Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Should I Home School?

(The radio archive for this blog was too garbled so it has been deleted.)

Luann asks,

"Why should I home school? I already know I will, but help me articulate the answer for my family and friends who may disagree."

Before you begin the great adventure called parenthood, the one thing you have to remember is every parent home schools. We just all take a different level of responsibility when it comes to intentionally parenting our children. Even drug addicts laying on the couch all day are teaching the people around them a behavior pattern. The reason I prefer the term home-centered education better to home schooling is because my home acts as the base camp for a large array of global activities that will form my children's world view - intellectually, physically, and spiritually. As adults, our children may accept or reject how my husband and I guide them, but we recognize that all of our choices can impact them.

Also, the term home schooling has the connotation of sitting at home, alone, doing book work with mom standing by a dry erase board. Those of us who have successfully home schooled for decades find that our family rarely does this. Instead, we may have a formal looking school in our homes for small portions of some days, but we also engage in many, many educational endeavors, few of which are at home.

So, your choice of education for your children settles around some basic, logically structured questions. What is the definition of an education?

What is the purpose of your children's education? What tools are required to accomplish those goals? Who is in charge of providing their educational leadership? Where and when does education most effectively take place? How does a parent implement a plan to provide an education? What are the costs of this endeavor? And lastly, what happens if I, as the parent, fail to provide an education for my children?

These are big questions that are hard to address in a few sentences to someone who is skeptical about home schooling. Especially to a culture trained to think in emotive sound bites. So here are some smart, and some smart alec responses. Hopefully, you'll hear more as you continue on your search for intelligent life.

1. We just all take a different level of responsibility when it comes to intentionally parenting our children. We want to be very involved with our boys education.

2. We want our children civilized, not socialized.

3. If I'm smart enough to teach my baby to walk and talk, I'm smart enough to teach him to read, write and cipher.

4. We think it is important for children to be able to at least read.

5. We think it's an odd thought that God would prefer someone else to teach our child about Him instead of his (or her) parents.

5. I like my kids. We have a lot of fun learning together. (That should satisfy post-moderns.)

6. It'd be a crime to make some unsuspecting 24-year-old teacher put up with our Tommy. We think we better spare the school system.

7. We don't think the $10,000 a year public schools spend per child is adequate. We're richer than that.

I'm sure our audience can think of many more brief responses. But my dear Luann, my favorite reason is because God trusted Rob and I with our children. Our Lord will not fail to equip us to raise them for His glory.


Sherry said...

I love #2. We work hard on that one. :-)

Anonymous said...

How do you answer?

Anonymous said...

#2- Yeah, those socialized children will never have anything over yours! Good idea!

#3- I know what you mean....parents of children who can't walk are really stupid. I saw a kid in a wheelchair and thought his parents must have done something really wrong. If it wasn't for smart parents children would just slither across the floor and bleet.

#5 yes!!! Jesus doesn't want people to go around teaching others about Him....he only wants parents to whisper his name in their children's ear in the privacy of the home.