Friday, May 13, 2011

Homeschooling: WHY Do We Do It?

Bob and I are products of the public and private school world.  Furthermore, I am a government-certified teacher trained at Western Washington University, a fact which has opened my eyes to what truly goes on in the schools and what is taught both in front of and behind parents backs.  (And I’d like to add, this certification has not served to aid in our home-education efforts; in fact I have had to unlearn many things in order to become a better home educator.)  Because of our direct experience and personal study, Bob and I knew we would not be sending our children in to the government school system, so we chose to homeschool… But  homeschooling can seem intimidating at the beginning – even contemplating the possibility of beginning – so unfortunately this can stop people from considering home education.

In this post I will share with you WHY we homeschool, and in a future post I will share HOW we do homeschooling.
  • Some Reasons Why People Homeschool
  • A Biblical Mandate for Homeschooling

"It is a terrifying thing to begin. To begin anything at all. The rewards are but rumors then. The glories are but gossip. To taste and see, we must adventure into the murky waters of inexperience. And that is, indeed, a terrifying thing. But it's...more terrifying still to stand ashore and only wish it could someday truly be true." ~ Tristan Gylberd
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My mom began homeschooling my brother and two sisters when I was a freshmen in college.  My brother was 15½-years-old, and my sisters were 6 and 3-years-old.  So I had seen first-hand what the difference can be between children who are homeschooled, those who are not, and those who were in public and private schools but then were brought home to be educated.  It’s a striking contrast.  When we began homeschooling Bob and I did have my mother and father for support, but we didn’t have any homeschooling friends yet.  We had to seek some out, and I picked their brains for ev-er-y-thing as homeschooling grows hugely every year and the opportunities and curriculum available also grows drastically. 

I’m the typical first-born type who likes to do things right and well or not do them at all.  Thankfully, from my experience most homeschool moms are very eager to help others along and point them in directions where they’ll find resources.  I had heard that the first year of homeschooling was usually pretty tough; the learning curve is so steep.  But I really thought that with some great organization and preparation, I’d just jump right in and take off!  *chuckle*  Not.  It was a tough first year for us, that school year beginning in 2003.  It took a lot of thinking and energy figuring out what curriculum would be best for our children and for me their teacher, what our days should look like, what style of homeschooling was “us”, how much to expect from myself, and how much to expect of each of our children at their individual ages (I’ll share a great book that helps parents make these decisions in my “How We Homeschool” post soon).  But it’s very doable!  God never leaves our side.  He brings resources that we need to enable our success.  And it gets easier and easier with time as homeschooling parents find their niche.  




3 Main Reasons Why People Homeschool
So why do we homeschool?  This post is only a very small nut shell of all there is to say about why we homeschool.  There are many great books written on the subject, a few of which I’ve read and would recommend so I’ve linked to them at the end of the post.  Homeschooling is a delicate subject with people.  Not everyone wants to be faced with God’s Word on the subject of homeschooling and family discipleship; but truth needs to be spoken regardless of whether or not everyone wants to hear it.  If this is you, try not to be defensive or upset with the messenger; as Voddie Baucham says, “I don’t write the mail, I just deliver it.”  I could not know what we’ve learned and not tell people.  So, as we began looking in to homeschooling we found that there are three main reasons why people homeschool: 

1.  Because of the academic excellence that result from the one-on-one student & teacher relationship, the excellent and extensive curriculum available to parents, ample time for the student to work, the real-life connection to their education, and being able to teach to the child’s learning style if he or she faces a particularly difficult subject.  Homeschooler’s standardized test scores far, far exceed those of public or private school children’s, by an average of 30-40 percentile points, so there is really no debate as to whether or not home educating is effective (and my intention is not to brag, it is to simply make a point).  And, these high academic scores are not dependent upon the parent’s level of education. 

2.  Because of a child’s disability – whether that’s emotional, psychological, or physical – which may make it difficult for that child to be in a public school environment.

