At the start of the year, I find it helpful to remind myself why I homeschool. I tend to doubt our decision every year, sometimes I doubt my own ability to teach, sometimes I worry about social aspects, sometimes I’m just lazy and the thought of getting it all together is just overwhelming. This year I really decided to step it up and commit myself to this journey. Please understand this is really more for me, so that when I have a bad day at school, I can look back and remind myself why we’re doing this. (Disclaimer: I understand everyone has their own reasons for their schooling choices, these are OUR reasons for homeschooling, please keep comments respectful.)

1. God. This is the number one reason: I am called. Really I could stop here. I remember about 7 yrs ago after being newly saved we found ourselves at a marriage bible study. The couple leading the study homeschooled. As soon as I walked in and saw their room and all the fun stuff, and how awesome their family was I proudly stated “I WANT TO HOMESCHOOL!” She politely reminded me that maybe I should have some kids first ;o). Well, God clearly took care of that for us, blessing us with 4.

So starting with the Word, though I tried to deny it at first, I believe the bible lays it out plainly for me. Ephesians 6:4 states: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Deut. 4:9 says “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Deut. 6:5-7 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

This last one stuck with me because I wondered to myself, how am I to teach my children when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up if they are gone all day long? How can I hide God’s word in their heart if most of the opportunities happen when they are at school? How can I truly impress upon their hearts if I only see them at dinner and at bedtime?

2 Cor 10:5 says “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” How can I make sure they learn to bring every thought captive to Christ if they are spending 80% of their day with someone else?

Isaiah 38:19 “The living, the living–they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.”

Luke 6:40 states “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Which teacher do I want them to be like?

And finally, Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” I had to let go of preconceived notions of what I thought homeschooling looked like and realize that I do not answer to this world, but to Christ.

Again, it came down to time: how can I teach my kids if they are not with me during the everyday ordinary comings and goings?

2. Opportunity: The opportunities for spiritual, character, academic, social, and family time when homeschooling are AWESOME! I truly believe the traditional American family is disintegrating. Its too easy to get caught up in the business of this world, running from one activity to the next … or whatever takes up our time…(blogging, LOL!) We can become so busy running around we forget to actually spend time together. Homeschooling affords our family the precious commodity of time. Time spent together, and frankly that’s really what our kids want from us, our time. It breaks my heart when I hear people say they can’t wait for school to start again, as if their kids are burdens. I sometimes feel that if my kids were in school I could get so much done! But I’m quickly reminded that ‘me time’ isn’t in the Bible, well it is, its just referred to as ‘selfishness’. Then I am reminded how quickly time passes, and how few years we have our children with us before they move on to their own lives. If the average person lives say 85 years, then the 18 years our kids spend with us is less than 1/4 of their lives. I don’t want to look back and think I didn’t spend enough time with them, and 3 hours a day just isn’t enough for me.

3. Academically speaking homeschoolers typically rate 37 percentage points higher than public school students. The average homeschool 8th grade student performs four grade levels above the national average (Rudner study). At home, I can make sure we have mastery of subjects, go at the right pace for each child, have one-on-one (not one-on-twenty) teaching, and I can tailor my curriculum to their needs.

4. Social Skills: So that leaves me with my social reservations. In the early days we debated it over and over. I think I misunderstand the word socialization as that the notion that spending time with 30 other 6 year olds is in some way ‘socializing’ my child. I read this in an article by Manfred B Zyskthis: “Go to your local middle school, junior high, or high school, walk down the hallways, and tell me which behavior you see that you think our son should emulate.”

I looked up the word ‘socialization’ and found some disturbing things. I do not want to ‘convert or adapt my children to the needs of society’. I do want them to be able to function in our society, but that does not mean they need to be assimilated into society like the Borg. We are in this world, but not of this world.

I do think they need to spend time with friends, and we have committed to making sure our kids are involved in enough ‘outside the home’ activities like sports, dance, church, and homeschooling co-ops that we are confident that the amount of time our kids spend with others their same age is appropriate. Not too many activities though, we still focus on our family time as a priority. I hear so many homeschoolers say that they over-socialize.

Considering my opinion means nothing, we have to ask ourselves what the bible says about socialization?
Proverbs 22: 24-25 “Do not make friends with the hot-tempered, do not associate with those who are easily angered; or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”
1 Cor 15:33 Do not be mislead: “bad company corrupts good character.”

5. Our Goals: We asked ourselves “What do we want our children to look like when they’ve finished their formal education? In Luke 2:52 it says “And Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.” We want them to learn to trust in the Word of God, to have it hidden in their heart. We want to train them in the way they should go, so it may go well with them. We want them to be healthy, confident, and to know they are beautifully and wonderfully made. We want them to keep their childlike faith, and we want them to be a light in this world. We want them to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [them] to give the reason for the hope that [they] have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Pet 3:15) We want them to be confident, to have good manners, to be compassionate, to be respectful, and to be humble in spirit.

That’s a tall order for a teacher, and frankly I’m not sure they’d be able to comply at our local school. Honestly, I’m not sure I can do it either, but I’d rather trust God to work through us, rather than leave it up to a stranger.

