When I was being homeschooled back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, homeschooling was a fairly unpopular idea. Whenever I would tell people that I was homeschooled it always came as a big surprise. I would often get questions like, “How does that work? Do you learn anything? Do you have homework?” People typically didn’t know a lot about homeschooling and what they did know was usually negative and wrong. Today, however, homeschooling is becoming more popular. More parents are choosing to home educate their kids over sending them to public schools. The two big reasons I see for that is the government’s involvement and school safety. Parents are getting fed up with the government’s ever increasing involvement in the public school system. They are also becoming more fearful of school shootings. After the shooting at Sandy Hook, I saw some comments from people saying that this was another good reason to homeschool. While being concerned about our children’s safety is a good thing, this is an example of how we tend to make homeschooling the answer. While I fully support home education and, Lord willingly, will homeschool my son, I want to bring some balance to this idea of homeschooling. It isn’t the ultimate answer in raising well mannered, well educated, well adjusted, and intelligent children. It isn’t the answer to shielding our kids from harm or sheltering them from the world.
The reason homeschooling typically produces such great students and upright people is because the parents who choose to homeschool are parents who want to be the ones who parent their children. They want to be involved and they want to have control over what their kids learn and how they learn it. They want to be the main source of influence in their child’s life. It’s not homeschooling itself that produces well educated and responsible young people, it’s the parents. So if it’s the parents that are shaping and raising their children then where they send their kids to school doesn’t matter quite as much. Parents can send their kids to public or private schools and still remain involved in their kids’ lives in and outside of school. It’s up to the parents, not the school, to raise our kids. With that said, this theory works so much better through homeschooling. It’s easier to be involved in your kids lives when you are all at home together. It’s easier to be the main influence in your child’s life when you are not only parenting them but teaching them and discipling them. I believe homeschooling is ideal but the reality is that it isn’t for everyone. So as much as I loved being homeschooled and consider it the only option for my family, it isn’t the answer to raising “good” kids.
I choose to homeschool because I want to be the one to teach my son. I want everything he learns to be saturated in the Word of God and I want to raise him with a godly worldview. I want him at home with me where I can disciple him, play with him, eat meals with him, and use every teachable moment to help press his little heart towards the Truth. I want my son spending more time with me than with the teachers at school. I want to be his parent, not the school. And I believe that my son has a better chance at getting a good education, learning responsibility, maturity, good values and morals, and, most importantly, learning the Word of God, at home than he does attending a school. Those are my personal convictions and I know many who hold the same but the answer to raising “good” kids isn’t where they are educated but how they are parented. Homeschooling is just a tool that many parents are finding to be the best way to raise and educated their kids. Sending your kids to public school doesn’t make you a bad parent. Not being involved and allowing the schools to raise them is what makes you a bad parent. So this is a call, not necessarily to homeschool, but to reclaim your role as parent. My opinion is that this is best done through homeschooling but if that is not your calling then you are certainly not without hope. Being involved in the school, keeping your kids accountable with their grades and homework, spending time with them on a regular basis, and actively being their parent is just as valid as homeschooling.
So no matter how your kids are educated be an involved parent because you are what your kids need more than anyone else.