3.  Because they strive for discipleship of their children’s hearts; to “keep” their hearts or “green house” them so that they develop strong roots in their faith and in their identity before being transplanted out in to the world.  To wait on sending them out of the “nest” until they’re strong, established, and very unlikely to have their faith killed off, to be swayed by strong environmental forces or peers, or to be infected by hazardous ideas.  Discipleship-minded parents desire to avoid sending their children off to be discipled by someone else – because whom ever has the child’s heart will be the one discipling them.  These parents desire to shape their children’s world view, according to God’s Word, and to develop the children’s character so that they are useful to the Lord, to their family, and to their community, and their country.

When we first began we were part of the first group, striving for academic excellence (we did not know about family discipleship); however after a few years the Lord showed us that this is not His reason for directing us toward homeschooling.  We are now whole-heartedly part of the third group I mentioned, striving for family discipleship (although the academic opportunities are of course wonderful, too), and this is what I will primarily spend the majority of this post focusing on.  Let me just say that this does not mean that we consider ourselves better than anyone else because we homeschool, as some people wrongly assume about homeschoolers, because we’ve chosen to take our children out of the government school system.  We have found the mandate for Christians to homeschool their children very clearly laid out in scripture – and I will list many scriptures for you at the end of this post. 

Right now as of 2011 there are over one million homeschoolers in the United States alone.  This means that there would be 200,000 families with 5 students each (not just children, but homeschooling students), equaling 40,000 classrooms of 25 students each, which equals 2,000 average-sized elementary schools full.  This is no small, unusual group; it is a strong force, and it is growing exponentially every year.  Homeschooling is also not a new concept.  It’s only been within the last 100 years or so that children began being segregated into age groups to be educated, both in the schools and in the church via Sunday school; before that everyone was home educated.  Home education is the tried and true original method of educating children – not the government schools (public schools) as people seem to believe today.  Age segregation is not real life; age integration is.  Consider, when in your life have you ever again outside of school been in a group of 25 people within 6 months of your own age?  Which means, relating in a group like that is not necessary for life!  It is actually detrimental to social skills; and the socialization of homeschooling is so very rich.  If kids can learn to work, play, communicate, respect, serve, and enjoy all ages of people, new babies up through the elderly – then they’re far better prepared for life than if they had spent the first 13 years of their lives with only their exact age group - 14,ooo seat hours worth of time.  It was shown in one 4.5 million dollar sociological study in particular that children’s spiritual life is strongest when their friends, school, social, family, sports, religion, and education ‘somehow’ overlap (and this was written by a non-Christian, anti-homeschooling sociologist).  How could this happen outside of educating our children at home?  Shouldn’t parents prioritize their child’s eternal future over all else?

From Voddie Baucham’s message, Why Homeschool? A child’s world view – what they think about God, man, knowledge, ethics, and truth – affects all of their decisions and actions through out their lives.  And what people believe effects how they behave.  A child’s world view is formed informally, and uncritically.  Children do not realize or recognize when or how these views are being formed, and the government schools intentionally take advantage of this when children are young, establishing foundational thinking for their whole life.  For example, when a 5-year-old child is read the book, Heather Has Two Mommies, she thinks to herself, “I have one mommies, Heather has two mommies, that must be wonderful.”  The child does not think critically, analyzing why Heather would have two mommies and whether or not that is okay and good for her.  She simply accepts this fact as morally right.  Today, less than 10% of Christians possess a Biblical, Christ-centered world view – and this includes all of the public and private school teachers that parents place their children under the tutelage of.  A Biblical world view includes beliefs such as:  there is absolute moral truth that is right for all people, in all times, in all places; that adultery is not okay; drunkenness is not okay, homosexuality is not okay, abortion is not okay.  Scripturally, these things are clear; black-and-white.  And there is no such thing as morally neutral education.  All teaching, all instruction communicates a world view. 

