The top 4 reasons we don’t homeschool.
I overheard two moms talking one day when we were hanging out with a large group. The first was lamenting the kids her children were stuck with in the classroom. “They’re terrors!”
The other mom agreed wholeheartedly, “It’s tough to keep my kids remembering their manners, when the kids they’re surrounded by all day have such awful manners.”
I was nodding my head in agreement from across the room until the conversation took an unexpected turn.
Mama #1 said, “I think it’s so selfish that all the Christian parents take their kids out to homeschool them!”
Mama #2 agreed, “Yeah! Who are our kids supposed to be friends with? Don’t they think about the impact they’re having on my kids by keeping their kids at home?”
Mama #1 again, “They call themselves Christians, but they’re taking the light and the salt out of the schools.”
I kid you not.
I wouldn’t have believed such a conversation would exist if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears.
As I drove home, the conversation kept playing over and over in my mind. I’m not one with witty remarks or quick comebacks. I like to ponder my response and then speak when I’ve had time to put my thoughts in order.
And this conversation? Well it had taken me so terribly by surprise, that there’s no way I could have said anything at all in that moment.
But here’s the thing. I had no idea people thought this way about us homeschooling moms, so I wanted to share with you 4 reasons we don’t homeschool.
1. We don’t homeschool to deprive your kids of friends.
2. We don’t homeschool to make your kids be surrounded by ill-mannered brats.
3. We don’t homeschool because we want schools to be dens of iniquity with no one preaching the Gospel.
And here’s the kicker:
4. We didn’t decide to homeschool because of anything to do with you or your kids.
We never actually took our kids out of public education, because our decision to homeschool had been made long before our first child was born. When we talked about having children, we talked about homeschooling, and this is why:
We chose to homeschool our kids because we want what’s best for our kids.
If you think about what those mamas were saying, they were looking out for the best interests of their kids. Why wouldn’t we do the same?
We know that a student/ teacher ratio of 3/1 vs 30/1 is going to mean that our homeschooled kids get far more one-on-one time.
We chose to homeschool because we knew that we could move at whatever pace our kids needed, and teach them in whatever way they needed to learn.
We wanted an education that could be tailored to fit our kids, so that they could learn to their best abilities.
If one of our kids is above grade level, they can be challenged instead of being bored.
If one of our kids is struggling with a concept, we can back up or slow down, until we help them figure it out.
If one of our kids learns through tons of movement, we can allow that, instead of needing to squelch that for the sake of classroom management (which I completely understand HAS to happen in a class of 30 kids, but it doesn’t have to happen in our classroom).
We chose to homeschool because we wanted to see those light bulb moments, and be involved in the day-to-day lives of our kids.
There is nothing better than getting to see the moment when a concept “clicks” for a kid. We wanted to be the ones who saw that, who worked beside our kids to make those moments happen.
We wanted to spend our days with our kids, so that we could have deep, meaningful relationships with our kids, and for our kids to have them with each other. I’m not saying that deep relationships can’t be forged between parents and kids who are in public school, but we didn’t want to have to cram the quality time in after school and on weekends.
We chose to homeschool because we feel that a good education encompasses our whole lives, and not just classroom time.
We are raising kids who love to learn, and who are learning that education doesn’t just come when sitting behind a desk. We are raising kids with life skills like cooking, sewing, building things, growing things, and learning what it means to be a responsible part of a family.
We chose to homeschool because we believe that our children need the mentoring and sheltering of a good and godly education while they’re young.
We believe that they are a light in their little social networks, but that they are under our care for now, until they’re old enough to be witnesses on their own.
We feel that godly adults becoming teachers would be a far better way for the light to shine in public schools than putting all that burden on those who are immature in their faith.
I’m often reminded that even Jesus spent time discipling his followers before he sent them out to witness. And even then, he didn’t send them out alone, but rather two-by-two. I feel that expecting so much from our kids (expecting them to be bolder witnesses of Christ than perhaps we ourselves are) is often setting them up for failure.
We feel that it is far more important that we take this time to help our children’s lights to shine brightly, through discipleship and modeling, so that when they are more mature in their faith, they will not be shaken.
And here’s the number one reason we chose to homeschool:
We felt (and feel) like this is what God has called us to do. It’s where God wants our family.
We homeschool because God has led our family to homeschool.
It has nothing to do with anyone else except God, Dan, me, and our children.
Maybe you don’t feel the same for your family, and that’s completely fine.
I love Philippians 3:15b where it says, “And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you.” We don’t have to agree on this, but my husband and I both feel strongly that God has called us to be the teachers of our children, not to outsource that to the Department of Education.
I fully recognize that not everyone has the ability to homeschool. I don’t judge anyone for not homeschooling. Every one of us has to do what’s best for our family.
I was just surprised that I was being judged so harshly for following God’s leading in my life, and I realized that if there were 2 mamas who felt strongly enough about this to carry on this conversation within earshot of me (knowing that I homeschool), there must be hundreds more who think these things.
Mamas, do what’s best for your children.
I’m not lamenting the fact that you’re not homeschooling, and therefore depriving my kids of friends during the day. Please return the favor and realize that my choice to homeschool has nothing to do with you or your kids.
Check out these fun projects for your kids!
I’ve saved lots of fun homeschool ideas on my Pinterest homeschooling board, too. So follow along, and get new ideas for your homeschool!
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