Should you homeschool your children? We’re going to talk about homeschooling, and is that something that you should do?
Well, the most important thing, of course, to understand is that if you are a mom or a dad, it’s your responsibility “to train up your children in the way that they should go,” says Proverbs 22:6, “And, bring them up in the nurture and in the admonition of the Lord,” says the New Testament (see Ephesians 6:4).
The big responsibility there is very clear. Now, the Bible doesn’t ever mention homeschooling, so we have to base it on principles.
Considering the Influence of Public School
Here’s a principle: the people that you hang around with influence you. There’s no way that you can send your children to school without them being influenced.
Well, that’s the whole reason they’re going to school: to learn to be influenced by their teachers, and hopefully in a good way. But, they’re also going to be influenced by their peers.
Does that mean it’s wrong to send your kids to school and it’s absolutely forbidden? No, I would never ever say that. Everybody has to figure this out for themselves. But, you have a huge job if you’re sending your kids to school to watch closely how they’re being influenced and to counteract successfully that influence.
If you’re not successfully counteracting it, you should be very, very concerned about that. It is much easier to have a greater influence on your children the more time that you spend with them. Well, that’s obvious. If you’re turning them over to somebody else to influence for the majority of the day, then you’ve got to work hard to counteract that. Is that possible? Oh, yes, very so much.
Counteracting Negative Ifluences
I’ve known some wonderful Christian parents who have succeeded in that and they’re great parents. They knew they were sending their kids everyday into a hostile zone and they were hoping to use this to prepare them for the real world because the real world is a nasty place, and that is one credit.
Often the Christians who say that you shouldn’t homeschool say, “You’re protecting your children, overly protecting them.” That’s true of some homeschoolers that are living these very sequestered lives where the kids have no idea what it means to interact with any other human beings besides their immediate family members.
Let’s try to strike a balance whether you homeschool or whether you send your kids to a school, public, private, whatever.
Sending Your Children to a Christian School
I think most Christian parents would rather, if they’re going to have to send their kids to school, want to send them to a Christian school. Because they think that will be a better influence. And, naturally, it will, but it’s very expensive.
For that same reason, many parents cannot homeschool, because both mom and dad have to work. Now, I want you to think about that, too. Because if it’s possible for you to live on one income, then the other parent could conceivably educate the children.
Sometimes the reason moms and dads both work is not because they really have to work but because they have adopted and embraced a lifestyle that gives them more material advantages. But there’s always a trade off, isn’t there? For everything you gain, you have to give up something. When you’re chasing after the American dream, you have to sacrifice time with your kids. You want to think about that, moms and dads.
What Really Matters
I hope you can see the general attitude I’m trying to convey is one of not taking a side in this issue.
I would never ever say that a homeschoolers, they’re the only ones who are doing right by their kids. There are in the extreme fringes within the homeschool movement, you have some really weird folks homeschooling their kids and their kids are being influenced by their weirdness even within the “Christian” world.
By the same token, there are parents who just drop their kids off at school or let them get on the bus. It’s like turning them over to demons, to be influenced by demons all day long. Then they come home, and you can see these nasty things they come home with. And your children change before your eyes.
Kids love their families at first, because mom and dad are everything. But, often times when kids go to school, the most important people in their lives become their peers. That’s who they want to please the most. They don’t really care as much if they please mom and dad, and it’s natural to want to please your mom and dad.
The Great Value of Homeschooling
I’m encouraging everyone to strongly consider homeschooling. My wife and I homeschooled our three kids. That was years ago because I’m about 59 years old. Now, my kids are grown, married and have kids of their own. We were doing it at a time when it was weird. When you told people that your kids are at home being schooled, they thought that was weird.
Now, there are millions of people who are doing it. And not just within the Christian community. And they do it for different reasons: I think I can give my child a better education. I can customize my classroom for my kids because I know where they’re all at.
And that is one negative thing about sending your kid to a public or private school, if they’re lagging behind developmentally. Which, often times, boys generally lag behind girls developmentally.
Teaching Your Children at Their Own Pace
Little boys who have great potential are stuck in classes where they start feeling like they’re stupid because they’re not as smart as the other kids. Eventually, after a few months, they decide, “Well, I’m just stupid.”
That’s branded in their brains. Whereas if they’ve been in a homeschool where mom and dad could take it slow and let them develop to reach the natural maturity where they could grasp and comprehend the things that they definitely will grasp and comprehend, then they don’t start off having that negative feeling about themselves. Again, you just customize it for them.
Albert Einstein, I think he was homeschooled, if that tells you anything at all. In fact, I think when he was young, they sent him home and said, “You can’t teach this kid.”
I hope that gives you a few things to think about in this little lesson. There is no pat answer. Every mom and dad have to work through all the factors for themselves and all the rest of us need to love each other and encourage each other. Amen. That’s the most important thing. Thanks for joining me! God bless.