When parents send their children to the government schools, they are communicating to their children that the school personnel are the authority that child should listen to, learn from, believe – and become like (“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” Luke 6:40.)  Teachers, whether they are Christians or not, are still required by the government to use a godless curriculum (and not morally neutral remember).  The public school is anti-Christian.  Why in the world would we intentionally send our Children to sit under that teaching for 13 foundational years of their life – 14,000 seat hours worth of time?  For government schooled students coming from Christian homes, how much time is realistically spent countering the public school system’s teaching in the average home?  Just to be generous, if parents spent 30 min. a day year-round teaching their child from Scripture, plus the child received 1 hour per week in Sunday school (neither of which realistically happens), that would equal only 2,366 hours to try to counter act the 14,000 the anti-Christian schools are teaching.  And the teaching in the schools actually grills in to the child that the Biblical teaching is wrong; directly countering any teaching parents might be trying to do in their limited amount of time at home.  We should consider Psalm 1:1-3 which says,  


“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season.” 

When we homeschool we can shape our children’s world view to God’s Word, so that they will be useful to Him when they’re grown.  At home we have the opportunity to shape their character.  You may ask, as I did, what does that mean, exactly?  It means:  truthfulness, obedience, attentiveness, gratefulness, generosity, orderliness, forgiveness, sincerity, virtue, responsibility, patience, initiative, self-control, resourcefulness, punctuality, creativity, discretion, respect – just to name a few.  By keeping our children at home initially we can teach them to think and reason.  We can give them roots and a strong sense of identity, confidence, and worth from God’s Word – and then give them wings

Now we also recognize, of course, that this world is not perfect, and some of the people in it have been disabled from homeschooling.  Sin caused an imperfect world; it has caused physical sickness and broken relationships that have made some family’s options limited.  Some parents have physical difficulties that would disable them from homeschooling.  There are also those who have been abandoned by a spouse and are now trying to be both mom and dad and bread-winner to their children, making homeschooling very difficult (however I will also say that there is a large national network of single parents who successfully do homeschool their children).  In some countries homeschooling might be prohibited all together.  However, this is not the majority of families in the world. 

Homeschooling does take self-sacrifice, but this is not detrimental to people as Satan would tell them it is.  Life is far richer in blessings when God’s children are in His will than when they’re not.  Satan would tell people that to sacrifice their own plans and surrender to the Lord’s, to “die to self”, would devastate them; but this is a lie from the father of lies who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy.  The truth is that to surrender to the Lord’s plans for one’s family produces great freedom, burdens are lifted, paths become strait, decisions are clear, and there is peace.  We choose not to sacrifice our children in order to pursue materialism or other worldly distractions.  Not that life is always easy, but ease is not what we should shoot for and not what we’re talking about here today.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes,

It is only when we want to take our lives out of the Father’s hands and have them under our own control that we find ourselves gripped with anxiety. The secret of freedom from anxiety is freedom from our selves and abandonment of our own plans. But that spirit emerges in our lives only when our minds are filled with the knowledge that our Father can be trusted implicitly to supply everything we need.” ~ Ferguson

We as discipleship-minded parents are not homeschooling on a year-to-year basis.  God calls us to it – and we’re saying, “Yes.”  When things feel hard as we walk along the homeschooling road the question is not whether or not to continue in obedience next year, the question is how to best continue.  We ask the Lord for His plan – and He does have one.  We consider what changes should be made to enable us to continue in a better way for our family than we’ve been doing.

The Lord brought across my path a list of scripture that gives a Biblical mandate for homeschooling.  This was exactly what I had wanted to know, and what a lot of Christians have asked for.  Many people, especially those resistant to the life-time commitment of homeschooling, will say, “Show me in scripture where this mandate is.”  Okay – here is some.  What each person does with all this information is completely between them and the Lord; we do not need to judge and we will not do so, it is not our place, it is God’s.  And I encourage you to keep this thought in mind while you consider what I’ve written and what the Lord says in His Word, 
"Don't worry about what you do not understand...Worry about what you do understand in the Bible but do not live by.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom
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A Biblical Mandate for Homeschooling

 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).  This means the government-certified curriculum, the teacher herself, and all of their peer “teachers”.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut.6:6-7).  How can parents fulfill this command if they send their children away to the government schools all day?  And this scripture clearly speaks to all of the time, not only to non-school hours as some conveniently choose to believe.

