Recently, I’ve been asked a few times, by different people, why we homeschool. And my answers satisfied them, but not me. I was challenged to sit down and figure out why exactly I’m doing this. Here’s my list, so far..

1. First and foremost, we are homeschooling because we believe it’s a command of God. Children are a blessing, and an inheritance of the Lord. And God said that we, the parents, were to train them, to teach them of His law and His love “as you go out, and as you come it, when you rise up and when you lay down, when you eat and when you walk in the way..” (My paraphrase) and to us that means all the time. Which follows that it is impossible to teach our children if they aren’t there.. So they must stay home so we can teach them.

2. We homeschool so we can teach our children the truth. We want them to know the truth of where they came from and how much they are loved, the truth about authority and obedience, the truth about right and wrong, about origins and destiny. Not the humanistic, materialistic nonsense our public institutions teach, but rather we want our children to know what’s real, and not just made up. And, we want them to know the other side too, so they can defend the faith, rightly dividing the Word of God.

3. We keep our children home so they can learn about the real world. Often people claim that homeschoolers shelter kids, and that is possible…if you are a hermit, but we choose to expose our girls to the real world, with parental guidance so they will be able to deal with it when they are independent. There is no age segregation in the real world. There are no bells to tell you to switch activities, no neat lines, no boxes to check off, and no gold stars just for showing up. Life is a bit more complex than a classroom, and decisions and relationships are messier than recess and homework.
4. We homeschool because we don’t believe “one size fits all.” The cookie-cutter, assembly-line approach done by most primary and secondary education institutions fits only a select handful, and everyone else is crammed into the mold. We believe that education is an art, and that training our children is like creating a sculpture – chiselling off the rough spots and excesses to reveal the masterpiece within the rock. The masterpiece that God created them to be is what we’re after.

5. We homeschool to give our children the best foundation in the skills needed for life – researching (gathering information), recording (collecting the info all in one spot), reasoning (making connections with the information, solving problems, and forming opinions), reflecting (showing and presenting the information, your solution and opinion in a logical and concise way), and rhetoric (persuading someone else that your opinion or solution fits the information as you see it). It’s not the 3Rs, but the 5Rs that matter.

6. We homeschool to foster not just their minds and bodies, but their hearts as well. The best school in the world cannot reach the heart. Nurturing a child’s heart takes a relationship, and developing a relationship takes time. We will not waste the time we have with them by sending them away from us for 30+ hours a week! Instead, we keep them close, so we can get to know them. Besides which, I didn’t have children just to let someone else raise them.

7. We homeschool so our children’s gifts and talents can be developed to their fullest, without compromising on their spiritual, emotional and physical health. We have the time to take special classes or join teams in music, dance, science, sports — all those areas that combined with formal school result in over-scheduled kids, who are exhausted and underfed emotionally and spiritually. Our children can rest when they need it, and have lots of time with mom and dad, even if they were to be out every night with one activity or another.

8. We homeschool to be a family. With the opportunities offered today, it’s easy to get so busy that a family sees each other only in passing. But homeschooling gives that opportunity to place a priority on family time. So we’re a little old-fashioned.. mom stays home and dad is the provider.. and we are a family, learning, growing and spending time together.

I thank God we live in a country and province that has enshrined the right of parents to parent – including choosing the education of their children. So many societies, under the influence of social engineers and social Darwinism, have done their best to destroy the family. But our children will stay where they belong, at home, until they are ready to start their own families and have their own homes. Because we believe that’s the way God intended.

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