Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Reasons Why We Don't Homeschool Our Kids


Little Disclaimer:  We’re all well aware there are a few crazy horror stories out there of homeschooling gone wrong.  Let’s face it - it’s more about PARENTING gone wrong.  This isn’t a post to debate one method of education over an other.  It’s just a little window into our lives of 7 reasons why we don’t homeschool our children.  :)  Maybe one day, I’ll share 7 more of why we do. 

1.  We don’t homeschool our children because we can “afford it”.
There are lots of curriculum options out there for every sized budget.  We started our homeschooling journey when hubby was just starting out at Bible college and we had three littles stuffed in a tiny apartment.  Has it been financially easy?  Of course not.  Looking back though, all the sacrifices made were worth it.  

2.  We don’t homeschool our children to "brainwash" them.
Quite the opposite.  It’s been really important to us that our children grow up being able to know what they believe and why they believe it.  Instead of us teaching them only our traditions and views, we have encouraged them to dig for themselves and take ownership of their thoughts.  Spending lots of time together allows us opportunities to connect with our kids and hear from them what is on their hearts and minds.

3.  We don’t homeschool our children because we're "perfectly patient".
It makes me sad when parents completely throw out the opportunity to shepherd their kids full time because of lack of patience.  Let me tell you, I for one am not a naturally patient person.  More importantly though, God uses the homeschool environment to challenge me and change me.  There are plenty of opportunities for me to humble myself and go to my kids, ask for forgiveness and a chance to try again.  These times aren’t failures - in reality they will be used to help my kids know how to get along with others someday in the job site and/or with their own families.  One thing we can count on is that our Father is patient!  He is an incredible teacher, full of grace and mercy for our every need.

4.  We don’t homeschool our children because we can “trap them inside the home” all their lives.  
Oh no, that can’t happen here.  Our kids are way too social to live a life of seclusion!  Homeschooling has provided incredible opportunities for our family to daily be out in the world building relationships with people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.  Instead of only interacting with their specific age group every day, our kids have grown up learning to have thriving relationships with people of all ages.  This has been a great life skill that has served our older kids well as they go out in the world on their own.

5.  We don’t homeschool our children because our kids always obey "quickly and joyfully".
While I appreciate obedient children, this is a life-long process.  It’s more about relationship than it is barking orders and having compliant children.  It’s about really knowing your kids and caring about the big picture.  God has given us five children who are each vastly different from each other.  There is no perfect mold of how to raise kids.  Just as our Father KNOWS us, we are to spend time really knowing our children.  We need to learn what makes them tick, what reaches their hearts, what spurs them on toward what God designed them to be.  It’s nothing to be rushed with a quick/joyful outward appearance.  God cares about the heart and so should we.  We also should be caring FOR our kids’ hearts.

6.  We don’t homeschool our children because we want them to have "every opportunity this world has to offer".
Fulling realizing this goes against the grain of our culture, we just don’t believe that filling our kids lives with more activities than can be counted is most important.  This life shouldn’t be about acquiring everything our flesh wants.  Our lives should be focused on what God has designed for us.  He created each of us individually.  With a unique purpose.  Instead of being in every program available, our three sons experienced much simpler childhoods.  Looking back we can see there was so much value in this.  At the time we struggled a bit of what others would think.  We were skimping every dollar we could possibly round up so that two orphans could have a family.  There wasn’t money to be in every activity.  They are now three nearly grown young men who each have a strong vision for their future.  They know how to work hard, how to love others well and how to serve.  Hmmm, I’m thinking God knew what He was doing!

7.  We don’t homeschool our children because of "degrees" we do or do not have.

It’s true, our degrees or lack of them don’t rule our decisions in home education.  We should never stop learning.  With today’s resources there really is little reason not to be able to homeschool no matter what your past educational background is.  As a parent, you know your child.  Let’s face it - sometimes we know them so well we’d rather someone ELSE deal with them for several hours a day.  {Just keepin’ it real folks!}  Reality is that God gave us each of our children.  We have a responsibility and it’s serious business.  Just because they turn 5 or 10 or 15, it doesn’t mean we have to hand that responsibility over to someone else.
Sorry if I shattered your sugar-plum dreams of what homeschooling is like.  It's not about being perfectly organized and so many other things.  We live in an imperfect world.  Parenting has been one of the hardest things God has called me to.  Guess what?  It's also been worth the investment.  What my kids truly need, money can't buy.