Homeschooling?????

As I read the blogs of other Christian wives and mothers, one thing I've noticed is that many are homeschooling their children. Currently, I am not a homeschooling mother. I am a stay-at-home wife/mother, and have been for almost 8 years. However, 2 of my children are enrolled in school and one is at home with me.

I have taught my children from a very early age--letters & numbers, reading, writing, math, science, art, manners, respect for self, respect for others, rules and the like. This foundation is coupled of course with Biblical instruction, Christian living, love for Jesus, Creationism, character, purity, etc.
No pre-schools, no daycare, no church nursery, barely even babysitting by their more-than-willing grandparents! I've never been a mother who is ready to leave my kids with others, get them out of the house or rejoice because "I'm down to one at home" (as many suggest I do). It breaks my heart when the school year starts. But at the age of 5, off to school they've gone. I am not convinced that this is the only option I have, nor do I argue that it is the best one. Still, it is the truth of my reality.

A bit of background information. . . .

I have entered a place in my role as a Christian wife and mother where I am content and comfortable in an area so clearly defined by God. It has taken a while. But guess what? I am unapologetically a homemaker, trying to glorify God, honor my husband, and raise my children! I am so appreciative that God has given me these roles, but I still have a lot to learn. I feel very passionately about a woman's place in the home and the importance of it. I am wondering how homeschooling may or may not fit in for my family.

In my parents' home, growing up, homeschooling was not an option. Unfortunately, there weren't always positive attitudes in their home or in my community toward homeschooling. I will not repeat those attitudes or the things said, because I think there was a level of ignorance (lacking true knowledge/understanding of homeschooling) and insensitivity.

At any rate, I took on these ideas as a child and it wasn't until I had my own children that I began to change my perspectives--different perspectives on things like husbands and wives, mothering, training children, submission to my wonderful Husband, staying at home, and glorifying God in the repetition these roles bring. I see many reasons for and conveniences of homeschooling.

{Side note: I know that I have a tendency to want my kids to forever cling to me, to be smothered by my mothering and doting, and to stay dependent on me. . .which is unrealistic. I have to raise them to depend on God, and to be what He has called them to be, learning to let go when my "smothering" is hindering their progress. In that regard, would I be fair to them as a homeschooling mom?} 

What does God's Word say about it? As I go on seeking the Lord, and discussing the topic with Husband, I just wanted to open up a dialogue about the subject. I am interested in hearing from Christian, homeschooling mothers and non-homeschooling, Christian mothers. Please feel free to share. What are your thoughts and Biblical perspectives?

I am not arguing for or against, just seeking. . .


{This post is linked here at RaisingHomemakers.com}

27 comments:

  1. growing up in that same house hold ill say that home schooling wasnt an option, frankly i am very happy that i was exposed to public schools. working in education i have dealt with home schooled kids and at times they lack the social skills to assimilate with others. in your case i dont think its a questoin of fair but what is best for them. yes, teaching from home ensures they get the knowledge they will need to be successful but also consider the other things they might miss by not being with their peers.i think that is vital to the growth of a child, and it allows them to make some mistakes that will help in future life situations. the social aspect of public schools isnt something that can be simulated

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  2. @ Brad. . . thanks for taking time to share your thoughts (although you aren't a mom-LOL!)

    At any rate, I understand what you're saying about the social aspect. But from what I've seen, homeschooling children have various opportunities to connect with other homeschooling children, allowing the social component. (Out here there are science groups, fitness clubs, math and reading projects, etc. I think it is different in each state. There are even homeschool "days" at various museums and attractions.) Though there's a difference, there is a social component.

    Also, I am not so sure I want to simulate the public school-peer-social situation...I, too, am a product of it and I simply have a different view about that...

