Friday, November 22, 2013

Why We Homeschool

1. Parents are the model for our children and not strangers.

2. Healthy, warm, home cooked meals.

3. God tells us to constantly be talking to our children about Him (Deuteronomy 6) and disciplining them, molding and shaping them to be witnesses for Him. We do believe that homeschooling is Biblical. Yes, I said it.

4. We can choose a curriculum that enhances each individual child’s learning style. “School” shouldn’t be a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

5. A teacher starts off each year not knowing their students. As my children’s teacher I know just where to pick up at each year's beginning. Many studies have been done in Finland regarding this and it’s proven to really WORK. This is why homeschooled children are more advanced and beyond what a “gifted” child would be in traditional school. Gifted programs are way overrated!

6. Discipline is consistent and doesn’t change with each year.

  7. No competition for fancy, electronic gadgets, clothing, shoes, expensive purses, who's parent drives the coolest car at carline, etc.

8. No competition with other families…their rules vs. ours: dating age, wearing makeup, what age others get cell phones, etc.

9. No age segregation categories. Typical scenario: Teenagers not wanting to play with younger, “uncool” kids. Homeschool co-op groups include all ages of all children where bigger ones learn to mentor smaller ones and smaller ones take instruction from bigger ones. Traditional schools try to replicate this, but it's a few times a year if the teacher does in fact try to replicate this.

10. Children have the time to take up their own interests such as science, agriculture, art, music, writing, debate, photography, sewing, mechanics, etc.

11. (a tag-on to #9) Adult jobs aren’t like this. Could you imagine your first day of working for a local company and the boss says, “Okay, all the 35-year-olds will be working on the 14th floor and the 26-year-olds will be working on the 19th floor.” Really?

12. The home economics opportunities …need I say more? Our schools don’t have the budget for this anymore and our children are graduating with minimal skills of this sort, but yet we get upset if they don’t pass Chemistry II, a class they’ll never use unless they go into the medical field, pharmaceuticals or such. When was the last time YOU used Calculus?

13. So many parents SHUDDER at the thought of being with their kids all day, but truth is that if you take the time and energy to train them early, it can be a big help and a blessing when they’re older.

14. The curriculum we choose for our children are biblically-based and historically accurate. We teach Biblical Creationism, not Evolution. We teach the truth about our country’s religious history, the Pilgrim’s great faith in God and the history of our nation’s forefathers and their faith in God. What a responsibility to teach our children about HIStory. The timeline that God ordained to happen for His glory and WE get to teach it to our little ones. So cool!

15. Our life is so much simpler and we’re not rushing around here and there yelling at each other because homework isn’t done, breakfast is getting cold and you can’t find your socks. We enjoy taking our time, practicing kindness, training chores slowly and efficiently and being simplistic in this fast-paced world.

16. Time is love. (You've heard the country song.) Where your time is as a family is what your kids will remember your devotion towards. Be careful of outside activities (I couldn't be more serious.)

17. We can participate in acts of service during the day such as visiting a nursing home to cheer up the elderly, help a neighbor with yard work, baking cookies for a friend who needs a smile, etc.

18. Our kids don’t have to ask for a bathroom pass to have alone time or just a mental break. You’d be surprised at how children really need this! In John Taylor Gatto's book Dumbing Us Down, he has a section on this very subject and it's heartbreaking. I can remember SO many moments like this when I was in school. I just wanted to get away. Just lay in a field and read a book that I was interested in. Go get my hands dirty as I learned. I felt so confined to the cold, hard walls of the classroom.

19. They learn more responsibility as they are home during the day to learn how to do laundry, care for siblings, feed and take care of animals, use good manners in the grocery store or patience for a doctor’s appointment.

20. Our children aren’t labeled with ADHD just because they would rather be outside running around sometimes. They're also not labeled "slow" if one learns to read at 3 and the other at 5. Every child is so different. My heart ACHES for children who's teachers claim that they need to be medicated or else removed from the classroom.