 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).  It does not say to go be salt and light, it says we are salt and light, and we must be so careful not lose this and become useless.  A city/light set on a hill is set apart and distinct so that we may maintain a witness; in the world, not of the world. Children are extremely vulnerable to influence and ruination as salt & light. They need deep roots, formed within the greenhouse of the home, before they’re ready to take on the world.  A child’s saltiness is lost almost immediately when he is thrust in to the public school system.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).  Children can be denied this blessing being sent away to government school all day to ‘walk in the counsel of the ungodly’.

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).  Which all children are taught in the government schools; they are discipled by fools.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov.1:7).  Again, government schooled children are not given this knowledge, but are discipled by fools.

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20).  If you have ever seen a room full of twenty five 10-year-olds, you’d recognize foolishness on parade.

Woe to the world because of offenses!  For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matt. 18:7).  Coming by way of the government schools.

 “…Guard what was committed to your trust, avoid the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20-21).

And do not be conformed to this world [in their training center!], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).  (Emphasis mine)

…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:5).  Government schools certainly exalt themselves against the knowledge of God; and we are commanded to take every thought captive – which includes history, geography, math, reading…every subject we focus on and commit to memory is a thought.

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).  The Lord builds the children and guards their hearts within their Christ-centered homes; He certainly doesn’t do so through His enemy, the government schools who preach directly and blatantly against Him, His Word, and His commandments.

Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21).  Caesar represents the government.  Our children and their life-shaping worldviews do not belong to the government, they belong to the Lord.

Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12).  *Government schools dishonor parents (and by example teach children to as well) by claiming that the State can nurture children better than parents can.

We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done” (Psalm 78:4).  *We should not allow the faithfulness of God in history to be revised, hidden or concealed in their textbooks or by ungodly teachers.  Parents must take responsibility for passing on true providential history to their own children and grandchildren.

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8).  *It is assumed that the father and mother are doing the teaching.  No one else is mentioned in Scripture as having that role.

Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). *Government schools lack the fear of the LORD, therefore cannot properly transmit wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).  Children should not be allowed to have foolish companions.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 indicates that a “cord of three strands is not easily broken.” *This can apply to bad cords as well as good ones.  It is hard to break a bond of foolishness once friendships with fools are made. 

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  *There is a way a child should go, and parents need to be
training the child in THAT direction, not in the direction of the world.

And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13).  *Children who are taught of the LORD will generally be peaceful.  The converse is also true.

Thus saith the LORD, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen’” (Jeremiah 10:2a).  What part of “Learn not the way of the heathen,” do we not understand?

Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23).  *Are the government schools for Jesus?  If not, they are against Him.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:5-6).  *Studies show that between 70-88% of all churched youth indoctrinated in government schools leave the faith by their freshman year of college.

Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:39-40).  *A Christian parent must not turn the leading of their child over to someone who is spiritually blind.  Education is discipleship.  The student is becoming like the teacher.  Do you want your child to become like his atheist teacher?

I am talking now as I would to my own children.  Open your hearts to us!  Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.  How can goodness be a partner with wickedness?  How can light live with darkness?  What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?  How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?  And what union can there between God’s temple and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.  As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.  Therefore, come out form them and separate yourselves from them,’ says the LORD.  ‘Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.  And I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says the LORD Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:13-18).  *We are forbidden to partner with unbelievers in the education of our children.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD” (Ephesians 6:4).  *It is Dad’s job to bring his children up in the Biblical “culture” and “counseling” of the LORD.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world” (Colossians 2:8).  *Education must be predicated on the foundation of Christ, not on humanistic thought.

Just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children” (1 Thes. 2:11).  *In this passage, EXHORTING means, “inviting” or “calling near,” ENCOURAGING means, “consol” or “comfort,” IMPLORING means literally, “flog” or “scourge.”  It is assumed in Scripture that fathers are taking responsibility for drawing their children to themselves for instruction, comforting and being gentle with them, and for their physical discipline.  Notice that the verse says, “his OWN children,” not someone else’s.

