If you search for homeschooling on the national news media, one of the first stories that comes up this week is "Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt Snub Modern Education, Opt to Homeschool."
They're not the first celebrity couple to homeschool. Actors travel a lot, making it difficult to establish children in a regular school schedule. But every time one of these headlines appears, there's a predictable flurry of commentary calling the publicity good or bad for serious homeschooling families.
Instead of focusing on what this means for the future of homeschooling, I want to use the opportunity to take us back to a very important, very basic, (very challenging) question: why do we homeschool?
Ask any homeschool mom or dad, and they'll tell you that homeschooling is hard work. It demands the investment of time, money, and energy. It requires families to make hard choices that depart from the downstream pull of government-run education.
If the only reason we homeschool is a negative one (I don't want my child in a public school), then homeschooling can become drudgery, as enslaving to the mind as the school systems we've rejected.
If, on the other hand, we homeschool because we want to raise our children to be whole people who understand what it means to be free, if we homeschool because we want to nurture our children's souls along with their minds, then we have something to hold on to when Algebra seems impossible, when the 2-year-old won't obey, when the house is a mess, and when there are no celebrities on the news to make homeschooling look glamorous.
We can keep going at that moment because we know it's not about immediate results or the fads of the day. It's a life-long journey that we're taking along with our families as we seek to know God and to make Him known.
Even if that means we spend a lot of the journey on our knees instead of on TV.