Homeschooling is an Opportunity

The following is a continuation of a series of posts on homeschooling. In my previous post, I argued that homeschooling is a long-term commitment. I concluded that though the road is long and tough, the payoff at the end is worth it. This means that…

Homeschooling is an opportunity. When we were deciding on whether or not to homeschool our children, we talked to a lot of people. One close friend of ours, an elder at our church, emphasized that the deciding factor for them in choosing to homeschool their children was the amount of time they wanted to have with their children. That didn’t sound convincing to me at the time, as a clincher. However, I understand now what he meant. Homeschooling is an opportunity to invest in your children. You actually have time with them, you’re not running them around from place to place. Though, inevitably, they will still be involved in other activities (hopefully which they like) that require further commitment, the investment of time and involvement required for homeschooling helps them never forget “who” their parents are. My tenth grade chemistry teacher started off his first day of class by asking “who are you?” I was on the first row (since I loved chemistry, having memorized already the periodic table in the 8th grade), so he asked me first. “My name is…”; “No” he interjected, “I didn’t ask your name, but ‘who are you?'”. I wasn’t prepared to answer that question, but it demonstrates my point. Homeschooling enables your children better to know “who” you are because of the amount of time you spend together and because of your end goal–discipleship. Even through the teenage years (usually the years of rebellion and individuality) you can remain their teacher and their mentor (even when their knowledge of subjects and ability to comprehend and argue exceed your own!). Earlier in my life, I would’ve thought the previous statement to be idealistic and naive; however, the things I’m seeing and testimonies I’m hearing say otherwise. (Keep in mind, here, that I’m not saying that your children cannot be their own people, only that in becoming their own persons they are not running away from you–motives still being critically assessed throughout!) I’ve made the objection to homeschooling that it is foolhardy to expect to be able to be a better teacher of all the various subjects to your child, as the sole teacher, in contrast to the dozens of specialists they encounter in public education. There’s nothing inherently wrong with specialists (I’m a PHD student seeking to become one!). But homeschooling through the classical model is aimed at instilling the desire to learn (to love it!) along with providing the skills for your children to master any subject (to live it! — thanks cuz & Da Capo) . Still, there will be times when a specialist can come in handy (also, I’m still not against someday, like in High School, putting my kids in a public school setting). Still the questions remain: what “personality” do you want your children coming to appreciate? Whose life do you want being a model for your children? Whose values do you want to be presented to them? Who do you want your children to be? Homeschooling allows you as parents to be the people whom your children learn the most from, as people! To get my point, read this parody of “school-homing”–its funny and yet to the point!

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  1. We’ve homeschooled our kids pretty much for their entire lives (K-10 so far). We wouldn’t trade it for anything. As certified teachers on the master’s level, both my wife and I are trained to teach (she is certified K-6 and I am certified 7-12). We have seen some parents struggle with the long hours needed to help their teens get through Chemistry or Algebra classes. But knowing the quality academic education that our kids are getting, mixed with the opportunity to give a Christian perspective, is an invaluable way to give that added input for a Christian walk. Thanks for your post, Wes!

    • Hey Buck,

      I appreciate your contribution to our decision to homeschool. You encouraged me that it was possible, especially in a setting outside of the U.S. Thank you again for your affirmation of the method. It helps us at the front end to keep striving for the prize!

      -Wes

  2. Hi Wes, just found your blog. I can affirm the home schooling idea. I live in Japan and we have home schooled our kids, although, in order for them to master fluently the Japanese language, they have gone to public school for one or 2 days a week, and they are doing fine. We are using the CLE curriculum and are very happy with it. My blog is about the history of Christianity in Japan. check it out if you have some time and God Bless!
    http://micahdlm.wordpress.com/

    • micahdlm,

      Thanks for the link to your blog. I’ll be sure to read. Our pastor served for two years in Japan. I’m also very interested in the history there.

      -Wes

  3. Good post.
    It is sad that many teachers know a child better than the child knows their own parents. Home schooling allows parents to know their children in a way that can’t be matched.

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