21. Homeschooling benefits the parents!! It’s the education WE never had, especially when you’re teaching Scripture memorization and learning about Biblical apologetics and Biblical history. These are some of the areas Christians struggle with the most (beside us sharing our faith). A neat program for teaching the Bible to children (heck, even adults!) is The Picture Smart Bible curriculum. We also have flip cards that I made and laminated that have Biblical character traits on them along with a Bible verse, picture and then a story about someone in the Bible that displayed that trait (for example: "Attentiveness", Samuel). We also use hand motions to get kinesthetic, the pictures are for visual and we say the verse out loud for audible learning. You can use this chart to get you started. I don't know about you, but I had a TERRIBLE middle school experience with my history teacher. So dry textbook and unalive. I hated the subject. I turned my mind off to it and missed out on some of the most interesting things that founded our world and our country. I'm having an absolute BLAST reading to our children about HIStory now and learning more than I ever did. I have a new found love for history and it ranks right behind science. :)

22. Opportunities for teaching good, godly character. Most traditional schools TRY to touch on this, but…

a.) Public schools don’t back up good character with an absolute standard like God’s Word. “Just don’t hit your classmate” doesn’t really cut it. Why or why not? That’s America’s problem today though (in a nutshell). There’s no absolute standard for anything, but that’s another blog post. A heavy one at that.

b.)Christian schools can’t be as consistent as homeschooling b/c of the high student to teacher ratios. A teacher may claim to “know” their students, but they don’t really know the inward struggles of sin that they each deal with. An involved parent knows. Most Christian schools now are a mission field themselves due to open enrollment.

23. As parents, we know our children THE BEST. We know what SPECIFIC traits to work with them on and we can praise them and discipline them accordingly and consistently instead of the teacher’s word vs. the student’s in a parent/teacher conference trying to figure out who’s right and what the punishment should be (and I’ve been in some conferences, ah-hem!).

24. Some people claim that homeschooled children are “sheltered”. GASP! If you find yourself thinking this, I would encourage you to read Keeping Our Children’s Hearts by Steve and Teri Maxwell and then get back to me. Matthew 23:37 is a great reminder of how a mother hen just wants to protect her babies, such as any mom would want to protect her own human babies. I call it “the Mother Hen Instinct”. Please remember that as we make disciples of our children, in Christ’s example of Him training His disciples, He didn’t release them for years after constant, everyday training and they were ADULTS. Children take much longer to train. That would be my argument to Rev. Graham in the movie Indoctination as he wants a child trained in God's Word to be in every public school classroom. They're not trained to defend their faith yet Mr. Graham. I know that many people love Billy Graham, but I have a serious problem with an alter call for salvation and then "turn 'em loose" take. Where is the discipleship?

There is a difference between protection in sheltering our children and just plain isolation. I know of many home educating families that talk of some of life's HARDEST issues with their children and at very young ages. They do it under THEIR protection. They pray and they find ways to minister together as a family so that mom and dad can help guide. I'm talking about abortion, divorce, foul language, dressing immodestly, hate crimes, terrorism, torture, secular music, suicide, drugs, alcohol, sexual impurity, and the list goes on. They are learning of the sin they may encounter in the world, but they are learning about it under their parents' protection.

Deuteronomy 12:30; 7:1-4...God shelters His children from negative influences.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9...God directs His children to positive influences
Psalm 91:1-4...God's sheltering enables us to take refuge in Him
Matthew 15:19...We can't shelter them from everything, but through our discipleship they will learn how to respond to that struggle.
Matthew 23:37...Without our children's hearts, they may resist our sheltering. Make sure we have their heart!
Genesis 19...Sodom and Gamorrah...BAD example with Lot
Genesis 12:1...GOOD example with Abraham
Matthew 10:16; Philippians 2:15; Romans 16:19...for a few more to ponder on

25. Jesus didn't dedicate himself to disciple his 12 and then say, "See ya! Have a great day in the temple" and drop them off for the day for 3 years. He was WITH them, mentoring them throughout the day. Not from 3:00 til bedtime. If you want to learn more about true discipleship, may I suggest reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible as well as The Complete Book of Discipleship by Bill Hull.

