Issues to consider when Deciding to Homeschool

When it comes right down to it, there is but one issue to consider when deciding whether homeschooling is right for your family – that being the question of whether or not you believe the public school system is adequately preparing your child to be a moral, productive member of society.

Is it truly in your child’s best interest to spend the majority of their time in age segregated classrooms with adults who may or may not share your family’s system of values?

God’s word tells us that it is the parents, not the government who are responsible for the raising up of children.

When considering homeschooling we are bombarded with issues of what curriculum to use, whether or not we will have the time to devote to teaching our children and the ever present accusation that children must be around other children in order to become socially adept.

Curriculum can be pieced together from a variety of sources depending on your child’s interests and ability. Curriculum decisions are not set in stone and homeschoolers often find that real-world experience serves just as well if not better than “book learning”.

Society has indoctrinated us with the belief that education can only occur when an adult stands before a group of children for 8 hours a day, filling their heads with facts and figures to be recalled at test time and then quickly discarded. However, studies have shown that it takes an average of 30 hours for an individual to learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic. Once that foundation is established, there is no limit to the amount of knowledge a child may master in a reasonably short period of time. Feel like you need a routinely scheduled “school day” to effectively educate your child at home, but also faced with the need to work? Many curricula, including computer-based, offer such structure in a manner geared specifically towards independent learning, with the parents serving more as facilitators than teachers standing at the front of the class.

Anyone struggling with the question of socialization need only look at the generations of children coming out of the public school system and at the society around us comprised of them. As a dear friend of mine recently stated, “why would I send my 10 year old to school for socialization, the only thing he will learn by being surrounded by other 10 year olds is how to be a 10 year old!” As author and homeschooling parent Rick Boyer explains in “The Socialization Trap”, the real world is not segregated by age. He goes on to point out the pitfalls of peer grouping as opposed to the Biblical tenets of raising children to respect the old and show tenderness towards the young – traits that cannot be learned when you spend 13 years surrounded by other people your own age.

When it comes right down to, parents considering homeschooling only have one issue to consider – is sending the children through the public education system truly in the best interest of the child or do we merely perceive it to be so because that is what present society encourages?