2 Reasons Not to Say, “We Homeschool Our Children”
During the years we homeschooled, and our children were with us during the day, people would often ask why our children were not in school. Our almost knee-jerk response was, “We homeschool our children.”
We didn’t really want to get into a discussion as we weren’t sure they cared, anyway.
There are two reasons I now believe this response was both unfortunate and inappropriate.
First, the response, “We homeschool” gives the impression that educating our children at home is the real reason they are at home.
Second, I believe we owe those who inquire a much more thoughtful response if only to require us to have a more thoughtful response.
Let me offer what I believe a “more thoughtful response” might be:
“Our children are home during the day—rather than being somewhere else during the day (like in school)—because God has given them to us to raise. Not only to raise, but to raise for His purpose. Since they have been given to us to raise, their Creator will fill us in on the purpose for which they were created if we will only ask Him. Since each child has an individual purpose for his or her life, their entire upbringing must be individualized according to that purpose. No systematic school program whether private, public, Christian, or even a homeschool program, can accomplish this task.”
Sounds like a mouthful, huh?
But, are you able to articulate the real reason your children are at home during the “school day”?
Many—if not most—parents who think education is the primary reason their children are home also find themselves unsure what to do to educate their children. This is called “insecurity”.
Insecurity is like a disease of the soul. We will do almost anything to do away with it and become secure. In the realm of education, that means turning to anyone we believe knows how to educate children: Mainly that means purchasing a grade-by-grade curriculum that follows a public school model (although that model may have been “Christianized” by a Christian publisher).
The end result: Parents prioritize making themselves secure rather than doing the hard work of determining what each child needs spiritually, relationally, and academically to achieve mastery in those giftings and callings God initially intended that child to achieve.
Your response to being asked why your children aren’t in school will reveal your true beliefs as to why they are home.