One of the elements of our family life that defines us is the fact that we homeschool. And as soon as one is identified as a home educator, one is often faced with a variety of questions, all of which are essentially, “Why?” Here is my own Raber’s Digest Condensed Version of “Why We Homeschool”.
- Parents are given the primary responsibility to teach and train their children in the Scripture and with a Biblical worldview. This is shown by commandment, principle, and example. (Deuteronomy 4:9-10, 6:7, 11:19, Proverbs 1:8, 4:1, 6:20, 22:6, 31:1, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Timothy 3:4, 12, 2 Timothy 3:15, Titus 1:6)
- Principles regarding companionship that I believe apply to our children- (Psalm 1:1, Psalm 119:63, Proverbs 13:20, 28:7, Ephesians 5:11, James 4:4)
Providing a quality education-
- Individual instruction
- Curriculum and methods tailored to fit the child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests
- Opportunity to address character issues as well as academics
- Preparing for future careers with options such as dual enrollment, early graduation, apprenticeships, and time to pursue hobbies…
Nurtures the entire family-
- Creates bonds between parents and children as well as siblings with each other
- Allows for proper socialization
- Helps minimize divided loyalties and reinforces the proper chain of authority in and out of the home
- Learning is viewed as a lifestyle, not a specific activity that begins at 8 and ends at 2
- Efficient use of time
- Freedom to go on field trips and travel
- Flexibility to deal with life’s emergencies, both great and small
There are many more reasons that we realize every day just living our lives, as these elements are rooted in our belief system. It isn’t just about kids being in a safe, secure environment so they can focus on learning. It isn’t just minimizing peer dependency issues, or being able to make sure the kids eat healthy balanced meals and get enough exercise. Homeschooling is an extension of how we believe God would have us live, to effectively minister to our family, and enable our children to realize their own dreams and desires for their unique futures.
Anyone involved in home educating does so for a multitude of reasons. Not all homeschoolers are Christians, or even religious. Some have children with special needs, and are able to address their child’s issues in a safe, caring environment. Others toy with the idea when their children are young, intending to put their kids in a ‘real’ school later, but then realize how fulfilling educating one’s own children can be, and the benefit it is to the whole family. Some folks begin to homeschool because of problems in their local school system, only to become excited about the opportunities for bonding that occur by being with their own children every day, and so they continue with the process until graduation. Sometimes other family members, once skeptical and fearful, begin to understand the whole picture after they see the amazing results, and they themselves become involved by taking kids on trips, or introducing them to their own hobbies and interests, even apprenticing the homeschooled child in their particular skill.
Why have you chosen to homeschool, how have your reasons have evolved over time, and what benefits have you realized from the experience?