Homeschooling for us, didn’t just happen; it was definitely God-led. When we had kids, both Joey and I had a very negative image of homeschooling. But God changed that. Our oldest child had a quiet, introverted personality, and at the age of three, I knew we were going to have to keep him home for Kindergarten. Even though it was three years away, I knew school would have crushed him. I started researching homeschooling and had some friends help guide me with book recommendations and conferences. By the time Caleb was six and ready for Kindergarten, I was sold on homeschooling. It took Joey a little longer. He wanted me to homeschool until third grade, and then introduce Caleb to school and “socialize” him. I didn’t want to homeschool without Joey’s support, so I asked him to read the books I had read and attend a Carole Joy Seid conference with me. In the end, he asked me to homeschool each of the kids through highschool. Not only that, he changed his method of teaching his highschool students from the information he learned.
Homeschooling isn’t something I am comfortable with every minute of everyday. But it is something that I am learning to give to God every morning. He is in charge of my children’s education. My job, is to listen to His voice and follow His leading.
We homeschool for a variety of reasons. Books have been written on each of our reasons, but I will keep it brief. The main reason we homeschool is so that I can be around my children. I love hanging out with them, spending time with them, getting to know them better each day. I am the one with the privilege to influence, mold and shape them, while I educate them. I want to educate them to be on fire for Christ, educate them for an eternity in heaven.
I want to have the best relationship I can with my children. I want them to really know me and for me to really know them, and the best way to do that is to spend as much time with each other as we can.
Another reason we homeschool is to prevent burnout. I have seen kids as young as 8 begin to burnout on school. It’s school during the day and homework in the evening. When do they get time to play, to be kids, to use their imagination, to find things they are interested in, to find their talents and hobbies? When do they get to hang out with their parents and read together or play games,? When do they get time to be wild and free? We don’t have to spend the whole day in school. My kids have one-on-one teaching which allows us to spend more family time together, more creative time. They don’t have homework to do when Dad comes home from work; we are able to swim, or read, or play a game. This link has an informative discussion on homeschooling between Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Raymond Moore.
We homeschool our kids so that I am able to teach each of our children in the way they learn best and the subjects they are most interested in. For example, our oldest son, Caleb, is interested in becoming a farmer. Because of this, we will be starting our “farm” and learning about gardening, companion planting, crop rotation, organic pest control, chickens etc…. It will be easier for me to get him to learn about these topics because he is wanting to learn about them.
We homeschool because it allows us more freedom from non-traditional learning. We use “living books” to educate our kids instead of textbooks to instill a love of reading in our children (see Clay Clarkson’s Educating the Wholehearted Child, Carole Joy Seid, and Charlotte Mason). We use narration instead of tests and we notebook and journal instead of using worksheets. We spend many hours outdoors in nature. We are able to get in the car and have school on the beach. We learn a lot about life skills, chores and cooking. I could go on and on…
Again, these are the main reasons that WE homeschool. It’s important that every family follow God’s leading and decide what works best for them.
Here is a list of books that have had a tremendous impact on our decision to homeschool:
Clay Clarkson: Educating the WholeHearted Child
Chris and Ellyn Davis: I Saw the Angel in the Marble
Ellyn Davis: I Carved the Angel From the Marble
Susan Schaeffer Macaulay: For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School
Raymond Moore: Home Grown Kids
Raymond Moore: The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook