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Why homeschool?

If you have ever asked the question "Why homeschool?", you may enjoy Mel's long list of reasons why she loves this choice for her family! This is the second of a three part series. The first post is preparing for the future.

What is your favourite aspect of educating your children at home?

There are too many to list, but if I was to choose just one, it would simply be the joy in not missing out on any of my children’s childhood! I especially enjoy providing an environment free from worldly influences. These can so easily entice and ensnare my children’s hearts and tempt them away from the LORD’s ways and from our family and the vision we have. The special relationships my children share is a delight to see as they learn to be best friends with one another first and not putting other friendships in a higher place above their own siblings. I enjoy the assurance that my obedience in this area of mothering gives peace to my heart. When I am older and my children are grown, I will reflect on what I did with my life as a mother. I want to be at rest. I don’t want to have lots of regrets. I want to remember that I did my best in being obedient to the LORD by laying down my own hopes, dreams and plans. I will know that I sacrificially served those entrusted into my care and protected them and nurtured them in our own home environment - so they had the best opportunity to be taught the precepts and godly instruction of our faith and hope in the LORD in every facet of their lives. We are not sure that others share our personal convictions, which we want to see passed onto our children. We therefore see the need to be very careful about who is influencing our children on a daily basis. (I did start this question with the intent of trying to narrow it down to just one..)

Philip Gilbert  – (January 2, 2010 at 7:33 AM)  

So you keep your children at home and educate them with a load of religious indoctrination. That is child abuse and you need to be ashamed.

Sherrin  – (January 2, 2010 at 2:23 PM)  

Hi Philip,

That is just your opinion. You don't have any foundation of ultimate, universal truth. Considering this, why bother accusing others so harshly? What makes your opinion right and theirs wrong? The intolerance aimed at "religious" people is one more reason why we choose not to send our children to secular schools.

The Bible teaches that walking in God's ways, trusting that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and delighting in God's word brings peace and joy. If our homes really reflect this, they will never be places of abuse.

Philip Gilbert  – (January 3, 2010 at 3:52 AM)  

At least let your children make up their own minds. If your 'chosen' religion was so obvious, you wouldn't need to indoctrinate them from an early age to make sure they adhered. Let them get a secular education and meet people from diverse backgrounds. Otherwise, you are damaging them. Have a look at this site:

She got out eventually and is still messed up. I let my kids go to church and make up their own minds, despite being a devout anti-theist. Why can't you do the same?

Angie Jackson  – (January 3, 2010 at 4:38 AM)  

Hi Sherrin,

Since I'm mentioned I hope you won't mind if I pipe in here :) I did grow up in a home where we honored the Bible as the Word of the LORD & put our concept of god before every single thing in our lives. Not only was I homeschooled, I was homebirthed & homechurched.

I think people learn from each other - in the Psalms it's referred to as sharpening one another, as stones. I hope my son has exposure to many people who agree and disagree with me on a variety of topics. Instead of teaching my son what to think & what to believe, I'm trying to teach him how to think & how to make good decisions, and I'm going to trust him. My two cents. Also, I'm not opposed to homeschooling in & of itself, however I do think it is healthy to know a variety of people, not just siblings and parents. I hope all academically-minded home schooling parents will support national homeschool education standards so we can be sure no kids are left behind at home :)

Mel Gaebler –   – (January 3, 2010 at 4:39 PM)  

As an extension about my initial answer & comments posted. Our children do see people from diverse backgrounds & are not just limited to their parents & siblings. On a day to day basis when we have our heads down & are in our books learning generally we see a lot more of just each other-naturally. As children see a lot more of the teacher in the secular or out of home classroom. Our family relationships ARE a priority to our family, perhaps they aren't in other families & the fruit of our priorities is often seen later on in life. Friendships from school days & other seasons of life come & they go, but siblings & parents relationships if they are important to each other will last a lifetime. Our children are acquainted with different views that people hold. They are often out with their father who speaks openly of our faith in Jesus Christ. They are able to hear both sides of the conversation & are free to ask questions about the beliefs others hold. My children are far from 'damaged' & it is very interesting that would be assumed. We have spoken to our children about why we home school & how it is different to going out of home to school. They have readily acknowledged they would rather be at home with their family doing their schooling. They are joyful, contented, friendly, kind, treasured children who are greatly loved. We take responsibility for their care & education, making sure they do know a variety of people & enjoy a variety of experiences! It hardly sounds like they are abused to me. Abuse sounds a bit more like neglect, being beaten, having no food, locking them in a cupboard etc....Our home is far from an abusive one! Philip if you are in the area you are more than welcome to pop in for a cuppa & a chat & too see for yourself what kind of 'abusive' situation we might have going on here!

Sherrin  – (January 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM)  

Hi Philip,

We choose to train our children in the Christian faith because the Bible tells us to do so. In doing this, we are behaving in a way that is consistent with our profession of belief in the Bible. We can't force our child to believe as we do, but we plan to seize every opportunity to help him see God's glory and joyfully embrace a life of relationship with God.

The Bible also teaches that it is important not to put yourself under the teaching of fools. Wisdom is gained through reverencing God. Secular education is foolish, as it effectively says that God either doesn't exist or (perhaps worse) that he is irrelevant.

I am speaking here of daily teaching. We do hope my son has exposure to a wide variety of teachings through hospitality and visiting. It is wonderful for children to learn about a variety of people and positions alongside their parents.

Hi Angie,

Thanks for dropping by and clarifying your position. We are in agreement on the importance of meeting a variety of people and learning to think through things for oneself.

Our view as a family is that homeschoolers need to be careful not to take the idea of protection too far. For example, if they end up thinking that their children need protection from the broader church (as many do in the home church movement) that is a problem. As a former homeschooled student, I'm very aware that homeschooling can't protect you from sin or trouble. The Bible teaches that our own hearts are the root of the evil in our lives, not the physical location where we are educated. This is why we need Jesus Christ to transform our hearts through understanding his death and resurrection for us and entering relationship with him.

Hello Mel,

Thanks for your gracious explanation of your family priorities.

Perhaps the best way for people to realise that homeschoolers are not necessarily nutty child abusers is to be the recipients of some warm hospitality!

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