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.  Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households” (1 Tim. 3:4).  *Church leaders must set the example for the rest of the Body of Christ by taking responsibility for managing their own households.  If men are not successfully training their own children to follow God they are not eligible for leadership in ministry.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  *According to Hebrews 11:6, government schools CANNOT please God because they refuse to teach students that He exists and can be known.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25).  What is ‘natural’ or seems right to us is generally heavily influenced by our sin nature and as such tends to be self-centered and un-holy, lacking righteousness.

Therefore to him who knows the right thing to do, and does it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

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* The commentaries with the astrics (last portion of the list) were taken from an article in Home School Digest entitled A Christian Education Manifesto, by Israel Wayne; the rest of the commentaries I heard from Dr. Voddie Baucham, a couple were our own thoughts.

As a reminder, in a future post I will be covering how we choose to homeschool, as many people have asked this question; but I felt it was important to cover the why first.  *smile*

Blessings on your efforts,



CLICK HERE - for more of my posts on homeschooling


Recommended Audio Messages by Voddie Baucham:  
- Why Homeschool?
- Homeschooling for the Right Reasons  (click on drop-down menu to select)
- Heaven or Harvard?  (click on drop-down menu to select)
- How to Disciple Your Children
-
The Centrality of the Home in the Evangelism & Discipleship of the Next Generation

- Mending Fences: Building Intimate Relationships between Teens and Their Parents

Recommended Books & Web Sites
- The Christian Homeschool, by Greg Harris 
- Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, by Steve & Teri Maxwell
- The Christian Heritage Homeschool and Family Discipleship Conference, WA
- An article on “The Benefits of Homeschooling"
- www.101Reasons.org  - 101 reasons to homeschool your kids:  Gov. schools in the news.
- The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, by Bruce N. Shortt

22 comments:

  1. Thanks; I will be interested to see more on how you homeschool: with only 4 children I can't always keep everything together! We do love it though, and we love being together! There are so many benefits when doing what the Lord calls us to do...

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  2. JENNIFER - Thank you, yes there are so MANY blessings, aren't there? =) I'll write about the how's in a couple of weeks.

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  3. Bravo for being bold and truthful. We started w/ reason #2 (sorta), appreciated #1, and definitely adjusted to the calling of #3 after a few years into it. God is faithful to guide us in the direction we need to go, if only we are willing to follow Him.
    Love the Scripture references you provided!
    Well done!
    Blessings, Sheri

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  4. Thank you so much for this article. Seeing as we are starting our new year tomorrow, I think I will put "pen to paper" on my blog and write out our reasons as well, though it will take me a bit to formulate my thoughts in an orderly fashion.

    In our family we fit all three of the reasons I have seen (same as your three) for homeschooling. Our first, and most important reason, is discipleship. But, having two children with special needs and seeing what public schools are teaching, how they are doing it, and the "behind the scenes" glimpses we get due to my husband's job, we fit all three reasons.

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  5. SHERI - I'm so pleased the scripture was a blessing for you; and may God bless your efforts as you strive to disciple your family! =)

    OUR FAMILY IS HIS - Yes, it was a very good exercise for me to put our reasons on to paper, and it took me a very long time! But I'm very glad to have put it all down. I'm so glad for your children, especially the special needs ones, that they're with you and not in the public system. Praise the Lord. =)

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  6. Erika~ Hello! I have been trying to post. Well it just hasn't worked!
    The following is one of our main reasons for desiring to homeschool. Most people don't realize that they are actually sending their kids into a cult. All religion is is a set of beliefs, and a cult is a religion... the public school system is most definitely teaching a belief system to children, and they are teaching gods but not the Holy God of the Bible! This makes me SOOO mad and angry that people have unknowingly allowed this to happen! I think if people saw, knew and live out the truth they would go to extremes to keep their children from the cult!
    I Not saying a child can not be a Christian in public school... but I wouldn't be willing to take a chance on their souls! One can easily see which religion their child(ren) are following based upon their actions.
    Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

    By the way I LOVE your blog. My husband says if you can fit your family in your home, we should be able to have at least 12 in ours! :)
    ~Abagail

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing those Scriptures! We will be homeschooling, mainly for reason 3, but also #1, and the only Scripture I've thought of as pertaining to HS is Deut. 6. Thanks for reminding us of those other Scriptures. I might even print them for reference :o).

