Friday, January 28, 2005

Why homeschooling?

Every now and then I need to sit and ponder the reason why we have chosen the path of homeschooling. My tendency is to get caught up in daily life and I lose sight of the vision my husband and I have for our family and specifically for our five children. Being home all day with my kids is generally something that I love but occasionally the monotony of it sneaks up on me and threatens to tear me away from our goals. Whenever this happens I know it is time to refocus and remember why we do this.

Many years ago, as new Christians with one child, our goal was to provide our children with a meaningful and consistent family life that included God in every area. We wanted our kids to feel free to learn and explore according to their strengths and interests and we wanted them to be seekers of truth. Eleven years ago when we first began this adventure, we weren't even fully aware that homeschooling was the perfect way to provide each of these things to our kids on a daily basis, but over time, this have proven to be true.

With our oldest daughter (16) in college we are able to clearly see the goal we are striving towards. When she was younger the goal was just a vague impression without tangible parts. Of course, we knew people with older, homeschooled kids, but they were not the tangible piece we have now. In all likelihood, Dani will leave our home within the next two years (SIGH), but I have the confidence of knowing that she loves God, seeks truth and knowledge and is very level-headed. I feel blessed with the knowledge that she is ready to meet the world.

With five children, I obviously have a wide array of interests and learning styles in my home. A science nut, a computer whiz, a playwright, an author, an artist, a princess and a classical music lover all make their residence with my husband and I. All of our kids follow a curriculum of the basics but each of them have areas they follow independently because they are interested. I suspect that for each child, this is a peek into their future career and hobby pursuits.

One of the biggest reasons we homeschool is TRUTH. In the early years we build a foundation of truth based on God's Word. As they grow and develop the ability to reason, they begin to be exposed to a wide variety of ideas and I have found that this only enhances their early training. When a child reaches what classical homeschoolers call "the rhetoric stage," keeping them steeped in what amounts to an ideology is too limited. We need to lead them in thinking about God, His world and truth and I have learned over the years that God's foundation is strong and it never crumbles under scrutiny.

So, that's why we homeschool. Is this lifestyle for everyone? No. But I know that this is the right path for our family. I have been blessed with a husband who is 100% behind this venture (actually, he is in front of it) and his invaluable help and encouragement only spur me on. I am once again reminded of how blessed I am!