Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I am Homeschooling

While living in Reform, I had several people question our decision to home school the boys. And I have had a couple friends ask me about our decision - why we are making this choice. John and I have some very specific reasons for why we are making this choice. I must admit this is not the path I EVER saw myself choosing. But once when we made the decision, it made perfect sense for our family. I think there are many reason why people choose to home school their children and most of those reasons are not our reasons. I don't want to spend this post defending our decisions or making those that don't make the same decisions as our family feel ok about their decisions. I think there are very few MAJOR things in God's word that as believers we need to agree on. How to educate our children is NOT one of those major things and I DO NOT think in any way that people who choose a different path or even the same path for different reasons is not glorifying God. So for this post I want to give you my reasons without feeling the need to give credit to the choice of others but do not hear me say this is what is best for your family. This post is a response to several people questions. That being said here are our main reasons:
1. To develop a Christian world view in our children. I want my children to know that all of life is about Jesus. I want them to see the world through that lens. I don't want Him to be something they do here and there but that all of who we are and what we do is for God's glory - even the simple things in life like playing. I want God's word to be their filter for EVERYTHING. This seems to require lots of in the moment training that keeping them at home affords us.
2. They are boys. From what I understand about boys - mine in particular - the public school system is not geared for educating young boys successfully. My boys learn best by doing and not hearing. Hands on learning - with lots of time for outside exploration which cultivates LOTS of learning opportunities. I want to create in them a love for learning so that they will become self learners. I want to help them - while they are young- to take personal initiative for learning so that for the rest of their life they know what and how to learn whatever it is they need to know. This is very specific for each child. Keeping them home allows me to cultivate this love for learning in each specific child - I don't have to fit them into the mold.
3. Social Skills - some of you may read that and laugh because one of the criticisms of homeschooling is that children don't get socialization when they stay at home. I disagree and most people with more than one child will also disagree. Being at home with your siblings is prime real estate for all things social - sharing, considering others above yourself, conflict resolution, true bonding/forging of friendships, dealing with people you don't like - who are different from you. We deal with all of these things on a DAILY basis. And the more children you have the greater this compounds. There are also plenty of outside activities available today to account for other socialization. All that said, I want my children to learn how to biblically relate to others. How God tells us to deal with conflict, to treat others - opposite sex, authority just to name a few. I don't want it to be just about surviving the day. I want to equip them to enter adulthood (really their teenage years) prepared to deal with other people. I also want them to have personal convictions and to know how to respond when those are challenged.
4. We want them to have a love for the lost. We want God to put in them a heart for His kingdom and a desire to labor for a lifetime. Only God can do this and keeping them at home won't make this happen. But what I do know is that children are loosing their innocence a lot earlier now than ever before. (I heard a 5 year old girl call a man sexy the other day) There is so much that I want them to learn and battling this culture and all that it exposes them to at such a young age just makes the process more complicated. One of our mentors told us once that we don't send men into battle until they are trained appropriately. This is also true for our children. That being said - John and I are not planning on keeping our children home all of their school years. I reserve the right to change my mind - and it will probably be on a per child basis. But for now my hearts desire is to spend the younger years preparing them for battle - to send them out to be a light in this world for God. I don't want to protect them from sinners - because we are all sinners. I don't want to keep them from the hurt and anguish of this world. What i do want to do is equip them to love people and to engage a culture that is lost and hurting. If God puts in my boys a new heart - one that desires the things that I pray they will desire - we want them to be equipped to engage people and to be emotionally ready to get messy with people for the sake of the gospel.
5. Each of my boys have very different strengths and abilities and weaknesses. I want to be able to develop these and to choose a path of education that best suits each of them. No one will be as committed to my children as i am - no one has time to develop them as individuals like I do.

So these are our top 5 reasons for keeping the boys at home for now. I am excited about this journey most days. To know that God has entrusted me to with 2 pieces of history in the making. That I have the privilege to entrust the things that God is teaching me in to 2 boys and pray that God will make them faithful men who will one day do the same for others. God can do all of these things in my boys life without me. He can do it even if I sent them to school for 8 hours a day. But I want to be a part of the process. I want to choose to embrace this ministry of motherhood to its fullest. I know that God has called me to this and though I am very excited about this journey I am not stupid. It is very hard and requires a lot. But God tells me in his word to not grow weary in doing good for in time we will reap a harvest. One day I might get to see that harvest in the lives of my children or I may not see it until I see Jesus. But non the less - I want to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of my children. So this is our choice.


Jill said...

Thanks, I agree. I know godly people that have their kids in public school and some opt for homeschooling, but thank you for taking the time to do this. Your convictions are some of the same that I have, but we are continuing to seek guidance in "Is this God's plan for us?". Thanks again! You are right we have got to get together when you guys get back! Love, Jill

Danielle said...

Amy, I think that is great. And just from reading your blog, I think that God will do an excellent work through you. You are very creative and disciplined to be able to home school. I look forward to seeing how it goes.

April Brown said...

I agree with Danielle. You will do great. You need to put these reasons up in your house so when the wheels fall off you will quickly be able to get some perspective!

love you!!

Donna said...

Hey Amy- sorry I've missed all these awesome posts- as you know, I say AMEN and AMEN to this post- and I especially get the "boy" thing....Sitting in school fo 8 hours with a 20 minute lunch and 30 minute P.E. would be tough on anyone- but a fiesty 5-year-old boy?! I agree with April- you should post these or put them in the front of your notebook so you can fire yourself up!