Monday, March 09, 2009

Why We Homeschool

I continually find God's timing perfect. I was feeling rather defeated last week. While there are many rewards to homeschooling, is not without it's challenges. One that falls in both categories is being at home with the kids day in and day out. We are here alone. I have no family, on which I can call for just an afternoon of help and that takes a toll on my heart and mind at times. The big yellow bus would be a beacon of light most days. I could get my house clean, I could read a book without having to hide in the bathroom, I could have some peace and quiet, I wouldn't have to plan lessons, field trips, play dates.

My kids are imperfect. They don’t always listen, want to do school or think I know best. It was difficult at 1st to sit and teach without butting heads. Then I realized that I had much bigger problems if I couldn’t teach them and gain their respect as young children and so that gave me even more reason to work with their attitudes and hearts. I of course have also thought about how much more successful Allen's business could be if I could help him more. And wouldn’t you know, then a lady approached me and asked me to tell her why we chose to homeschool. I’m glad she gave me time as I needed it to really think about my answers. I had lost sight of the whys. And then I have had 2 more ladies approach me since. So God must has intended for me to search my heart closely. I’ve included scriptures as every human opinion is debatable and His Word is not. This is my answer.

The more I typed, the more I wanted to share and I’m thankful that she asked as it helped me search and pray to find my “why” again. Please know that what ever anyone's decision, while we do feel strongly that this is the best option for us and our family, we do NOT think this means we are better or wiser than anyone else. Nor are we judging anyone for not choosing this same path.
The main reason we are homeschooling is that we are to raise Christians.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

We have the opportunity to teach what the Bible says God’s perspective is on every subject. We start each morning with prayer and Bible study. If things are going awry during the day, we can stop and pray. Our history is all paralleled to the Bible. Science is about God’s world. This is the reason. Everything else is just a bonus.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Did I tell you I sent the girls to public school for 2 months and then pulled them out? I sent them because quite honestly, I didn’t care about the end results for the time being, I just needed a break. Afterall, we live in a predominately Christian town, it is a dry county, we have more churches per capita than any other town. There are many Christian teachers. I felt that it would be fine, everyone else does it. I didn’t feel led by God, Allen didn’t like it, but at the time it was all about me and I was empty. I needed the time. I wanted my house clean! Then after bullies, a rude bus driver, kids teaching my kids things I didn’t want them to know about. Teachers and kids treating my kids in a way I want to shelter them from. Makensie feeling like she was stupid because she wasn’t catching on as quickly as everyone else, I pulled them out.
Now Makensie has no idea what she is “suppose” to be doing or if she is behind. She is improving, but more importantly she is not a number or an inconvenience to me because she needs additional help. I can specifically meet her where she is at. She is 8 and can babysit better than some 15 year olds, can make just about any meal, can organize just about anything, for Valentines day she made a recipe from Paula Deen, a red velvet cake – from scratch! Her gifts are hospitality, detail and empathy. She is amazing, but she lost her God given talents in a blur when all that mattered was the spelling test score. And most importantly I hear my kids discussing God with each other throughout the day, they have a true relationship with Him.

2 Timothy 3:16,17-. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works

Most of the statistics show overwhelmingly that homeschool students outscore public school students academically in every subject and on every grade level. It is after all, tutoring a student one on one.

We feel that they are too young to be expected to go alone into battle, not against flesh and blood but against satan himself. Their young minds are still moldable and need shaping. And we want to mold them to take on righteous view of all things. I’ve heard it said we need Christian kids in school, but at what age? Would we not train a soldier before sending him into battle?

Ezekiel 16:20-21 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

We no not want the school, the teachers or peers to have the predominant position of influence on our children’s hearts or minds.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Psalms 119:97-104 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

We feel that our children are our responsibility. School seems to be the only government program, that everyone is ok with. It is little more than free babysitting for a lot of families. We are personally constantly struggling financially often being ridiculed by family that we could do better to put the kids in school and me return to work. Looked down upon if we were to accept government help, but for millions taking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the schools to raise their children so they can pursue 2 incomes, it is socially acceptable. For me it came down to the question of what is my reason to not homeschool and since it was a selfish reason I felt that if I didn’t do it, it would be the sin of knowing what I was suppose to do and not doing it.

Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

What about Socially? I am trying to raise our children to be respectful and loving and bear good fruit. If they were allowed to be around 30 other kids all day they are only going to rise to the social level of their peers. Their friends will be who they are exposed to either through school, church or other activities. I want to protect their innocence as long as possible. With homeschooling we get to choose which families we will be interacting with. The kids get to be around a wide range of ages. Most of the kids do not view each other by grade but that they have the common bond of being Christians and being homeschooled.

