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Why We Homeschool, part 4 September 2, 2007

Posted by Laura in Faith, Family, Homeschooling.

Deciding to homeschool did not come as easily as you may think. We are, first and foremost, Christians. We believe that Christ commanded us to be “salt” (Mark 9:50) and “light” (Matthew 5:16) in this fallen world. Though it is quite tempting at times to throw up a wall at the end of the driveway and keep to ourselves, we are to try to live in such a way as to draw others to Him. That requires us to be among the lost. Removing more of the already decreasing amount of “salt” and “light” from the public schools was difficult for us. I knew that I had the ability to influence those children when I volunteered. In the end, we felt God wanted us to remember that our first priority was still to the children He had entrusted us to raise. Though my presence in the school may positively affect a student there, it could not be at the detriment of our own child.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was also pretty personally invested in the idea that public schools could and should provide a good education for children. Taking our child out of the school felt like an indictment against my chosen profession. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I shouldn’t be looking at it that way. The teachers were doing a great job. I approved of how I saw the principal handle things, also. So, what did that leave? The governmental priorities/organization/funding and the students (who are ultimately a reflection and the responsibility of their parents). Hmmm…

Both schools Benjamin had attended seemed well supplied. There were almost always enough parents who were willing to purchase things from the teachers’ wish lists to keep the teachers from having to buy too much out of their own pockets. I knew that was not the case in many (maybe most) schools. (When I taught science in public school, I didn’t even have magnifying glasses, much less microscopes. Almost everything I felt I needed to really teach science- instead of just read about it- came out of my own wallet. I remember asking my mom to save flat-sided tamale jars so I could mark measurements on them and make my own beakers!).

We think that removing prayer, the Ten Commandments, and discussion of God from our classrooms has changed the environment for the worse. In this country, we’ve also mostly removed discipline, but I think that is a reaction to another factor I’ll get to later. If there is no standard to which we can refer for what is right and what is wrong, it’s mighty hard to convince a child that some behavior cannot be allowed and will not be tolerated.

There are some government-mandated things that play a part in why we continue to homeschool, but they weren’t really an issue in our original decision. I will probably share them at a later time.




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