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  3. Well you know I would be one to share my thoughts. I am a homeschooling mom and love it. I too had those concerns and faced ridicule by friends who are educations, family, and friends. It was important for me to find the homeschooling option that worked best for my kids. Many people who don't have any knowledge of the different ways/forums in which homeschooling is accommodated. I was careful in selecting a program that provided classroom like setting a few times a week so that my kids are around their peers and of like minded parents. I too am a product of public education and realize for me why the idea of homeschooling was appealing. There was a bit of fear that began to approach as my daughter was approaching kindergarten age, but I had to have the Lord to renew my mind, thought process, and all the above. I made a conscious decision to homeschool because I believe it's what I am to do, not out of fear or control of leaving them with stranger teachers. We as parents recognize WE are the primary influence in our kids lives all the way around. Homeschooling is not a mirror image of public school process. School in ongoing, not just M-F 8-3. I find some many teachable moments to instill so many things they would get otherwise. As scripture encourages us to raise our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord...homeschooling to ME is just one avenue this can be accomplished. Just my thoughts.

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  4. Nadia just started attending a pre-school program through the city, and I am thankful that she actually likes it. I was worried that I was not doing enough at home to stimulate her learning, and I also wanted her to have some type of structure. I was really afraid to leave her the first day of class, but so were all the other parents. At home we read bible stories, and try to sing but we are not really talented at that! I have gone back and forth with the homeschooling idea, but at this point I am willing to try the pubic system, and if it doesn't work out then home it will be. I think we have to do what works best for both parent and child. We ultimately have the responsibility to teach them about God and morals!

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  5. @ Chanita: thanks for your perspective. I'm glad you are enjoying homeschooling. Could you email/facebook me a little more information on the cirriculum/program you chose?

    I know what you mean about the criticism. . .I faced that when I decided to stay home. People would say, all you do is stay at home? What about your career, what about adult interaction, what about the education you have?

    But God is faithful and just as He showed me the way about that decision, I'm confident He'll do the same for this one.

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  6. @ Marisol:

    Hey lady! I'm glad Nadia likes preschool. I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to leave them on that first day.

    We are praying and thinking on this. I think you made a great point--ultimately, it is the parent's responsibility to teach our children about the Lord, and right from wrong, no matter what the educational setting is.

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  7. ya know what? you are already a homeschooling mom! by teaching the children what you have you have technically been a homeschooling mom! lol

    public schools are not what they were when we were growing up. i understand where Brad is coming from but unfortunately schools have changed. violence and drugs are prevalent, sexual immorality is a constant presence, God is not allowed etc- yet the teachers are helpless to stop it because the orders don't come from them but rather from the government and the government is all about indoctrination. it isn't a battle over who can teach your child to read other than you but a battle against an anti- christian entity! why would you want to send your child into the devil's playground and expect that they would turn out ok? they spend more time in school than at home so whose authority do they really seek or listen to? homeschooling isn't just about math and textbooks! it's about safeguarding your children.

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  8. @ Tami: thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment for me to think on.

    I think the what strikes me the most is when you ask "whose authority do they really seek or listen to?" When it's said and done I pray my children can wholeheartedly answer: God alone!

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  9. Hi Stacie. I actually had to sit down and think for a moment on how to answer your post. We are a homeshcool family that is starting on our 10th year. It has been an awesome journey. I truly believe in "true education" as set forth by Biblical principles. I can say, that we are seeing it work. God is faithful as we attempt to follow the principles that He sets before us.

    I think first we all have to sit down and evaluate what our goals are for our children. Is it to raise children that grow to glorify God or to reach what this world terms as success. What foundation do I choose to build on? As Christians, we must keep in mind that "God is the foundation of everything." If this principle is so, then what lines should we be educating our children in? I don't think the public school system can and will ever make the cut. We must choose a place where God is the foundation. It is our responsibility as Christian parents to give our children an education that leads to a knowledge of who God is and obedience to Him.

    Take a moment and research the numbers of young people that are walking away from truth in all denominations across the board. Walking out of the back door of the church. We don't want our children to be part of that statistic. God has given a a promise that if we "train up a child in the way that he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I see this as a promise to claim, yet we as parents have a part to play. There is a work that must be done. God never places before us a requirement without giving us the power to do it.

    I believe if we send our children into public schools, we are essentially handing over our God-given responsibility to someone else. Even if we have our worships at home, attending church during the week,or whatever things that we use in the home to communicate who God is, sending them out essentially undoes (is that a word) what we do at home. The influences are so deep and you would most likely spend lots of time trying to undo whatever habits are picked up.

