteristics. Secondarily, classrooms can become toxic environments where out-of-control children degrade each other and inhibit intellectual or social gain. These types of behaviors run counter to positive christian values and unfortunately overshadow personal character gains.
In a world growing more self-centered, it seems moral uprightness has become less appealing, as some choose paths of immediate gratification (finances, office politics, sex, etc…), usually at the expense of others. After the high or payoff, these temptations often lead to self destruction.
To reiterate a common theme, homeschooling provides an opportunity to control the injection of negative variables, until my children are mature enough to make calculated/meaningful decisions.
As a former teacher, I truly value education and developing the brain to think critically in order to solve complex problem-sets. We [humankind] use our combined education to identify challenges and overcome them through collaboration. Education has enabled humankind to land on the moon, travel faster than the speed of sound, and enable worldwide communication to the masses.
Academic disciplines such as math, science, history, language (reading, writing and speech), and the arts, are stepping stones to understanding and appreciating the world. I want my children to positively interact with their surroundings, which may take form as integrating into another culture, or identifying/mitigating a technological need, or simply enjoying the natural wonders of the Earth. We have brains, we should use them to influence positive change.
If done correctly, I find homeschooling to be a more efficient method to educate children, and can lead to a stronger academic foundation. For example and as you likely know, student to teacher ratios are an important factor inside classrooms. Classrooms with less students provide the teacher with greater flexibility to target students who may be struggling with a concept. My five-year-old son (NOT an Einstein) currently works at a first-grade level in certain subjects. As his personal teacher, I tailor his academic experience/curriculum to his strengths.
Check out more about how I was a teacher turned homeschooler and my most recent posts by clicking the images below.