“Do you want to be homeschooled?” I asked my then 4 year-old-son.
“Homeschooling? Does that mean we study at home?”
“Who will be my teacher?”
“Me!” I said with a wide grin. He looked at me as if I had said something so absurd and protested, “NO!”
That was how our homeschooling journey began.
Four years after that conversation, I found myself in a gathering of eager moms and dads in an orientation for homeschooling parents. My husband urged me to consider homeschooling after our son came home from school one day proudly announcing how he and his classmates managed to elude their teacher and sneak out of the classroom because the teacher wouldn’t allow them to go out during class hours. We were shocked that our second grader had learned to cut class and the teacher didn’t even notice his absence when there were only 15 students in the class! This made us realize that even if the school’s values were the same as ours (at least on paper), there was no guarantee that our son will truly develop the character traits that we wanted him to have. There were far too many people and factors around him that would influence him during the time that he is away from home.
After much prayer and searching, we learned God’s design for our family’s education from Deuteronomy 6:6-7:
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” (NIV).
We realized that God was calling us to educate our children ourselves. He was posing to us a command and a challenge that if we wanted our children to grow up in His ways, we should be their primary teacher and discipler.
At the homeschool orientation, the speaker, Edric Mendoza (who is also one of the strongest advocates of homeschooling in the country heading what was then the TMA Homeschool [now Homeschool Global]) started his talk with exactly the same Bible verses and said that he believed that it was the basis for homeschooling. My husband and I couldn’t have been more certain that this was God’s will for our family.
We took the bold step of pulling out our kids from conventional school in the middle of that school year and started our first quarter of homeschooling. It has been an adventure of faith and fun ever since.
Why did we homeschool and why should you? I can only give two reasons:
First, because of the certainty that it is God’s will for our family. We took the challenge of homeschooling only because we were certain that we were called to homeschool. Now that I serve as a Family Advisor at Homeschool Global, I have spoken to many families, both homeschooling and not. I can say that not all families are meant to homeschool. There are children whose personality and learning preference will be best catered in conventional schools. There are family situations that will best fit the conventional school structure and system. And there are parents whose sanity would be best preserved if their children were not homeschooled. So, if you are asking yourself whether you should homeschool your child, pray and seek God before you make a decision. Along with prayer, do your due diligence and research on what homeschooling is, how it is done, what are the options and resources available to homeschoolers, and where to find support. It also helps to listen to the success stories of those who have homeschooled and made it in life.
Second, do homeschooling because you are committed to teach and train your children. In my experience both as an educator and as a homeschooling mom, I realize that teachers in school teach children while parents train them. It is not easy to be exposed to your own children all day long. They will see your imperfections. And yet, this is the best way to model what it means to have a relationship with God and be totally dependent on Him. Being with your children truly gives you an opportunity to parent them, catch certain behaviors that need correcting, and affirm godly values that they are exhibiting. On a daily basis, you get the chance to catch teaching moments that come in the most unexpected time and place. You get to seize as many opportunities everyday to equip them with life skills while giving them academic knowledge. The result is a child instilled with wisdom because he knows when and how to appropriate knowledge in every life situation.
Homeschooling is a daily feat but grace abounds to the parent who responds to the challenge while fully depending on God. Indeed, God’s homeschool grace is sufficient for you!