I’m very excited to share why we homeschool, but before I dive in I want to make it very clear that although we arrived at the decision to homeschool through the direction of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures, I do not believe homeschool to be Scripturally mandated or required of all Christians at all. In other words this is a Biblically based preference that our family holds to. I’ve talked with many Christ exalting families about their education choices and I love to hear their thoughts, they have some good ones! Ultimately I believe the most important thing we can do when making education decisions for our children is to pray for wisdom, look at God’s Word, and examine how our choice will help facilitate our children to know and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and to equip them to serve Him for life in whatever He may call them to. I believe the absolute worst thing we can do is to just “go with the flow” and do what everyone else is doing simply because they are doing it or because it’s what has always been done. It’s okay to go against the grain, it’s okay to be different, and it’s even okay to do something different than was done for you.
I never wanted to be a homeschool mom.
I will be really honest, growing up I thought the homeschool kids were weird (I should clarify that this was before I was a Christ follower). When I only had the first two girls, myself still young in the faith, they were little toddlers, and I planned to get a job as soon as all my kids started school. I wanted them to have all the fun experiences of going to school: first day of school excitement, back packs, lockers, school basketball games, and bus rides. I also wanted the experience of having a break every day and doing something “more important” with my time, like having a job or pursuing goals and dreams, or maybe even ministry. Sending them to school just made sense! (This was clearly unBiblical thinking, but I didn’t see it then).
The Lord changed my heart. When I examined my desires I began to see that I was thinking only of temporal things that really will not matter in the end. What did I really want for my children more than anything: I wanted these children to know and love the Lord! As I began to examine God’s Word, I began to see that He had been perfectly equipping me as the best person for the job of teaching and training their minds and hearts. And I was certainly willing to sacrifice my time and energy (possibly even my sanity on some days) if necessary.
I’m fully aware that homeschooling can not guarantee that my children will know and love the Lord, that is something only God can do! And I diligently pray for Him to do that. But I want to be wise, and I know that wisdom comes from the Lord. And the Lord led me to these Scriptures (shared below) to call me into this amazing job of homeschooling my children, I trust Him and will obey what He has commanded me by His grace and through the power of His Spirit within me.
However, I hang all my homeschooling efforts on this one verse:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
The Lord has called me to labor to build my home and train my children, also to be a guard over my children’s souls, but all of this is in vain if the Lord does not build the house! He does the work, and anything I do apart from Him is nothing!
So Here is Why we Homeschool:
To give Christ centered education
Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
I really like the way it reads in NLT: For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen
First and foremost the Lord has placed on our hearts to make our lives and all we do centered on Christ because all things are centered on Him. This includes education! We want to teach them through the lens of the Scripture and with the purpose of bringing glory to Christ. I feel like our home is the best option for us to do this. There are some wonderful Christian schools out there that do this very well, but we feel homeschool is a better fit for us due to the other reasons below.
To train them in the way they should go
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it
The eight hours a day that children are in school are hours of training, and there are way too many things that I can’t train my children in properly if they are away in school for those hours being trained in another way. The goals that I find in Scripture to pursue with my children will be easiest to pursue if they are with me in the home. Especially with having daughters, part of training them in the way they should go is training them with the life-skills of managing a home well. They will be at a huge disadvantage if they are gone during the work hours of the day. I want them to watch me and to participate in homemaking. In their older years I would like for them to participate in ministry and service to the body as well as learning a trade or possibly starting a small business which are things we see the Proverbs 31 woman doing. Whether the Lord calls them to ministry, marriage, motherhood, work, or all, I want them to be fully equipped and trained. The home is the perfect environment for all of this!
to not exasperate them
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
I truly feel that traditional school can be exasperating for children because of the worldly influences that they will inevitably be exposed to. It is very exasperating to have household rules based on Scripture while the world through friends or teachers is shaping a child’s thoughts. Even in private Christian settings I fear I would run into this dilemma. Children from many different backgrounds, training, and denominations may attend a Christian school; and children are not yet capable of choosing friends wisely. Goodness, this can be hard for even me, so I know it is a hard task for kids. They also believe everything they are told and lack discernment. I just don’t think it is right or fair to ask this of my kids until they have been properly trained and equipped to battle the lies of the world which are so often disguised as “christian” and/or true. And as I explained above, I need this time during the day to fully bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. This job was given to the fathers and as my husband’s helpmeet, it is also given to me. I don’t feel right about handing off this job to another unless there was an extenuating circumstance such as an illness or a death (I pray not, but these things can happen) or something of that nature making homeschool an impossibility for us.
to guard their hearts
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
All of our actions come from what is in our hearts, the same is true for our children. There is already sin in their hearts and it comes out in their actions, but the more that false thinking and wrong influences get in, the more that those sinful actions will grow. Conversely, the more that Scripture and right thinking are put into their hearts, the more their conviction over that sin will grow because that is God speaking to us and His Word is living and active (even in kids!) Also, I can not fully guard their hearts or teach them how to guard their own hearts if I’m away from them for 8 hours each day. I will have absolutely no idea what is being put in there. The best way for me to guard their hearts with diligence is to be with them.
Dear Christ-following Moms,
I encourage you to begin praying now: “Lord give me wisdom, discernment, and clarity from your Word in regards to choosing education for my children.” Seek out the wisdom of God which is only found in His Word to make this life-changing decision for your kids. You may not arrive at homeschool, you may find a private Christian school to be a better option for you. If your child is a strong professing believer who has been well taught and has a solid foundation of Christ Jesus in the Word, then you may even find that your child desires to be “a public school missionary” (I personally would only recommend this for high school, the younger years are too impressionable.) Whatever you do, don’t make this decision without prayer and seeking out what God would have you to do in the Bible. Every thing we do in life, we should be able to say, “I was lead to do this because of what the Lord has shown me in His Word…” If you can’t say that right now about the educational decisions you have made, then please be encouraged to start now, it is never too late to begin making your parenting decisions according to the wisdom of God!
For your further Pursuit
* Proverbs 13:20 * Deuteronomy 11:18-19 * Joel 1:3 *
* 2 Timothy 3:15 * Deuteronomy 6:7-9 * Psalm 71:17 *
* I love the thoughts from this guest post on Road to 31 in regards to reasons Christian families homeschool. *
* Confessions of a Homeschooler has been a very helpful resource for me, especially when starting out! She has wonderful printables, ideas, and free rescources. Here is her post on why she homeschools her children. *
* I have recently also shared why I year round school as a guest post over at My Joy Filled Life if you would like to read more of my homeschooling thoughts and perspectives on education. *