Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Homeschool? Part 1

In an earlier post I mentioned how the plethora of good options made the decision to homeschool for the 2013-2014 school year a hard one.  I'd like to explain our reasons for making this decision, but first a disclaimer.  Every family has to make their own decision of what works best for them.  Our reasons may not be other's reasons to choose homeschooling.  There are great reasons to send children to public or private schools.  We have people in our sphere of influence who advocate for a variety of school options.  I respect each family's privilege to choose the educational path that works best for them.  I'm also aware that while we are making this decision for this coming year, we may change our minds.  My goal is to share our hearts where they are at now, not predicting where they might be in 2,5,10 years.
So, why homeschool?

#1- Intentional Influence
#2- Biblical Command
#3- Reaching Potential
#4- Common Core and the Federal Government

I'll write a little post on each of these eventually, but today I'll touch on #1.

About 10-12 months ago, I felt that God was leading me to a word that would transform every facet of my life.  The word was INTENTIONAL.  Perhaps He was trying to correct my lack of household organization, teaching me to not fly by the seat of my pants so much, or to simply be more on purpose with where He has me on each day.  It has seemed that ever since that word was brought to mind, the word has creeped into other aspects.  A recent parenting book (perhaps the best I've read) called Intentional Parenting offered great insight of what it meant to avoid auto-pilot as a mom, wife, and child of God.  My husband and I planned our vacations and times away with goals in mind so that activities, choices, and decisions would help us reach our desired outcome.

When it came to our schooling decision, God began to work on my heart on how I had the responsibility as my kids mother to be the primary influence in their lives (along with Daddy!).  If you look at the sheer math, we get very little time with our school aged children.  In reality, a handful of adults I barely know along with a room of 20 peers I know even less become the primary influence in my child's life.  I was becoming tired of getting her 'leftovers'.  She would leave our home each morning with a bounce in her step at 8 am.  She would come home tired and drained at almost 4pm.  Then, there was the hour or so of homework each night that we would have to try to do together (uphill battle for a 6 year old who just wanted to play with her sister!).  By 8 pm she was back in bed.  Weekends were helpful, but often she would still be playing 'catch up' from the week.  I want to enjoy my child at her best, not feel discouraged by dealing with her worst.  I know if I had a friend who only saw me from 4-6pm everyday they would think I'm pretty tired, cranky, and lack clean shirts!  It would be a very one dimensional view of who I was. 

In the end, Paul and I want to be the primary influence in our children's life.  We want to enjoy our kids at their best.  We want to discover who they are and who God may be forming them to be.  We don't want a school system dictating so many aspects of our life.  We want to be intentional and we feel that in order to have the highest probability for success, we should educate our children at home.

"Whether he is a mystery or more familiar, our job is to become a student- to seek to understand the work that God began and is faithfully completing in the lives of our children. Our job is to steward that, not change it." p. 18 of Intentional Parenting

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