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  8. If I may ask a question?

    My heart is burdened heavily along this line and I whole heartedly agree with you. However my husband does not. He feels that our children need the discipline of having to be at school each day. He also feels that those who homeschooled should be in school every day, never missing for anything short of what public school does. Our pastor told us that we should both be on the same page and that if he cannot see it as a blessing our boys should go to public school. I want to submit as I should but honestly the thought of sending my precious son in august out the world is tearing me apart. We can't have more children because I foolishly chose to have mytubes tied 3 years ago and I dream daily of more babies. That dream is dead though and I just can't give up my desire to homeschool. I was, he was not. Thoughts?

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  9. I think Blogger ate my previous comment! Thank you, again, for posting! We homeschool for all those reasons...and then some! I really do LOVE being with my kids (there are moments that aren't perfect, but that would be true if they were in school, too)! And the relationships they have with each other are precious! Can't wait to see more on HOW you do it as we prepare for next year.

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  10. JENNIFER - Yes, it did eat your comment. =) Thanks for commenting again! That's good point that the HOW of HSing will come right as people are preparing for next year! Ha! I will probably actually bump that 'how' post to the top of the list of posts to be written because I hadn't though about that calendar timing and how it may help someone.

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  11. Amy,

    I am so sorry that you are in this position. First, I wholeheartedly agree that you and your husband need to be on the same page about something like this. The challenge is, can you get on the same page by both of you moving to a different page or does one have to move all the way to the other?

    Please dont think me flippant if what I have to say seems obvious or elementary and also if it seems too difficult to accomplish. Instead of saying what I would do in your situation I will lay out some guidelines that I hope will help you to make a plan that you can work on.

    The very first thing is to pray. The unfortunate truth is that you are highly unlikely to be able to change your husbands heart but God can and he has so many times over and over. Search out testimonies of women in your situation and read them. Embrace their victories and have faith that God will hear your petitions and move in your husband’s heart. Watch out, he may move in yours as well and you will both be in a whole new place you never imagined you could be.

    Please, please, please make sure your husband knows how you feel about this and how strongly you feel about it. May I suggest that you MUST have his permission to express yourself on this level. He may not be capable of interacting with you on your level where your children are concerned. Many men (including my husband) tend to shut-down from overload when we women get really worked up emotionally about things like this. MOST men just aren't wired to handle that kind of emotion. Part of getting on the same page is you getting on his level of communication so that he can have the information you need him to have in order to grasp what you are feeling. You might be tempted to think that its not worth it to put together a logical, well thought out case for your position but you might not be able to bridge the gap any other way. This is all the more the case if you have already been working on this from a mostly or strictly emotional level and have been forcing your husband to build up some defenses in this area.

    So instead of coming unglued on him about it, try giving examples of other children you knew or know who have not been positively affected by public schooling. Do your homework, bone up on the latest information about public school drop-out rates, poor test skills, crime in schools etc. etc. If you can get information about your local schools, all the better. Present this in a humble manor that will allow him to keep his dignity while learning more about what you do not want to do. It is possible that helping to define the problem will lead him naturally to want to know what your solution is. Be ready!

    Build a case for homeschooling. Not just homeschooling as a phenomenon that is happening over there somewhere but for what it would look like in your home. How would you do it, what curriculum would you use and why, how would your child’s physical and social needs be met? Keep in mind that if you have not done the ground work to enable this conversation it will likely be a disaster if you force it and could set you back in your efforts. Perhaps show how homeschooling is a great feeder for college if your husband has those aspirations for your son. There are tons and tons of great information about this type of thing available for you. Please don’t hear me suggesting that you should go out and buy your husband a bunch of books to read on the subject. You get the books and read them and then in love and humility, pass it along to him, with his permission.

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  13. If you and your husband are believers then I would highly recommend you do a study of the scriptures on how and why children are to be educated. Again, this is not for you to club your husband with it is for your to know so that you are able to make a compelling case for it when the opportunity presents itself.