We belong to the Christian Home Educators of Siloam Springs (CHESS). There are more opportunities and events to participate in that we have time to take advantage of. Currently each of the kids are currently writing books, working on a science fair project, there is a homeschool activity at the library weekly, there are get together for the levels (elementary, middle school, high school). The statistics show that homeschool children are generally more mature acting and more responsible and show higher self esteems.

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

This was from an article I found:

In our Lord Jesus and His Word, the Bible, we have all we need for spiritual and moral decisions in life. The best reason for choosing home education is that it is God's revealed plan for raising our children. The Bible knows no other system of education. God did not prescribe schools for His people; they were invented by others. The pages of Scripture espouse, by precept and example, a process that closely resembles what we call home education.

The Teachers:
Throughout the Word it is the parents who are assigned the role of teaching their own children. The primary responsibility rests on the father. God said of Abraham,

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him (Genesis 18:19).

Paul gave this guidance under the Holy Spirit's inspiration:

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Of course, as the man's helper (Genesis 2:20-23), his wife is also a teacher of the children.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother (Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20).

Even the grandparents are to share in the teaching task: speaking of God'scommandments,

Moses said to God's people, ... but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons (Deutoronomy 4:9).

The Goal:
Education ought not to be seen as an end in itself. Nor should it be viewed in terms of mere academic or social preparation for life. Knowledge, by itself, is nothing and leads only to pride (Knowledge puffeth up... 1 Corinthians 8:1). We could give our children the very best academic preparation in the world, and only end up making them more effective instruments in the devil's hands. No, God has something higher in mind. Understood in its broadest terms, education is character training. God is in the business of transforming people. He is creating a people who have a living relationship with Himself. The beginning of the process is simply to take God seriously in everything or, as Scripture has it: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge ... (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). The end of the process is mature people who know God; and who, knowing Him, love him; and who, loving Him, obey Him in all things. The path of safety and blessing is always that which adheres most closely to the revealed will of God. Home education as we practice today falls short of the perfect pattern set forth in the Scriptures, but it is certainly a big step in the right direction-because home education is God's idea.
I asked the kids if someone who didn’t homeschool was thinking about it what would you say? And here are their answers:

Makensie: I get to spend more time with my mom. When I was at school I didn’t get to see her very much. There was lots of bullies and my bus driver was really mean. My mom sits right beside me and helps me when I don’t understand my school. I get to do field trips. I get more play time. I’m writing a recipe book as mom has taught me to cook. I get to study the Bible. I want to homeschool my kids. These are the reasons I like to homeschool.

Gabby: I like doing Math, it is fun. I like being able to be at home. At real school we didn’t get to see our mom very often and only a little bit and I missed her. Homeschooling is really fun, when you read., your mom is always there to help you when you need help. We get to do arts and crafts. at Homeschool you get to go places and seeing things and sometimes get a soda or go walking. Last week I went horseback riding and took a tour of the bakery and made 2 loaves of bread by myself at home. We get more time to learn about God and praising God and read the bible. If you homeschool you get to do all these fun activities, and show your talents. I’m writing a book. We cook and paint. I would like to homeschool my children so I’ll have more time to spend with them to do arts and crafts and play with them and so that’s why I like homeschooling.

Brian: Math is really easy. That’s all I got.

As far as my personal support, the moms get together once a month in the evening for time and fun and learning. I have a wonderful prayer and accountability partner with whom I meet biweekly. We are all in a yahoo group and share struggles, successes, everything, staying in the loop for events etc. There are almost 100 families that homeschool and participate in the Siloam Springs area.

Once again, we are only responsible for our own decisions for us and are family and have no hard feelings towards anyone that does choose to use the public school system. It is a very personal and individual decision between you and The Lord. May He guide you and make straight your paths.

Love in Christ


Lynn said...

WOW----this is a fabulous commentary about the GOOD of Homeschooling. I wish it could be published so everyone everywhere could read it. Did you ever think about writing for a publication? You articulate so well, and I think that's the best presentation for homeschooling I've ever read. Way to go girl!!!!

Rachel said...

Suzanne, that is very encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing that.

Laura said...


You definitely has a talent for writing. VERY WELL done. It was a huge encouragement to me to read this and be reminded why I do this day in and day out. Thank you!


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