Lastly, and on a more selfish note, we can protect their innocence a tad longer. We don’t have to deal with peer pressure, my kids haven’t watched Harry Potter, they still like Clifford and Curious George. They don’t wear suggestive clothing or makeup because everyone else does, they don’t beg me for a wii or an iphone, and they don’t look down on their younger siblings because they aren’t cool anymore. We don’t have to worry about car-pool, unhealthy lunches, or bad teachers. And my personal favorite, we don’t have to get up at 6am everyday to get out of the house for school! (This alone is enough to keep me homeschooling!)

Well that’s it, my ridiculously long blog post about why we made this crazy commitment, and why we’ll stick with it, for this year anyway…

272 Comments

  1. Erica,
    This is one of those posts that ages well. I am a mother of 2 beautiful miracles and I have made the “easy” decision to give homeschooling a try. I say “easy” because it really is a no-brainer considering what public schools have become, what private schools cost, and that I know God has called us to teach our children. It is not however, “easy” in any other sense of the word. I started looking for Kindergarten curriculum for my kids and went over a ton of Christian all-in-one options, not finding anything I was fully comfortable with based on either pricing or gaps in the studies. I finally found your website via Pintrest (I think) and it was like God showed it to me. Everything you say on here is so on point to my point of views and opinions. I also love your organization style (very type-A, like me).

    But what speaks to me most about you and what you do is how attainable you make all this feel. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately as the school year approaches and literally every apprehension or worry I have had has been covered by one post or another of yours. I know that God has brought me to your blog to help encourage me and focus me for the task ahead.

    Everything you do is a God-send for me. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. I feel empowered and blessed already and I haven’t done anything but purchase the curriculum (and make a hefty shopping list 🙂 )! Anyway, what I am trying to say in SO MANY words is, thank you, Erica. Thank you so much for everything you do, everything you’ve taken the time to share, create, and say. You are truly doing God’s work and, as my mom always says, “There’s another jewel in your crown!”. <— I hope you get that lol. I'm sure you do.

    Sincerely ever-thankful,
    Christi W.

    Christi W.
  2. Hello I am a new reader and I love your page! we are currently in our 3rd year homeschooling. I have 2 middle schoolers, a third grader and soon to be kindergartener. This year has actually been a little ruff and I find myself overwhelmed and discouraged. My 11 year old son has decided he has forgotten everything thing we have learned in elementary school and is refusing to do work. I have thought of putting him back into school but the thought scares me. Do you have any advice? Thank you for your time and listening to Gods calling

    rachel whooley
    1. Hi Rachel, I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a hard year! If it makes you feel any better, we all have harder years and easier years. I think the best advice I can give you is to sit down with your 11 year old and have a discussion with him and your spouse. Figure out why he’s having a hard time, and come up with a plan that will help him succeed. I would also make it clear to him that school isn’t optional and you are putting in work to teach him, so you also expect him to put in the work to learn in return. It sounds like he may just be testing you to see what he can get away with. Perhaps come up with a rewards/consequence list that he is part of to help him both be motivated, but also know that there will be consequences for his poor attitude. Get everything outlined before hand so that he’s well aware of his expectations. That way if he’s “refusing” to work, he can have after school consequences that are pre-agreed upon. If someone is procrastinating in our school, they usually have to meet with dad after he gets home and finish school with him, which isn’t a pleasant experience. They get to explain why they weren’t doing what they were supposed to. They are also not able to go play with everyone else when school is over because they still have to finish their work for the day. They don’t get away with not doing it. So they can either do it when school is in session, or they can stay after and do it as homework with dad. I think once they figure out they’re in charge of their day that helps them be a little more motivated to finish without complaining. I do have a procrastination post here that might help too: https://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2016/05/tip-tuesday-6-tips-to-stop-procrastination.html But honestly I think you just need to sit down with him and layout the rules of homeschooling. It’s not a “choice” or “optional” it is something that needs to be done, and he just needs to realize that you are not going to cave in to him. Then of course you need to follow through and be consistent until he’s back into the routine. 🙂

      erica
  3. Jesus Christ Blessed That Mom!!!
    We all of that powerful words based on Jesus Christ, bible verses and real life story out there, got me inspired and ready to start homeschooling my 5 yr old twin boys.. Hope more Moms out there find this amazing homeschooling info along with God word teaching.

    Gracie~

    Gracie
  4. What a great post. I loved it. I am the parent of 3 1/2 kiddos. I say this because I am in the process of adopting my 16 year old foster daughter. My problem is my three boys 1 bio, 2 adopted are Christians and were or are being homeschooled but my future daughter says she does not believe in God so how do I included a Christian curriculum if she doesn’t believe. She is just a very angry girl with moderately severe mental health issues.

    Amy Peck
  5. I love this post!! I think every day am I doing the right thing, was I right to take him out of school and bring him back home. EVERYTHING you say in this post is exactly why I am homeschooling. I will read and reread this as often when I have those days that creep in and make me second guess myself and be reminded that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling and remember what my focus is!! Thanks.

    Kelly
  6. This is so inspiring!
    The decision to study at home wasn’t easy, we looked at the pros and cons and the deciding factor was that the behavior of children in public school was not what I wanted my child to learn.
    Thank you! You give me faith that our decision was the right one. I like your view and your opinion on homeschooling.

    Margot

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