    Search your area for extracurricular activities and groups that your son could be a part of to acquire some of the additional skills, training and discipline your husband desires should you son start falling short in some area.

    Perhaps negotiate a trial. See if your husband would agree to a year or two of homeschooling to see how it goes. (normally we are completely opposed to homeschooling year-to-year since there always seems to be a lack the serious commitment to it that is required for you and your children to get the most out of it but in your case, if a trial will get you some time to prove your case then we’re for it.)

    Clearly define the fears you have about public school and if you end up sending your son to the local school keep your list of fears and a way to measure them close at hand so that you are able to quickly recognize when your son’s behavior and attitude begin to change for the worse. While you can never gracefully tell your husband “I told you so” you can show him the measurements you previously discussed and how your son is moving in that direction and see if you can revisit the homeschooling dialogue.

    Something else you may be able to appeal to is the delegation of child rearing to you. If your husband believes that it is primarily your job to raise the children then you might be able to appeal to that as a reason for you to take charge in this area of your children’s life and educate them. Not all men think this way but if yours does then you might be able to use this thinking to get yourself a little breathing room and a trial period.

    If you have a homeschool convention in your area, try going to it for a day or a few sessions with your husband so he can see more of what its all about.

    The truth is that as humans we have parts of our character that we wish weren’t there. Sometimes with homeschooling (or having a large family) the issue can be the fear, real or imagined, that there will be a loss of something tangible. For some men, they want their wives to be able to go back to work so that they can afford things. Consider the amount of pressure you are or have put on your husband to have a bigger home, newer car, better vacations etc. Its possible that your husband is a wage slave and cant see how he could possibly make ends meet if you arent working a certain amount of hours per week after your children are all school aged. Obviously this will conflict greatly with wanting to homeschool. This may not be you at all but it is out there. At least consider it.

    Im sure Im missing all kinds of things here, if anyone else has any helpful input for Amy please feel free especially if you have some personal experience in this area.

    In closing, please don’t lose heart about your decision to limit your family. There is a link on our page to a ministry called “Blessed Arrows”. Check it out, it could be for you. At the same time, you might need to allow your heart to be opened to something new. The word says that He works all things for His glory….. Or as Voddie Baucham says, “We asked a Dr. to tell God that we didn’t want to have any more children. Then we went back later and asked a Dr. to tell God that we were just kidding but the first Dr. had done the job in such a way that it could not be reversed. So, we went to the local adoption agency and said “Hello, we would like to adopt 4, 5, 6…10 little kids if you don’t mind…… This is a great story and if you aren’t familiar with Voddie you should be.

    Anyway, I hope this provides some encouragement and things to work on. Please be sure to post any more questions you have and any progress you make and areas we can pray for.

    Blessings on your day!

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  14. Hello Amy,

    I can completely relate to how you are feeling. When my husband and I were 24 we had just had our 3rd child and when she was 6 weeks old, he had a vasectomy. I cried. I asked him not too but he did it because he thought it was best for our family.

    Later that year I had asked him about homeschooling our oldest. He was not completely on board, but we did have several friends who were homeschooling and that helped. He told me we could try it for one year and if we completely messed up she would go to public school the next year. Well the year came and went and then he told me we would homeschool until 4th grade then they would go to public school. Long story short, I am still homeschooling today and our oldest is 17 years old. My husband is a very supportive homeschooling dad.

    Seven years after our vasectomy my husband decided to have reversal surgery. We found a great doctor through "Blessed Arrows". Our surgery was successful and I am pregnant with our 4th baby after that reversal 5 years ago. Hubby and I are still not on the same page about children. We currently have 6 with our 7th due this Oct. but I am praying that God will bring us together on this issue. Don't give up hope and continue to be diligent with your prayers.

    I have learned the importance of respect for our husbands. I am embarrassed to say that at times I would let my emotions get the best of me and be very angry with my husband and that was not helpful. I am still working on this and some days it is hard. I have presented my desire to let God plan our family to my husband and he knows this is very close to my heart, but I have also let him know that I respect him as the head of our home and I will abide with whatever decision he makes. I feel very strongly that I am to submit to my husband on this issue of children even if I don't agree with his decision and I remain open to whatever God has in store for us.