    "...but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." What does that mean? Public school is so opposite this principle.

    Contemplate Deut. 6:6-7. Teaching God law DILIGENTLY in everything that you do. The children of Israel were instructed to set up memorials so that when the children saw those memorial, they would ask what it meant. And the parents were suppose to know what to tell them. But then, someone forgot and then you have generation that "knew not God. Judges 2. Do we have generations that don't know God?

    Please follow the posts on http://just4homeschoolers.com/trueeducation/. It is a blog that we are just starting to address true education in conjunction with Rays of Light Home Education Ministries.

    May God Bless

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  10. Hello, I am a veteran homeschool mom. My family is made up of public school teachers and administrators. When I kept my first child home in order to HS, my own family tried to have me arrested.

    I knew that the Lord called me to homeschool my children. That was how we stood firm though that time.

    My boys are teens and never spent one day in a public school. Until this year. My oldest is in a dual enrollment technical program through our public school system. When he graduates he will have 15 college credits. He plans to go on to law school. He currently has a 4.0 GPA.

    I give that background not to boast but to show that he easily blended into the system academically.

    Socially, he was doing just fine prior to PS. He goes out with friends every weekend. He is a well respected employee and serves in our church. He has also made some new friends at school.

    We are repeatedly complimented on how well adjusted our sons are.

    I understand Brad's arguement, however, it really is a myth. There has been so much written about this topic that I won't go into it much. (IOW: don't even get me started) HS does not mean keeping your children locked in the basement away from the world. Nor is Public School the only valid social option for children.

    The bottom line is if the Lord calls you to homeschool he will make it clear and provide all they need.

    God bless you as you seek His will for your family.

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  11. @ Marilyn: thank you for such a heartfelt response. I could "hear" your concern and passion in each word I read. I greatly appreciate the Biblical references--as you said, God is the foundation. Please keep us in your prayers.

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  12. @ Lorie: I thank you for your insight and for sharing your testimony about your sons!

    Yeah, I'm just not convinced about the social aspect either. I went to the "better" public schools as a child and there were things that I was exposed to "socially" that had no place in educating me.

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  13. i homeschooled my oldest child for first grade, and gave in to the pressure i was feeling form family and friends, and put her in the public school this year for second grade. having been a part of both, i am now just biding my time until third grade. then my daughter will be back home, and wont be back in the public school. would you send your children to a school that told them parental authority was a joke? one that taught them to disobey you? surely not! why then, would i want my children in a school that wont acknowledge the authority of God, or obedience to him? i have also noticed my sweet girl has started adapting her own personality, to fit with her peers. that is not something that i am ok with. i want the person God made her to be. there are many other reasons that we are choosing to homeschool next year for our daughter, and later our little ones, but im sure you have heard them all before. i hope that your prayers bring you answers soon.

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  14. @ Sarah Smith. . .thank you for sharing your homeschooling/public school experiences here. I, too, want my children to be who God says they are, not what our society pressures them to be. Thanks again for your thoughts. . . God bless you.

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  15. In my mother's career in education she was a principal and a top administrator in one of the top school systems in the country. Like Brad she had/has a negative view of homeschooling. I think this is because those who work in the public school systems usually see the "failed" homeschoolers and not the whole spectrum of successful homeschoolers.

    We too hope to homeschool our daughter. At first my mother was not in favor of it but she tries really hard not to interfere in our choices. What made her excited was me telling her that her grand baby could then visit her at all times of the year and grandmommy could teach her art and take her to museums. I think she thinks it may be a good deal after all :)

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  16. @ TMichelle,

    Thanks for joining in this heartfelt discussion. Perhaps you're right...maybe public school educators only get to see one side of homeschooling. I think that Brad, as an educator, has concerns because these are his nieces and nephew I'm talking about here. :) Homeschooling is not the most popular option, but that doesn't discredit it in my eyes.


