Many years ago, my parents made a radical decision to keep their children home with them—no daycare, no preschool, no kindergarten, no elementary school, no middle school, no junior high, and no high school. Their brave decision then will change generations for centuries, because each one of my siblings and I are equally committed to homeschooling our children, should the Lord so bless us.
The reasons for my personal decision to homeschool future children are myriad. I could tell you about my academic experience—how I never scored below 90% on an achievement test, or how I was reading the Little House on the Prairie series as a five year-old, or how I scored in the 96th percentile on my SAT, or how I had the freedom to compose novels and practice piano and violin to my heart’s content. I could defend my socialization skills, my diploma, my lack of interest in the prom, and the legality of it all. I could remind you that I learned Spanish, I had science labs, and I took tests like everyone else. No, I didn’t sleep in or do school in my pajamas—I woke up between five-thirty and six every morning with every fifteen minutes of my day scheduled on a piece of paper.
But, when it comes right down to it, I’m not going to homeschool my children for superior test scores or geeky bragging rights. My children will meet the state requirements and they will learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and beyond. Perhaps they will exceed requirements and soar above average percentile scores. (On average, the approximately 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States consistently score in the 80th percentile, compared to their public school counterparts who come in at the 50th percentile .) That’s just a bonus, though.
That’s just what I keep in my back pocket to tell all those non-homeschoolers who cannot fathom why I would be horrified to let my children sit in a humanistic, God-hating classroom for 14,000 of the most formative hours of their lives. That’s what I say when I know my acquaintance will count catty cliques and bratty bullies as part of the experience. That’s what I report to those who are obsessed with IQs and Ivy League colleges.
However, to those who seem the least bit interested, I will gladly expound on my empirical reason for homeschooling: I will homeschool my children to disciple them. Just as I grew up beside Mama, listening to her read Miller stories at lunch, helping her feed squash to baby sister, and learning a spiritual principle for every letter in the alphabet, so I want my kids to do the same. Just as I grew up knowing that every morning, like it or not, Papa would be kissing me awake before the sun was up, teaching a tableful of sleepy children about God and Scripture, so I want for my children. Just as I realized my responsibility before God as a human and a sinner and submitted my life to His Lordship at an early age, so I pray with all my heart will happen for my children.
While I know that God is sovereign, and He has and will continue to use government and Christian schools mercifully in children’s lives, I don’t want my thirteen year-old girl to worry about attracting cute guys, and I don’t want my ten year-old son to know who Taylor Lautner is. I do not want to spend the hour between seven and eight every morning seeing my children off to school and the time from three to eight every evening doing damage control against worldly-wise kids, “health” class, and a secular humanist worldview, only to repeat the same process the next day.
In Matthew 22:36-38, Jesus quoted directly from Deuteronomy 6 to provide the greatest commandment in the Law. The verses after that command, however, provide a sobering reality check to anyone who is or aspires to be a parent:
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).”
I will homeschool because I belong to Jesus and His Word commands me to disciple my children. Is there any other option?
Mikaela is blessed to be the daughter of Steve and Jennifer, a sister to five wonderful siblings, and engaged to an incredible, godly man. She is a homeschool graduate who runs a music studio, blogs at One Bright Corner with her twin sister, Lauren, and works behind-the-scenes on the Christian Heritage blog and newsletter. Her identity is a blood-washed child of the King, her heart belongs to God, and her passions are glorifying God through family discipleship, music, godly femininity, and writing.
 Homeschool Progress Report 2009 http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/ray2009/2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf
“Hutton Family Homework 800x600," © 1953/2006 Robin Hutton. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.
Posted on June 17, 2013 in Family Discipleship, Homeschooling