Schooling At Home: How
Before this post even begins, let us make one thing clear. We realize that the area of how children are educated can be very controversial – especially amongst Christians. Know that this is a story of our own journey and how God has led us to decide, for this year, how we would educate the little ones He has entrusted to us. We do not stand in judgement of others who believe God has led them down a different road. I went to both private and public schools growing up and Kevin was in public school his whole elementary and high school career. Together, we have experienced everything but homeschooling and we are excited about the unknown that God has asked us to journey into. Making the decision about how our children will be educated is a very serious one and that is why we will re-evaluate after each school year and for each child to make sure that every need is being met and to maintain a constant openness and willingness to submit to God’s plan whatever that might be.
Kevin and I started thinking more seriously about schooling options about 2 and a half years ago when we lived in Louisville and were surrounded by friends who had school-aged kids and had to think about it more than we would have normally thought about it at the time. Over the years we went back and forth – weighing the positive and negative of all of our options whether schooling in a public arena, private or at home. One of the biggest deciding factors for us that we learned was important in making the decision was to look at the options depending on your location. At the time, in Louisville, we had some incredible options and had already decided on a school for our girls if we were to be there when they were school age. As God had it, we ended up in another place and have had to look at our options once more. We do not feel that public school is a good option for us considering our location and the schools that we are zoned for. We do not believe that our kids are to be “testing grounds” to throw out into the system in hopes that it might improve. Our little Ashtyn is at a ripe, tender, young age and while we see fruit of her knowing and loving Jesus, we still are not sure if she knows Him in a personal way. We feel it would be detrimental to her to put her in the care of people that we don’t know and that may not love Jesus and to have her peers be one’s that may cause her to stumble because she can not yet stand on her own.
Naturally, private school was the next thing we looked at. One was too expensive, and the other seemed the perfect fit – a Christian academy that is multi-racial and has phenomenal staff and Christian leadership. We had at one point decided that this would be where we would send Ashtyn for kindergarten but both Kevin and I (after praying and thinking alot!) still did not have a peace about the decision. Our lack of peace did not come from a lack of confidence in the school but rather on our conviction of God’s Word and how we felt we needed to be applying it to our lives concerning educating and spiritually nurturing our daughters. I struggled with feeling in-adequate to even think about the task of home education and also struggled with the difficulties it would bring to our family life – wanting to have more time to myself rather than busying my days even more with having to do school! God showed me my selfish heart and my lack of trust in Him. If He was asking me to play the role of teacher, He promised to equip me. While choosing to homeschool is the harder road, God made me willing and even excited at the possibilities and potential it would bring for my girl’s individually and also for our family as a whole. The road is harder because there is no promised “freedom” as the world likes to call it. Once you get your kids in school, you are free as mom to focus more on your hobbies or getting that body back into perfect shape at the gym or going to lunch with girlfriends, or even entering back into the work force to raise the family income and make things more comfortable. Wow. These were alot of the things I had to stare in the face and I had to search my own heart to see how I was defining my role as wife and mom. I asked myself alot of questions and searched God’s Word to help me think through my motives. And Kevin has pastored our family so well through this whole process – leading us to the decision to school at home and to understand why we are doing it from a Biblical perspective. This brings us to the WHY of schooling at home which we will attempt to answer for you in the days to come.
Whatever your decision – God already has the “how” planned out for your life if you are not already there. You will be led to a decision one way or another of how you will educate your kids. If you were like us – with only little ones at home, do not think that you can save the decision making for later. Later will come quicker than you think! Start praying and asking God to help you to think Biblically now and look at all of your options never ruling out one in your head until God says no. How you educate our children is going to look different for each family given circumstances, location and personal convictions. Be willing and open your heart to God and let Him do the rest.