We have a lot of reasons to homeschool, so I wanted to share what went into our decision.
A quick note for my traditional schooling friends, I do believe how our children are educated is an area where we have freedom from God to do what is appropriate for our families. I think it’s a matter of conviction…what God lays on our individual hearts. I don’t think any option is wrong, whether it’s public, private, or homeschool. When I first had Fischer, I couldn’t wait for him to start school in a public setting. I couldn’t imagine at the time, being stuck at home with a child all day, and the responsibility of education laying on my shoulders. At some point in the past few years, Travis and I felt convicted on the matter and our hearts changed toward the idea. I know I am blessed with the ability to be able to stay home and homeschool, but I know there are several life challenges that would force us to choose another educational option. As we are able to consider homeschooling as an option, when weighing the pros and cons, homeschooling was the best choice for us especially considering our convictions.
-“It’s easier to water a garden than it is to have to constantly weed it.” There is zero pressure to conform to the world and provides a better opportunity to let individuality and learning flourish, little “keeping up with the Joneses”, no pressure to abandon values at the insistence of peers. We are part of 31% of the world population that places God as the primary focus in our lives, and want to weave Him into every area of our daily life. That is impossible to achieve in a public school setting. I know that’s why many parents choose private schools instead, but can easily fall into the false belief that they don’t have to do as much Biblical teaching at home since the school should be teaching it. Like my friend Julie just shared, the Bible is clear on the parents role to teach and train a child up. We can’t just leave it up to private school and Sunday school. We want to make sure their foundation in Christ is solid before throwing them to the world, I want be around my kids more than the world is around them, I want to help them learn how to live IN the world but not of it. “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” -Voddie Baucham Jr.
-Fischer has specific needs as a student with ASD. Our district wants to provide special education support, with an IEP, with modifications that are considerate of his strengths and weaknesses. Public schools provide better special education programs because they legally have to, while private schools often lack in this area. If you are getting more one-on-one support in learning for a disability, the more ostracized you are by your peers. In large groups of peers, Fischer is frequently bullied or left out. It’s harder to grow academically in an environment where you are constantly challenged in other areas. At home, we can better focus on his strengths, have better opportunities to practice skills he’s deficient in at his own pace, we can reduce sensory stimuli to avoid meltdowns better, we have more freedom to do atypical activities, we have more wiggle room for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA therapy during the weekday, if we decide to pursue those avenues.
-No child is left behind in home educating. Stuck on a math topic? Struggling with reading? A teacher with 15-30 children following a strict timeline cannot pause to give weeks of extra support to the one or two students who fall behind. Who was left behind in their math class (me)? Do you know anyone who struggles with reading as an adult because they were forced to do it when they weren’t ready, and they now equate reading with negative memories? Do you ever think that if you had a better teacher in a certain subject, that you would have been a better student? The love of learning isn’t a personality trait we are born with, it’s something that is gifted to us as we grow up, and a great way to foster that is through home educating. Kids are in traditional school from around 7am-3pm. Is all that time focused on learning? How much of that time is transitions from different subjects and classes? How much of it is sitting quietly while the teacher quiets the class? How much of it is sitting at a desk reading a fiction book because you finished all your work for the day and have nothing else to do? Remove the distractions and there’s only a few hours of learning actually happening. The rest of the time is formed because teachers need more time to teach multiple students, and school has to mirror a full day of work because many parents aren’t home to receive their children.
-Parents are responsible for their child’s education regardless of homeschool or public school or private school. They should play an active role in school, whether it be public, private, or homeschool. It’s a common complaint that many parents view traditional school as a daycare, viewing good teachers as babysitters, and blaming the school for their child’s lack of education when the responsibility is really the parents. Homeschooling just places the most responsibility onto the parent.
-Countless studies show that homeschool graduates are not only better educated, but they have a love of learning that can’t even be compared to most secular graduates. They score above average on state tests and college ACT/SATs, all despite their parents education level. There’s no concern of social aspect as “87% peer-reviewed studies on social, emotional, and psychological development have proven that homeschool students perform significantly better than those in public or private schools. (NHERI.org)”. Personally, to date, every single homeschooled child that I have ever met in my life is far more polite, socialized, and educated than their peers whether they are homeschooled with secularly or with Christian values.
I asked Travis to share what his response would be when asked why we are homeschooling and he said, “We believe that public school cares more about political agendas than true education. We also can’t afford private school, and we want Fischer to be educated with a foundation on biblical truths, which have been banned from public schools.”
There are a lot of other reasons, it’s hard to remember it all, as this has been something we’ve very slowly made a consideration and choice. Some quick other reasons are…
-I wanted to be involved in my child’s daily life, not just a few hours in the evening. The idea of sending a 5 year old to be taught by a stranger for 8 hours a day feels unnatural.
-We want to be the ones that mold our children.
-School is stressful. Learning is not (at least when you’re younger).
-Kids today have different values, are brattier, more disrespectful, are exposed to more adult things online than any other generation. Where were we most exposed to learning swear words, sex slang, etc?
-Anti-Biblical beliefs being taught in public schools
-As many as 70-90% of millennials are leaving the Christian churchIn one study, 87% of study participants who were homeschooled said they have strong Christian beliefs. Conversely, Millennials who were enrolled in public schools or private Christian schools were more likely to walk away from the faith later in life.
-The effect of homeschooling on the life of an adult compared to other educational methods. A homeschooled student is 171% as likely to be stronger in Christian behavior and 22% as likely to be stronger in Christian beliefs as those attending a Christian school (209% and 284% as those attending public school)