Before we pack their first lunch, buy the first-day-of-school outfit, and permanently marker their name on everything our child owns— we need to have a sit-down and really think upon the choices of education.
Public school, private school, charter school, home school? There are so many choices we given within the United States, but first, let us look at a definition (of sorts) for education:
“Education is designed to guide them [our children] in learning a culture, molding their behavior in the ways of adulthood, and directing them toward their eventual role in society” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
When we look at education through this light, I believe, homeschool will be a first choice rather than at the bottom of our list. I think this would be especially true for those families that are second or first-generation Americans. Who is best to pass down your family’s holiday traditions, culture, recipes, dress, and language – You are. Who is best to mold these bright, young minds to become capable adults who follow God, love Jesus, and love others so that they can change the world around them, making disciples – You are.
Homeschool not only provides a red carpet to all of the above, but it also includes four incredibly important reasons to choose homeschool for you and your family.
Peers and teachers are not the devil, but as Christian parents, it is our responsibility to provide moral instruction at all times. It is hard to have planned and profound conversations with our children. They just happen and it is usually when we least expect it. Homeschool allows for a quantity of time in order to receive those few quality moments that may pop up throughout the day. Your children will also have ears to hear your voice for the morals you want them to have (I know that sounds dictatorship, but remember it is your job to train up your children…no one else’s!).
What if we took the time to not only teach our children how to have an eternal mindset but to teach them the actual things that have eternal value? Socialization? Not eternal. Telling others about Jesus? Eternal. Hours of homework? Not eternal. Teaching on Creation, sin, the cross, repentance? Eternal. Do not rely on your children’s church volunteers because out of an entire year we only get to influence your child 52 days out 365 and for about an hour. This must come from you.
Circle of Influence
You get to choose who influences your child! You, the wise adult who God entrusted to raise your children, you get to decide who is around your child for their waking hours. It is not just a shot in the dark for who will be around your children and speak into their lives. We need to use their at-home years as a boot camp. The time God has given us is “train[ing] them up” time so that when they are responsible adults we can fully let go, knowing that we built a solid foundation for them to stand on. Our children will also fully let go and then cleave to God and their spouse for the rest of their lives. This is the legacy you want to hand down.
Home school brings about the freedom that you will not recognize, at first. Can you plan a vacation during the off-season? Yes! Can you spend time with grandparents when it is convenient for them? Yes! Can you homeschool in the morning or at night or both, if needed? Yes! How about choosing a curriculum, choosing when your child will learn something, and keeping a schedule that fits for your family, slowing down when needed or speeding up – You get to choose all of it! What better person to choose than the ones who have been there since they were placed in your home, under your care. This is you.
You have this opportunity. To view home school as a first choice rather than a last resort is to give a gift of protection, support, and encouragement to your family.
Is it scary? Absolutely.
However, like all first steps, you take it while scared, full of faith, and with prayer.