Friday, April 26, 2013

Homeschooling, is it the only way?

Recently, someone said to me that she appreciated that when I talk about why Jeremy and I homeschool, I make it clear that we believe we are called, personally, to homeschool.  She went on to say that most homeschoolers she knows give her the impression that homeschooling is the only way.  I thought about what she said.   I too have experienced this on both sides of the homeschool verses public school issue.  I have friends, like this one I was visiting with, that believe in the school system and being a part of it.  I have friends that believe that the public school system is corrupt and that parents should not have their kids there.  So, who is right?  What do I think? 

I believe the answers for life are in God's Word.  So, what does God's word say about educating our children.  There is a lot of verses in the Bible on parenting so let's look at a couple about training and educating.  We will start with what I call the homeschoolers verse.  I call it that because most Christian homeschooling families use it as the foundation for why they choose to homeschool. 
These verse are found in Dueteronomy chapter six verse five to nine.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

These verses are written by Moses and told to the people of Israel as a command from the LORD.  God has just done great miracles for the people of Israel and he doesn't want them to forget.  He wants them to give their children a heritage of faith in Him.  Ok, the next most popular verse that Christians use in talking about educating their children is Proverbs 22:6

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.
When we look at these two Bible passages it is clear that God wants parents to take a serious role in preparing their children for their future. But how is that to be done.  Is there one correct way to do it.  I think if we look at the Deuteronomy passage we can find the answer.  Because I like simple lists here is what I see in these verses.
1. Love the LORD with all your heart, soul, and strength.
(parents first we must have our hearts, souls, minds, and strength set on the right thing.)
2.  Put God's WORD in your heart.
(We can't teach what we don't know.)
3. Put God's WORD in your children's heart.
(By force if necessary.)
4. Talk about them when you sit at home.
(Make your home a place that God and His WORD are mentioned often.)
5.  Talk about them when you walk along the way.
(Teach your children that God is with us everywhere we go, and not to be ashamed to talk of Him and HIs WORD no matter where they go.)
6. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up.
(start your children's day and end it with God's WORD.)
7.  Tie them on your hands and bind them on your forehead.
(When something is in your hand it is easy to give it away, when it is on the forefront of your mind (memorized) then you are ready to share it with others.  Help your children be ready to give an answer for their faith.  1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...)
8. Write them on the doorframes  and gates of your house.
(Create a home that when your children go and come from it they see and know God's WORD comes and goes with them.)
These are the steps of training our children in God's WORD.  But can this be done only by homeschooling?  Absolutely not. 
How then does a parent make the best choice for their family/children?  This also is found in the Bible. 
 Seek God's Wisdom.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Seek Godly Counsel.
Proverbs 19:20-21
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom in the future.
 Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Each parent/family must determine through prayer, the Holy Spirit, Godly advice, and Godly wisdom what is best for their children/ family.  Is there going to be challenges in homeschooling?  Yes.  Is there going to be challenges in sending your children off to school?  Yes.  IS there going to be blessings in homeschooling?  Yes.  Is there blessings in sending children to public school? Yes. 
So why then does it seem that we meet some people who are overly zealous about their schooling choice.  I think it is usually one of two things.  First, they have sought God's will for their family and are living the blessed life.  They have found the right schooling answer for their family.  So, their enthusiasm isn't that they want everyone to be like them, but that they want everyone to know the joy that they have found in finding God's way for their family.  The second is the exact opposite.  Like all areas of life, if we have not sought God's will, we are often offended by those who seem to be in the center of it.  These people are on the defense because they want to convince themselves that they are right.  How do we as believers respond to these people?  In love, we pray for them and encourage them.  We do not judge them, we do not try and pursued them to our point of view. 
So in closing, why do we homeschool?  I tell people that it is because I am selfish.  I don't like to share my children.  This is partially true. I love being a part of my children's daily life.  I truly miss them when they are apart from me.  I look forward to the day they each leave home with mixed emotions.  I am excited to see them each live out their calling from the LORD.  But, I also know that as they each follow Him it will probably lead them far from me.  I cherish each day the LORD gives me with them.  I do love having my children home with me each day, but the real reason we homeschool is because we believe it is what God has asked us to do.
I would love to hear from you how and why you school your children the way you do.  I think it could be a real encouragement to others.  So please post a comment on your schooling choice. 


  1. This is a hard one. So many people think they can't do it, and for so many reasons. It seems at times like they have some rather legitimate reasons. But then, I wonder about Jesus, who makes all things possible. But then, has he truly called everyone to this? There are many excellent and good things, but we're not all called to do them. His desire is that we become more like him. He has so many different paths to that end for each of us... some easy, some difficult, that I could not presume what any person's path should look like. I know that I could not bear to let someone else have the privilege of teaching/training my child(ren.) I want to be a part of it all. I can only hope that He continues to allow me to do so.

  2. Exactly Beth. Well said. I too feel so blessed to be able to have my kids at home with me. I think the joy of it in my life might lead others to believe, I think it is the only way. But, I know God's way is the only way. So, I pray each and every parent seeks His will alone.