    Praying for you.

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  15. ANNA MARY - Thank you for your testimony, too. =)

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  16. I know this is an old page, but I just wanted to encourage you to keep spreading this message. Christians need to hear it. If you ever visit NW Arkansas, we'll take you to church with us to meet the Duggar family : ) I wish I could say we have somewhere cool to visit...maybe Branson, Missouri? lol Anyway, my husband and I both appreciate having this page available any time we need to defend the Biblical mandate for homeschooling. Bless you.

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  17. Dear Erika,

    Thank you for your beautiful blog. I am a mother of 5 and am constantly seeking guidance from the Lord on how best to raise my precious children. I have enjoyed your posts and am grateful to know there are women of such faith in this world. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. We believe in the Bible. The scriptures you have referenced have helped me as I contemplate the best approach to educating my children. I feel as though your beliefs are very much in line with my own. I believe that God is a God of order and wants to bring knowledge and light to our minds. I just wanted to extend an invitation to you to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This Church has blessed my family with so much peace and direction. It has order and completeness I have not found in other churches. My only intent by sharing this with you is to further bless you and your beautiful family.
    Thank you
    Teressa

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  19. I must object to your statement that children in public school are completely discipled by fools. I am a public school teacher, an unashamed Christian, and I stay in the public school as a light in the darkness. I am free to answer a child's question, so if a child asks what I believe, I can honestly tell them. And God continues to orchestrate circumstances and opportunities where this occurs frequently. I am where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to be doing. I do not have any disagreement with homeschooling- I only wish that homeschooling Christian parents would realize there are still Christians teaching in the public school system and we do a lot of good in Jesus' name.

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  20. Thank you for compiling this list of verses doing with your personal reasons for homeschooling. My husband and I have just our 14 month old daughter right now (but we do pray fervently that God will bless us with more) and we will be homeschooling her. Like you, I'm a state-trained teacher (although I've never worked outside my home) abs that seems to make it "ok" to many people that we will homeschool. I have no doubt that my training will not be a big part of our home education efforts. We have already started looking at curriculum and plan to attend a homeschool conference soon just to be familiar with this whole new world. We originally wanted to homeschool because the quality of schools in our area is very poor, as well as high crime rates. God has already moved in our hearts though that He commands us to disciple our child(ren). I will be bookmarking this post for future reference/encouragement.

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  21. Hi Erika! Remember me from good 'ol WWU? Great to see you and your family doing so well!

    I'm not anti-homeschooling at all, but I'm curious as to why it seems like you're insulting public (yes I use the term public not government) school teachers? As a 5th grade teacher and follower of Christ, I'm not sure why you've gone that route. I certainly don't think of myself as a fool as I teach my kiddos about math, literature, writing, the revolutionary war, science, and the constitution (among tons of other things). Not to mention working hard to encourage and develop strong character and values. Oh, and provide a consistent and reliable presence in students lives that have to deal with broken homes and other things that I could never have dreamed 5th graders would have to deal with. No, I can't teach from the Bible (I can see why my Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Atheist parents would have a problem if I did) but I don't think that diminishes what happens in my classroom. I'm a big believer in parents and their chosen church being responsible for their children's spiritual upbringing.

    Sorry for my little overlong comment here but you hit a little bit of a nerve apparently. :)

    Good luck this school year and God bless

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    1. Hey Colin! =) Of course I remember you (well, at least I only knew one Colin, so I assume that's "you".)

      Well just to clarify, we've never meant to criticize public school TEACHERS themselves. It's not personal at all. It's the government programs and curriculum that Scripture has a problem with. If a system is not for God, than it is against God; there is no neutral curriculum or agenda. It's all very, very carefully chosen and public schools are inherently anti-God in their entire approach. It has nothing to do with you personally; it has everything to do with the government school system and what it requires you to teach and not to teach, what to say and not to say, and what the government school programs will produce. So sorry if you felt criticized. We're only sharing what Scripture says about teaching and discipling children and the responsibilities there and the seriousness of the whole thing.

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