Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why We Homeschool

EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio.]

The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties. Noah Webster's Original 1828 Dictionary

There are many reasons we homeschool and if you ask other families, their reasons may be entirely different than ours. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a different set of answers for every family.

First and foremost, the Bible says that we parents will be held accountable for what our children learn. A child's education is the jurisdiction of the Family, not the civil government. We believe this means spiritual, moral, and emotional as well as academic education. We can give away our authority to teach, but never our responsibility for what our children learn (including the cuss words on the playground). And, if you want something done right, it is best to do it yourself.

And it is not moral for us to force someone else (through taxes) to pay for our children's education.

Second, we teach our own because we like our children and enjoy being with them. I would miss them if they were gone six or more hours per day. I want to keep it that way.

Too many parents today, although loving their children very much, don’t really like them nor enjoy their company.

Modern society believes that a child is born perfect, or at least evolutionarily more advanced, and unless his parents ruin him, will grow to be an unselfish, productive adult. Some go so far as to say a child should never hear the word “no;” It “stifles their creativity” you see.

However, parents are only reaping what they have sown when their kids grow to be unlikable. The Bible teaches that we are all born selfish and foolish. God has ordained parents, fallible as we are, to mold our children into unselfish, productive adults, (“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6) It is not something that happens accidentally or by itself, but by careful training and attention from the parents.

By homeschooling, we can institute this Godly training full time that will insure our continued enjoyment of our youngster’s company.

Third, we believe God placed children in families for a reason. Society at large has acknowledged that orphanages are bad for children. They do far better in a family environment.

Yet most of us send our babies to part time orphanages for thirty or more hours a week (5 days X 6 hours per day).

The Bible says “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 and “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” Proverbs 22:15 and “Be not fooled, bad company corrupts good morals.“ 1 Corinthians 15:33 New American Standard

I can think of few things more filled with foolishness than a room with 30 eight year olds!

Personally, I want my children to be wise, not destroyed.

Children need constant positive role models. I remember from my school days that the biggest influence in the classroom was NOT the teacher. It was peers. Think about it; when you were in school, who would you and your classmates try not to offend, the teacher or other classmates? Who did you work hardest to impress? Whose counsel did you pay more attention to? How do your “Little Lambs” answer these questions?

When a child is taught at home, the answers are usually “our parents” as God intended.

The family unit is the perfect learning environment. If a child in traditional school has a problem in a subject, does the school send him to a room with fifty instead of thirty students so he can learn better?

No, of course not.

They send him to a tutor with one to four children in a class.

Every one acknowledges that the smaller the teacher/student ratio the more efficient the learning process.

Our children are not Fords. Assembly line education doesn’t produce the best for each child, only a low average, at best. Each child needs an individual course of study in order to achieve their best. A homeschool parent has the freedom to tailor each child’s education to that child’s strengths and the world (including Google, Wikipedia, and Youtube) to draw from for resources.

A traditional classroom teacher can only aim for the middle and hope to “hit” as many as he can; and then is restricted to materials approved by the local and state school boards.

Also, have you ever seen an ad for a private school or daycare advertising an “Institutional Environment?” I haven’t. All I have seen is “Home-Like Environment.” Hmmm? Is it possible that we all unconsciously know that home is best?

Children are more mentally stable if they are not constantly changing major care givers/authority figures. The studies that have proven this were focusing on preschool ages.

However, we do not believe that a child magically becomes able- at the age of five- to switch affection and respect frequently from one caregiver to another without harm. In fact, the only study I know of ever done to determine the best age for a child to begin to leave their home for long periods of time on a regular basis (“Go to school”) concluded that a child should not begin before nine, and eleven is better!

(“Learning” is different than “Going to school.” Children are “learning” from birth and academics can start long before a child is ready to handle “Going to school.”)

If they are lucky, a traditionally schooled child will have seven different teachers before they are twelve. Most have more. By the time they graduate high school they will have sat under the authority of at least fifty different people. This does not allow for the bonding needed to develop trust and emotional security.

In fact, it kind of sounds like divorce training. “It’s the first day of school. Here is a new person to love and respect. Enjoy it while you can because by this time next year he won’t even know who you are nor care.”

The average homeschooled child will have three authority figures in their educational carriers; Mom, Dad, and God. This fosters more security and more socially acceptable behavior.

If you had a choice of changing bosses fifty times in the next twelve years or keeping the same three bosses for the whole time which would you chose? Which would be the least stressful for you? How much more stressful is changing bosses for your small child?

We also strongly disagree with the philosophies taught in public school today, in fact, the philosophies under-girding the very existence of government schools ("Take money from those who have no children and use it to educate the children in a government controlled environment." In other words, the very structure of government school is socialism). There is no such thing as teaching without teaching religion and morals. The very act of teaching teaches that ignorance is bad, a moral statement (one most people agree with).

Our government schools teach the religion of Secular Humanism (politically correct term for Atheism. “A” is Greek for “without.” “Theist” means “God.” Government schools are, by court order, God-free zones.) and situational ethics.They are "The Church of Secular Humanism."

Even if they have a Christian teacher, neither the teacher nor the child is allowed to speak of God or life’s most important questions, (see next chapter) during class hours. Especially in History and Science, to teach without God is to teach that there is no God.

We want our Lambs taught Christianity and absolute, Biblical morals. The best place for them to learn this is in our own home.

First and Foremost, though, many studies now prove that homeschool graduates continue serving God in far higher numbers than either government or private school graduates. It is just simply the best way to hedge the bet that our children will choose to serve God and go to Heaven.

From the most important to the least; Homeschooling provides our family with a great deal of flexibility. If we want to take a vacation, say in February, the children will not miss any school. We will take school with us, use the trip as a very long field trip, or count that as vacation time instead of the traditional vacation time.

If my husband were to change jobs to one where he worked nights or weekends, we would simply adjust our school day to correspond to his workday. Our children would miss no “Daddy Time.” We are not slaves to the government school schedule, but are in control of our own time and lives.