26. Our main goal for our children is NOT college. I say this with confidence in an economy that’s college tuition is ridiculous and where jobs are so frequent that a small fraction of college grads are finding jobs in their specialization. We’re open to whatever God has for them, but we also know that it’s God’s money we’re spending and not our own so this is a big decision of debt to consider. Debt that can take years to pay off. We measure success today in such selfish ways...who has the better body, who has the bigger house, who has the better work status (you know, the climbing of the corporate ladder thing). Why don't we measure success in who has a great marriage, who has a stable family rooted in the Lord, who might live in a small house but is financially stable and not worried about where the next mortgage payment will come from, who volunteers at the local homeless shelter or jail teaching others about Christ's love, who is training disciples to further the kingdom of God? Wouldn't our world be a different place if THAT is how we measured success. Life isn't about "being happy" either. Sometimes God calls us to suffer great suffering for His glory, but if we know Him, are reading His Word and following the Holy Spirit's guidance for the will that He has us in for this particular part of history, we should have peace. True lasting joy, not temporary happiness.

27. Homeschooling can be done VERY cheap. There are many families out there worried about paying the bills, but continue to send their children to private or Christian schools spending thousands of dollars a year on tuition, uniforms, etc. when the mother still desires to stay at home. To this I would say is a great reason to homeschool! You can remain in the home, taking care of it the way God designed a woman to be the caretaker of the home (Proverbs 31), and yet now you don't have the worry of paying thousands of dollars of tuition payments each year and you have the blessing of being WITH your child(ren), discipling them throughout the day. Imagine what God could use that extra money towards!

28. There's no UNDOING! I know that this is one of the biggest hurdles and frustrations of parents today. They're trying to train their children at home, but the minute they send them off to school, they are competing with 100s of other people, children, teachers. Whether your child is in a public, private, charter, boarding, whatever-school, children will constantly be challenged with going against what their parents say and going with the crowd that they are around the MAJORITY of the time they are awake in a day. Think about that for a second. Your child could possibly be spending the majority of his/her time with influences other than you and you're the one who was given the responsibility of training them by God.

29. One day we will stand before God the Father and He will ask us what we did with our lives, how we brought Him glory, who we trained as disciples to further His kingdom. It's our responsibility as parents to train our children the very best way we know how and if we can truly say that we love Jesus with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, wouldn't we want to share that with our offspring constantly throughout the day? A challenging question, but Christ did say that He came to divide and not to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (Luke 12:49-59)

30. In Matthew 5:13 says "You ARE the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." This is one of the biggest arguments for Christian parents wanting to send their young children out into the world. Notice the text...It doesn't say that we "are TO BE salt and light" but that we ARE salt and light. We already ARE. We should always be no matter where we are. This is not justification to send a child to a traditional school.

31. Learning happens ALL THE TIME. Life is a classroom. Education is DISCIPLESHIP.

32. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is a COMMANDMENT, not a suggestion. The purpose is to produce disciples so that further generations may know and live in the Lord.

 "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

The purpose of this verse is ALL THE TIME we're supposed to be speaking to our children, discipling, and mentoring them about Him, applying life's circumstances around Him. Those that do have their children in a traditional school system have SUCH a harder job than home-educating parents. Why? They don't get as much time with them. Mornings are a rush to get dressed and out the door and then there's the dreaded homework each night. How much time ARE they REALLY discipling their children in a day's time as they're subjected to someone else's requirements (the school's)?

33. Luke 6:40... "The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher."

34. Psalm 78:5-8..." He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers-- a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him."

As parents, we can't be applying this verse to our children's lives if they're not with us and in someone else's care throughout the day.

35. We're so quick to pat the next guy/girl on the back who volunteers for this program at church and that program at church. We praise them for discipling others, but the amount of time that we spend discipling others exceeds (by far) the amount of time that we're spending with our own children, discipling THEM, the very beings God has entrusted us to train and continue on our faith in God Almighty.

36. Home Education isn't a "it works for me" attitude. Lots of things WORK for people. Islam, Atheism, Baha'i, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, etc. all WORK for people.

We believe that...

"We have a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophesies and claim that their writings are divine rather than human in origin." (II Peter 1:16)
Tolerance is dangerous. However there is a difference between tolerance and speaking the truth in LOVE as Jesus did.
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15

We don't get a second chance at this. Let's take our children back!

{Note: I find that I am constantly updating this list as the Holy Spirit guides our family.}


1 comment:

Jana said...

Beautifully written Kelli! I couldn't agree with you more!