Why do we home school? This is a very interesting question that you should ask yourself, and then ask your children. Yes, ask your children. Why? Because they’ll speak to the heart of why you truly home school, or at least what you vocalize as your reason for homeschooling. Brace yourself, you may be shocked at the answer you get, and the attitude with which it’s conveyed. I was, and as a result I had to redirect and clarify to my children why home education was the Stapp family way of doing things.
My wife and I (mainly my wife) had decided when my oldest son was finished with the second grade that we would start home schooling. His second grade year had been rough, very rough. He wasn’t doing well academically at all, and nothing seemed to motivate him. We had teacher conference after teacher conference, we made ourselves available anytime to deal with his lack of motivation.
That being said we got one call from the teacher, for an episode that was it. We were constantly being told that he needed to be medicated, for ADD, ADHD, and some other kind of condition that escapes my memory. The fact of the matter is we did everything we knew to do, discipline, intense one on one work, etc. Finally, we came to the conclusion that our boy was not geared towards traditional modern day education. It was time for us to make a change, and home education was our best option.
My reasons in the beginning for homeschooling, at least for me were never god centered, they were centered in my contempt for the public school system, and the advance of liberal ideologies, and their political agendas etc. It wasn’t until many years later that I tried an experiment, an experiment that I would encourage you to try. I was going to ask my children why we homeschool, following the adage that “more is caught than taught”.
Surely, since my change of heart and my new dedication to home discipleship my sons would have a fresh new bold understanding of why we educated them at home, and due to their stellar education they would be able to convey it in an intelligible manner, right? Surprise, surprise, ready for the answer? My two older boys exclaimed, “because the public school system sucks!”
Whoa, really? Is this what I had taught my sons over the many, many years of their education? The fact of the matter was yes, as ugly as it sounded, it reflected my attitude perfectly. It was time to sit down and explain to all of our children why we homeschool, and my dissappointment with their choice of words to express it.
So now I ask you, why do you home educate your children, and can your children convey that if they were asked? I now can say yes, yes they can. My children now understand that home education is one of the greatest tools we have to disciple them in the love and admonition of the Lord, Eph 6:4. We have one shot, one chance at bringing our children up with a Godly vision, a Godly purpose that transcends what this world teaches is success.
It’s so much more than my feeble indictment against the school system, and all that comes with it. The important thing now is that my children realize and understand that home education is so much more than just an educational option, it’s a pivotal way of life, it’s discipleship, it’s family.
Check out Joe’s website for Rite of Passage 2: Men Do Hard Things, a new documentary about a boy’s journey into manhood!