9.05.2014

Why We Are Homeschooling

Homeschooling! Eeeek!!! There, yep, I said it! We are homeschooling! If you know us well, you already know this. With our oldest starting kindergarten this year, we have gotten the question of, "Where is he going to school?" many times. Often, when we say we are homeschooling we get a wide range of responses, and then more questions. It's one of those words that carries so much weight for a variety of reasons. So, I figured I would write out some blog posts about how and why we've grown to be passionate about homeschooling.
Disclaimer: Before I go any further, Jon and I have experienced homeschool, public, and private schooling and have had good experiences in those options. We are in no way saying that homeschooling is the best and only option, but for us, for this year, it is the best option for our family.Please don't read our passion for homeschooling and classical education as us saying it is the only way and that everyone should do the same. We've also learned "never say never" (did I really give birth to my daughter in my house, and do I really live on a hobby farm?!?!), so we are not putting our foot down and saying we are never going to consider other schooling options. But at this point, we are choosing to educate our kids at home. 

As our blog title states, and as I've blogged about before, we are seeking to live a "one piece life." Families today are so fragmented. Most of their days and activities are spent separate from each other, gaining most of their perspectives, beliefs, and likings from other people (peers, teachers, coaches, etc). Children spend the majority of their waking hours at school, away from their families, and then the majority of evenings are spent ushering kids all over creation to activity after activity. Meals are rushed, if eaten together at all, and it seems as though children prefer the company of their friends rather than their siblings. Even the way churches are often set up, families walk in the door to worship on Sunday morning, and kids and parents go their separate ways, only to regroup in the parking lot afterwards and drive home.
We are messy, fallen, sinners and we desire to gather around our children, living out this crazy and glorious mess all day, every day, together. We strive to model the supremacy of God and the Gospel to our children and feel we can't do that properly if we are time-torn, fragmented, and living most of our days apart, rather than together. This is one of the biggest reasons we are homeschooling. Sending my five year old to school means that he spends 40 hours a week in the care of someone else. Christian or not, he is being discipled by someone for 40 hours a week that are not his parents. Yes, educators are trained to teach, and most of them are great with kids. However, they don't know our children, and they certainly don't care for and love our children the way we do. No one has more of a desire to disciple, teach, and care for our kids like we do. We have intimate knowledge of each of our children's physical, spiritual and mental needs. We know where they are at, their strengths and weaknesses, where we need to speed up or slow down. We know what motivates them and can evaluate what they are truly understanding. We can give them the individual attention we know they need.
We do not want our children growing up and seeing life as a dichotomy, where family, faith, and learning are separate from the rest of the world. We want that "one piece life" where we do family, faith, learning and everything else as a complete whole, together.

With each new stage and season of life, we are learning what that "one piece life" looks like every day. It doesn't mean our kids aren't going to do sports, and doesn't mean that our kids won't participate in age segregated church activities, and doesn't mean we will homeschool indefinitely. We will tackle each road and season of life as it comes, and who knows, some day that might mean our kids attend school away from home. We know many families who don't homeschool but still live by these values. But what it does mean, is that we will pay close attention to our own hearts and the hearts of our children, and constantly look for ways to nurture the whole being of our family as ONE- not time-torn and not fragmented...living out a one piece life.
So please hear our hearts when we talk passionately about homeschooling and classical education...we are not declaring a certain kind of schooling option as better than the next, we just know that this pursuit is where God is directing our family. A certain kind schooling option does not fix our sin soaked problems and does not change the condition of our hearts, or the "tune" of our family... only the grace of the Gospel can do that.
We are really excited to begin this journey of educating at home and excited to see how God uses it in the life of our family and children.

I'm looking forward to blogging about the other questions that frequently come up about homeschooling like socialization, choosing curriculum, why classical education, what is classical education,are parents equipped to teach, etc.,etc.

2 comments:

Melodie said...

I love your perspective on so many things you've chosen to write about. I've been reading for so long now, I don't even remember how I found your blog! I'm looking forward to more homeschooling posts. we are in our second year over here...a 1st grader and a kindergartner. it's truly a blessing. a challenge for me, but such a blessing!

Whimsical and Smitten said...

This is a great view on child rearing. I agree whole-heartedly! Looking forward to more thoughts on homeschooling. :)