Monday, August 20, 2012

Why do we homeschool?

What an amazing summer this has been!
June was characterized by 4 different week-long Vacation Bible Schools, and swimming!
July saw a trip to Philadelphia, summer camps, LICE (yikes!), and swimming!
August has been slower, very relaxed and full of.....swimming!

As the summer months wind down, I'm contemplating beginning our 11th year of homeschooling.
Let me just say.....homeschooling is NOT for the faint of heart.
It is NOT days full of quiet children just sitting around the fire place listening to their Mama read to them.
Just clear those romantic....unrealistic...visions out of your head!
It's plain 'ol hard work.
It's messy.
It's stressful.
So why would our family choose this?
Because this is what the Lord has called and led us to.

Here is a reposting of my explanation from a couple year's ago:

This is a fun question because it always stirs up passionate conversation. There are many reasons why parents homeschool...ranging from conviction to lack of options. I'm going to share
with you the reasons why OUR FAMILY homeschools, which may not be the reasons another
family would necessarily homeschool.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it always the easiest way to educate your children. If you're passionate about your childrens' educations, you've taken the first step. On the other hand, it is not for those who have a
tendency toward laziness. It should be a very personal decision made between Mom, Dad, and the Lord.

Our journey to homeschooling began six years ago, when our oldest child was ready to start school.
I knew in my heart that I did not ever want my children to go to public schools. I do not have a problem with parents who do put their children in public schools, and I'm not necessarily "Anti-Public Schools". I just know for me, and my family, it is not the right decision.

So then, if the public schools were out of the question, our next option was a Christian school.
I wanted to find a school that, first of all, held to the same faith and values that our family has.

I was also looking for something that would fit inside my husband's salary. At the time, he was on staff at our very small church, so his salary was not extravagant, to say the least. I quickly became discouraged when I realized there were not many Christian schools in our area of like faith and practice. But what sealed it for us, was the cost. We simply could not afford it.
So, now what was I going to do. I had thought about homeschooling, but really did not know where to begin. I have a Bachelor's degree, but it certainly wasn't in education.
So I began reading some books, talking to people, researching the requirements for this in the state of Texas, and discovered that I could indeed do this.
But then once the decision was made, the grueling process of finding the right curriculum began. I was a bit overwhelmed as I looked through the internet and homeschool stores. But once I learned how my child enjoys learning and how I enjoy teaching, it made the process easier to find the right one. Once that decision was made, I was very excited about it. For the first few years everything went fine and we had so much fun. As we've added more children to our little schoolhouse, and discovered some learning issues, it has gotten more challenging.

So the question arises,
"If I had the option of sending my children to a Christian school, would I??"
I don't think so.

In this journey, I've traveled from the point of homeschooling because my options are limited to homeschooling because this is best for our family and what the Lord has designed for us.
I'm so glad I listened to the Lord's leading and didn't push for something that maybe I really just wanted.
This school year has been a revealing one to us. It has become crystal clear that two of our children have some learning challenges. On top of that, our second child was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. The care for this disease is very complicated and time consuming and we've heard stories of schools where the staff know nothing about this, and are unwilling to care for a diabetic child properly.
The Lord knew this. He knew way back in 2002 what was coming to us and what would work best for us. I'm so glad I listened!
The bottom line is we followed what the Lord was saying to us!! We did our research, we talked to people, we looked to God's Word for direction, and did what we felt He wanted and not someone else.

In Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 it says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
It seems pretty clear to me that the Lord asks us to be diligent about teaching our children HIS principles, HIS character, and HIS worldview every opportunity we have. I want to have as many opportunities that I can get to influence my children about the Lord and to teach them to love and serve Him.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
I firmly believe that it is the primary responsibility of the parent to train their children
in the ways of the Lord......not the church youth group, not Sunday School, not the teachers
at a Christian School.
If you want to have the heart of your child, if you want to prevent rebellion in your child, you MUST have a relationship with your child. To have a healthy relationship with your child, you have to spend time with them.
Is that something that I always enjoy? Not always. Sometimes they are grouchy or belligerent,
but they still need to know that I love them....even when they are not fun to be around.
It just made sense to me that to produce the type of relationship that I wanted
with my child,
I needed to be around them.....and be responsible for the majority of what they learn about life. I don't want them to be "sheltered" or "naive", but I do want them to learn wisdom and character, and to see things from their Designer's point of help them discover their true purpose in life.

Our journey is certainly not over and will definitely take some twists and turns here soon, but it's so exciting to follow the Lord's direction for your family and to see Him do miracles in the middle of it all.
It is for these reasons that we feel homeschooling is the BEST option for our family.

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