    P.S. my mother also thought the same thing as your mom--if homeschooled, the grandkids aren't limited to vacation times and can visit more often! LOL

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  17. Stacie,
    Thanks for stopping by me blog and following! We've never regretted the decision to homeschool for a second. I am so thankful for the time I have been able to share with my daughter. I wanted to share with you a book that really helped me once we made the decision. It is called "100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum". It really helps give you an idea of the different styles, and what might be the best fit for you and your learners. :) Also, I bet if you went to Yahoo Groups and ran a search for "homeschool in...your county...) you would find local groups. Go ahead and join one, and jump in with questions. I did this, and the groups I found in my community were more than happy to answer my questions and give encouragement. Feel free to ask me any questions.
    Good luck in your journey!
    Jennifer
    Visit me at: http://justpeachyindixie.blogspot.com

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  18. Stacie, I have homeschooled my 6 children over the past 20 years and know that it has been beneficial to them and to me. Visit my oldest daughter's blog: Alicia's Homemaking. She is my oldest daughter who was homeschooled all the way through high school and went on to be a nurse in a hospital's intensive care unit. Now, she has chosen to stay at home with her son. There is an interview with me on her blog concerning homeschooling. Hope you and your husband make the decision God leads you into. As for me, I have loved homeschooling and being with my children through these formative years!

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  19. @ Jennifer, thanks for commenting!
    I will definitely look up the book you recommended. There's a lot to homeschooling that I never knew about before...be on the lookout, I'll probably have some questions for you. Thanks!

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  20. @ vinsonclan8,

    Thanks for joining in this dialogue. Homeschooling for 20 years?? You have lots of experience in this area! I'll have to check out your daughter's blog. I also have enjoyed staying home and raising my children....still praying about all of this.

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  21. Hi Stacie,

    I home schooled for four years. (Our son was 8 and our daughter was 5) Initially, I used whatever materials that worked. That wasn't going too well(:. Then, I found K12. K12 is an online "free" public school that provides the curriculum for each grade level and ships you all the text books and materials. Did I mention it's free(:. K12 will also provide you with a computer/printer if you need it. I spent no more than $20 on school supplies. Each student is assigned a certified teacher and you as a parent are the "Learning Coach". Each student is required to take the CRCT. Their are opportunities to socialize and monthly field trips are planned by the teacher. My family and I loved it. If you would like to check it out, the website is www.k12.com. Check to see if one is available in your state.

    There is another online public school called "Connections Academy". Their website is www.connectionsacademy.com.

    I know you will do a wonderful job if you decide to home school. Let me know what you think of the sites. Take care girl(:

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  22. Mrs. Gertha,

    Girl, no, I didn't know about either of those websites, or that anything like that existed for that matter. I will check out the websites and see what it's all about.

    Thank you for your kind words and please keep us in prayer.

    -Stacie

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  23. Hi Stacie! I sure will keep ya'll in prayer. I am glad I was able to make you aware of it.

    Courtney over at "Women Living Well" (you know her site!) uses the same curriculum I used (k12). She is doing a five part series on why her family home schools. When you get the time, check it out.

    Take care girl!

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  24. Mrs. Gertha,

    Thank you for your prayers!

    I checked out the K12 website, but my state wasn't included. When I looked it over though, I wondered if it was the same one Courntey used because I remember her saying in one of her posts that all of her homeschooling materials were free. I still have to check out the other website you recommended.

    Yeah, I've been watching her series on why she homeschools and it has been great. It's very encouraging.

    Take care, lady.
    -Stacie

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  25. Hi Stacie,

    Sorry to hear K12 wasn't available in your state:( . Yes, Courtney uses the k12 curriculum for Ohio. I hope, when you view "Connections Academy", it's available in your state.

    I am glad you are enjoying Courtney's home school series and are finding it encouraging.

    Take care girl and thanks for always providing feedback(: It means alot to me!

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  26. Hi! I am just finding your blog from Raising Homemakers! I am loving your blog! I have a blog and just posted (today) about homeschooling, which I do. This is my first year with a first grader. I'm not sure I got from your blog... are you homeschooling next year? I saw that you were looking for a math curriculum. Have a great day! And here's the link to my post that has a video on it about homeschooling & indoctrination: http://allmeanttoshine.blogspot.com/2011/04/makes-my-heart-break.html#

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  27. Hi Leila,

    Welcome! Thank you for your sweet words.

    Yes, I am homeschooling next year. Thanks for commenting. I'll be checking out your blog for more information.

    Take care!

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