There have been times that I've been asked this question, though not as often as I had expected. I've heard stories of parents getting looks of disapproval or being given the third degree when it comes to questions from friends, family, and even strangers regarding their decision to home school. I have been fortunate because this has really not happened to me. I don't know if it's the Good Lord keeping watch over me, knowing how fragile I am when it comes to confrontation, or if it could be that I just look so confident when I tell people that we home school no one feels the need to question it, but whatever it is, I am glad for it.
However, that does not mean that I don't have a firm stance on it. It doesn't mean that I don't know why I home school. I know why. I have many reasons and I believe they are all important. I am not in a position to condone or condemn your family's personal decision regarding the schooling of your children, just simply putting my reasoning out there for anyone who cares to read more about it.
My main purpose in choosing to teach my children from home is to develop their relationships within our family, both biological and eternal. My children are able to spend so much more quality time with each other, with Eric and myself, with their grandparents, aunts and uncles, close family friends, and other people that they care about. Through these relationships they learn about being good neighbors, about love and devotion, and about being examples of Christ's love. I firmly believe that family should be the number two nurtured relationship in our lives (second only to our relationship with Jesus).
Another reason I chose to home school my children is because I want to be able to choose what they learn, when they learn it. Why should that be something that I blindly leave up to my local school district? The further our society moves into the future, the more questionable material I see being introduced to our children. I am not opposed to learning about different cultures or religions or whatever, I simply prefer to be the one teaching my children about those things. Just as I would expect a Muslim or an Atheist to want to be the one to teach their children about other beliefs in conflict with their own.
I have not fallen prey to the "socialization" argument. I do not believe that my children are socially deprived because they are not spending 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week with 25 other children their own age. I have seen school socialization both as a student for 14 years and as a recess/lunch/after school aide. I know what it's like there and it is not the kind of socialization I would like my children to have. My husband had to "deal with" school socialization and it was torture for him. My children are socialized. They know how to follow direction, how to listen to authority, how to move from one activity to another, and most of this they learned at home. My children are involved in extra-curricular activities at church and Girl Scouts and have participated in sports when they have had the desire.
I believe that God has called me to this mission and I do consider this home to be my mission field. This is where He wants me to be and I plan to be here until He calls me to another field. I consider it an honor to teach my children at home, to have them with me everyday. I want to help them grow into well-rounded adults who love to learn as well as love the Lord with all their heart. It may mean putting my other pursuits on hold for awhile but I'm okay with that. This season of life will pass so quickly and I want to cherish each day that I am blessed to spend with these treasures God has blessed me with and trusted me to care for.
However, I haven't perfected this and I don't expect that I ever will. There are days when I feel like giving up, but that's a post for another day.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts. These are my thoughts and my beliefs and I know that not everyone shares them and that's okay with me. I only ask that you speak respectfully :)
Make each day count!