Homeschooling Worked For Us
Let me first confess that the temptation prior to writing this entry was to implore various reasons to plea my case for home education, but I don’t want to offer you a list of reasons that did not resonate with me right away. I was quickly reminded of why we decided to homeschooling in the first place. The Lord convicted us that this was the way to go since our oldest son was 2 years old but we offered a “better” alternative (I know, laughable! right?) and enrolled him in one of the finest local christian institutions. After all, we thought, homeschooling must be about a rigorous education and christian values, right? And if he can accomplish that somewhere else while we carry on with our lives, then, problem solved. While he transitioned from one class to another, it quickly became evident that our son’s cognitive abilities were above his age yet he was socially and emotionally immature. By the time he got to kindergarten, everything that could go wrong in the classroom went wrong. He became so disruptive! We tried to remedy the situation as best we could. We had parent teacher conferences and formulated a plan, at time he would come home and had to face the consequences of his behavior for that day... no playtime, no toys, write these lines, you can’t go to the party...the tears were always flowing, not just his! Our home became toxic and our 5 year old quickly became a problem to solve rather than a child to love and nurture and we finally realized this was divine discontentment and gave in to homeschooling.
The transition terrified me! Where we doing the right thing? How would he take leaving his friends behind? It is amazing how much resilience the Lord grants our children to face the situations unique to our families! We often forget that He’s their God too and is working in them as much as He is in us. Our first course of action was to revisit the situation at school. We wanted him to know that he was not justified in his conduct at school that his charismatic personality and gift of gab are a gift from God that he needs to mature in, and that we were committed to helping him. One of the biggest benefits of educating at home is being able to discern the needs of our children to give a little extra attention where it’s needed. You see, our children are individuals who develop at different rates, in different areas of their lives, and that is not only okay, its normal. You wouldn’t expect every 20 year to be the same height so why expect every 2nd grader to read at the same level. Our culture is obsessed with ranking, it starts at school and perpetuates into adulthood which results into the comparison plague. Homeschooling allows you to truly assess your child based on his/her own progress, not that of their peers, encouraging a growth mindset rather that a competitive one.
We are also afforded with more time, so while most 50 minute classes focus on getting the work done, homeschoolers have all the time to get the “learning” done. Yet we emphasize how to learn rather than what to learn. Confession time again… we enjoy watching our children struggle and rack their brains over how and why something works or doesn’t work. There is a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that we see them carry on to the next issue. We want our children to be lifelong learners, great thinkers and problem solvers, we want them to be able to confidently express what they believe and be able to make a compelling argument for their faith, we want them to embark in the continual search for beauty, goodness and virtue in the world, we want them to know God and make Him known. Please hear me out, my intention is not to ostracize any form of mass education, I’m a grateful product of it, and believe teachers are the most amazing human beings for giving themselves up to a life of molding our future when most would rather not think about it. I’m convinced that most teachers would love the opportunity to identify their student’s unique gifting, talents, and interests and tailor their education accordingly , but the reality is their workload simply doesn’t permit. Let’s face it, you can get a lot more done on a 1:1 teacher to student ratio than a 23:1 especially when the clock is no factor.
There is much to be said on the benefits of homeschooling but none resonate with me more than the warning from the greatest teacher to ever walk this earth, and that is “a pupil is not greater than his teacher but when he is fully trained will become like Him”. You don’t need to be someone of faith to know there is a strong secular agenda that has infiltrated our school systems; and when you consider that from k-12 our children spend 1400 seated hours in school, it takes extreme optimism or should we say naivete to think our children’s minds are exempt. It was Adolf Hitler who once said, “ He alone who owns the youth owns the future.” and I implore you, whether your child is educated at home or at a traditional school do not leave the shaping of their minds to a system looking out for its own interest. Hitler stated, “ What a gift it is to the government that the people do not think for themselves."
Ponder on this, who do our children belong to? While you figure it out, let me remind you , “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."