6 Reasons You Should Homeschool
Do you really wanna become more like Christ? I mean, really?
I never thought that homeschooling my kids would be the most satisfying and yet challenging assignment I'd ever set out to accomplish as a believer. I've launched ministries, gone through restoration in my marriage, planted churches, faced heartache, and yet homeschooling has definitely been one of the most refining fires in my life. There's nowhere for your sin to hide when your kids are with you, literally ALL day! You have to face it. Then you can choose to either quit and send your kids to school, or you can surrender. Surrender to God's plan for your family, cast down your pride, and start the refining process. Homeschooling is very much a "death to self" journey for a mother. But the neat thing is that when you're in the arms of Jesus, dying to self is just the beginning of a beautiful new life! A life abiding on the Word of God and growing in the fruits of the Spirit can be quite the adventure I've found. I pray this list encourages, challenges, and maybe even equips you to press forward on the homeschool venture!
1. You want to be a life long learner
I never thought I'd LOVE science and history, but homeschooling has brought so much joy to my own heart and mind as its awakened in me a joyful learner! Most of homeschool for me has been learning right alongside my children--or barely being a day/week ahead. Whether its science, math, or even history, it's been a surprising delight for me to fall in love with learning again! My inner geek has definitely shown its colors during our homeschool days! Now, I do have to say that there are a lot of things I HAD to learn that I didn't necessarily want to learn. For instance, we recently found out one of my children needs daily tutoring for a learning disability. If we could afford it, it would be nice to have a tutor come by a couple days a week. However, our educational evaluator told me I actually had everything I needed in order to tutor my own child! While that sounds awesome, I've definitely felt overwhelmed at the amount of time I need to devote to this kiddo, as well as making sure I'm actually tutoring properly. But, I can learn. I GET to learn. I GET to submit to my Heavenly Father on a daily basis to lean on Him for the strength needed for this process. What a blessing and challenge for me, to trust that God will help me continue to learn more about how my kids learn, how I teach, what our hearts need to be nurtured each day, and what curriculums are best for us as a family each year. Every year is a NEW grade (especially if you haven't graduated a kid yet) so learning and walking humbly in faith has been often intimidating, but full of abundant joy and blessing!
2. You desire to have a close relationship with your kids
All relationships need quality time to grow in a healthy functioning way. Now, I do say "quality" because even though we are together ALL day I can be tempted to power through school and then set off on my never ending to-do list. That would only allow my kids to experience the "teacher" and maybe even "principal" side of me. They need me as their mom at all times. When math is frustrating and bringing tears it's time for their mom to hold them, pray with them, and help them learn to take a deep breath and try again. I've also added great heartache and pain to our relationship at times. I've been harsh, impatient, and lost my cool. I have to make amends to my children regularly. Making amends, while humiliating and embarrassing at times, has actually led to great fruit and blessing. It's helped us learn to work through tough conflict and foster an atmosphere of forgiveness. I've had to come before the Lord and ask for the fruit of patience in my life so that I won't keep hurting the people I love with my words and attitude. He's not only helped me, but also helped my children learn that this is why we need Jesus--because even on our best days we still fall short and offend the people we treasure most. Thank God for homeschooling. It's led us to the cross and bound us together as a family in more ways than I can count.
3. You long to adventure
Homeschooling has brought so many freedoms and opportunities that public school cannot compete with. I had no idea the lack of freedoms traditional schooling offered until exploring homeschool. I didn't realize how hungry a child's heart was for adventure and nature. Simple freedoms like doing math outside, making our own schedule, but mostly having the power and freedom to choose HOW we learn. My kids have learned more about science and creation in our bi-weekly hiking group than they could ever learn through a worksheet. We've been able to adventure to cities filled with history and count it all as school! The only time we aren't adventuring is when I haven't done my part to lead in this way. Honestly, one of our favorite places to adventure is within our own home. Adventure doesn't always have to mean going somewhere exotic or new. Adventure is an unusual or exciting experience/activity. Thus, you can ADVENTURE in your own home! I have the privilege of bringing a spirit of adventure into our homeschool environment. HOW we learn about people, places, and things, can involve fun games, videos, and even messy bathtub experiments. Homeschool is the ultimate adventure--it's a journey embarked with trials, successes, failures, and discoveries all while refining your soul to be more closely aligned with Your Father's heart.
4. You want to learn to trust God
I thought I was a pretty faith-filled mama until I started homeschooling. I didn't realize the amount of trust I'd have to put in my savior. Trusting Him to provide financially for us to homeschool. Trusting Him to give me the strength to press on when I'd rather quit. And most of all, trusting God to FILL IN THE GAPS of my teaching and leading as a flawed mama. On the days that I feel like I'm not enough for my kids, I have to focus on the truth that GOD IS ENOUGH and all He's asked for from me is to lead my kids to Him. He's been faithful--He's done it ALL! Did we always get to do whatever we wanted? No. Did we have to say, "no" to certain activities and lifestyles in order to prioritize funds for homeschool? Yep. Yet, we have never gone without. We haven't missed a bill, gone hungry, or found our homeschool supplies lacking--ever. (Even if we did miss a bill or two I know God would provide a way for us to keep schooling this way, I truly believe that). I would rather trust God and homeschool than work a full-time job that allows us to breathe more financially, but tempts us to put our trust in ourselves and our finances. Learning to trust that God DID call us to homeschool and that He will provide for all of our needs--no matter how insignificant or vast they may be-- has been frightening at times, but worth it!
5. You wish to make a generational impact
While every family has their own assignment from the Lord, we all have the same command to train our children up in the ways of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says,
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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 on 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
I have realized that in order for me to do what God has called our family to, it might be best to homeschool. I can get easily distracted with work and even my "own ministry" outside the walls of my home. God has made it clear for us that we should not sacrifice the discipleship of our children for the sake of discipling those outside of our home. He's given me the vision of generations of children praising and seeking after Him! While I am sometimes tempted to fill my calendar with constant ministry work and discipleship, God has helped me to realize how to best maximize my short time here on earth. He's used me to lead ministries, start churches, serve our homeschool community, and shepherd women, BUT, my greatest investment of my time is in our home. We've already seen the benefits of this choice and pray that our children will continue to walk with Christ long after they fly the nest.
6. You want to reach the lost
For most of my life I believed that in order to reach lost people with the light of Christ that we would have to be IN public school. You know, that whole "be in the world but not of the world" mantra? As an evangelist I had put God in a box when it came to the avenues of sharing my faith. Boy did I receive an eye opening God spanking, multiple times! Our family has been able to give more, lead more, witness more, and minister to our neighbors, community, and even third world countries MORE thanks to homeschooling! I honestly can't imagine being trapped in a traditional school schedule right now. We NEED the homeschool flexibility to continue serving the community we currently serve. Shining Christ's love starts in the home. It's where we learn to give radically, forgive generously, and serve wholeheartedly. Because we practice these values in our home--they come naturally for our kids when we interact with others outside of our home--from strangers in the grocery store to friends down the street. I love that I get to serve ALONGSIDE my kids! We are reaching a community with Christ's love, together! Thank you God for opening my eyes to YOUR plan and the truth that You can work miracles through us WHEREVER you've planted us.
There are so many other reasons we chose to homeschool. Family time, space for sibling relationships to grow, a slower-paced schedule, allowing our kids to be kids and play, having control over what our kids learn and when, fostering joy, and most importantly giving our ALL to discipling and training our kids up in God's ways. The grades, achievements, and other stuff doesn't really matter. In the end we are each responsible for living a life undaunted for the Lord--no matter what schooling method He calls your family to.