July 27, 2010

Why I Home School My Children

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!


  1. Ashley, I'm a public school teacher in a fantastic school district. I fully believe in my district and all that it has to offer my children. However, if life every took us to another town where I felt that the school was not meeting the particular needs of my family, I would pull out my children and homeschool in a heartbeat. I think a lot of people have a perception of homeschooling as a separatist-type of activity. They don't understand the personal and philosophical reasons that people have for homeschooling, and what they don't understand, they condemn. It's a big choice to homeschool, and one that I know families don't take lightly. I say congratulations to you for taking the steps to do what you feel is best for your family, and don't believe you should ever feel as though you need to justify that choice.

  2. I have a lot of mixed reactions about homeschooling. Some of my closest friends were homeschooled and the socialization issue has never been a problem (although they were sheltered just a *smidge* too much - and that's even coming from me, the girl who grew up with a mom that censored FULL HOUSE - yeesh!). However, I also have family that are homeschooling. The education is fantastic. I won't argue that point. And while 4-H, church, Awana, sports, etc., are all encouraged (and almost done to the point of exhaustion), there is still an aspect that is missing which has become incredibly apparent as the kids have hit puberty. I don't know that I can quite put my finger on it, other than the fact that I think the kids don't know what it's like to have a reprieve from each other for a good chunk of the day. They aren't allowed to make mistakes and live with the consequences on someone else's conditions (and then choose whether or not mom and dad hear about it). Of course, I could be totally off base.

    Anyway... It's also hard for me to read about parents that homeschool when I am a teacher in a public school. I know that not every public school is created equally. I know that not every teacher has the best intentions or is doing the best job. But a lot of us are, and sometimes it's hard to hear that a lot of parents are opting to homeschool specifically because of public school teachers. (And I don't feel like you are, Ash.)

    But I do want to say that a lot has changed since we've been in school. Bullying and socialization issues are handled soooo much more differently than they ever were before. I realize that I can only speak for the school I work at - but when we get any kind of a report about bullying, the world as we know it comes to a halt until the matter is resolved.

    I also realize that as more and more funding gets cut, the public school system isn't looking as ideal. But we're still there, literally doing whatever it takes to ensure that all kids are meeting state standards and achieving their potential.

    I admire you Ash, for taking your kids' education into your own hands. I know it isn't easy! (I also hope I didn't offend you. Just wanted to give you a little glimpse into what it's like on my end of the spectrum.) :)

  3. I think the thought of homeschooling is fantastic, I'm just not smart enough, organized enough and I'm a scatterbrain! haha! I couldn't do it! I fully admire those who can/do! YEAH ASHLEY!!

  4. Thank you for sharing Ashley! I think this is what I'm going to blog about next too. I do agree that many schools are wonderful and handle matters the right way, and that many teachers love what they do. But Going to a school for 3 years where this wasn't the case has changed my mind on putting my kids into public school in this area. So many schools are going down hill fast and that is not something I'm willing to put my kids into for any reason. There are many other reasons why we homeschool but will write on those in my blog soon.

  5. ash i think its awesome youre doing this. there are great public schools out there, and amazing teachers that im so glad i had the opportunity to learn from, but the more i think about homeschooling, the more i love it.
    i gave a presentation on it in japan and used you as an example :)
    they had never even thought of it before. its really looked down on over there.
    anyway. just sayin hey and that you're cooler than me.


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