10 Reasons We Homeschool by Camille Kendall
Every homeschool mom has been tempted to throw in the towel at some point. Here are 10 reasons to keep going.
Reason 1: If you stop homeschooling and enroll your children at the school down the road, you will have to have them all up, dressed, fed, and outside waiting for the bus by 6:45 every weekday morning with their books and school supplies in tow. Personally, with seven school-age children living under one roof, I don’t think that is humanly possible.
Reason 2: If you stop homeschooling, you will have to graciously endure comments such as, “I knew that homeschooling thing was a totally hare-brained idea. It’s good to see you finally came to your senses and decided to do the rational thing.” Of course, such comments will come repeatedly and enthusiastically from those unsympathetic relatives who have offered so little help and encouragement all along.
Reason 3: Those same dear relatives will also offer the following words of comfort: “Now your kids can finally be normal.” Gack! Now there’s one compelling reason to not give up! Visit your local shopping mall on a Saturday night, take a long look around, and ask yourself if you really want your kids to become “normal.”
Reason 4: At our house, homeschooling means our children have a diverse people group influencing and shaping their lives—70-year-old grandparents, 90-year-old WWII veterans, middle-aged farmers, college professors, trapping buddies, young cousins, and children of family friends. Giving up and going the more “normal” route would mean limiting their peer group primarily to a knot of same-aged friends with little life experience, diversity, or wisdom.
Reason 5: If you give up and send the kids away to school, who will feed and take care of the chickens? And the horses? And the cow? And the family dogs and cats? Who will check the boys’ trap line every day, and who will tend the bees and cultivate the orchard? Who will help with the four to five loads of daily laundry, and who will cut and split firewood for the fireplace? Do you really want to take all that responsibility on yourself?!!
Reason 6: If you give up, just think of the educational opportunities you will miss. Already in my homeschool “career,” I’ve mastered advanced algebra, discovered the difference between world history and the history of Western civilization, contemplated Plato, recited Samuel Taylor Coleridge, conjugated a verb in a foreign language, learned a few basic principles of economics . . . oooooooh, this is just way too much fun to give it up!
Reason 7: Babies are beautiful; toddlers are terrific; preschoolers are precious; elementaries are exciting; pre-teens are precocious; high schoolers are absolutely fantastically amazing. Do you really want to miss even one single stage of this incredible journey?
Reason 8: I can’t think of anything more intensely sanctifying than living together in the crucible of shared family experiences. In this context, none of us can escape the reality of our own sinfulness, and none of us has the opportunity to go too long without the correction, compassion, and/or encouragement of a brother or sister or parent or child. Each of us is challenged by those around us—those who observe us constantly and who see us without a facade—to align our practice with our faith, to love our Lord and our neighbor “not in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth.” Call it Extreme Sanctification: Homeschool Edition. Where else will you find so many daily opportunities to run to the Cross, to repent, and to rest in the sufficiency of the work of Christ, if you give up homeschooling?
Reason 9: Homeschooling is an investment not only in your children, but also in their children, and in their grandchildren after them. It is an investment in your church and your community and in the churches and communities and countries where your descendants will live and have influence as adults. Imagine the long-term “returns” of continued investment over a lifetime—and don’t ever give up!
Reason 10: What would you give this homeschool labor up for—what would you have instead? A clean, quiet, orderly house? A career and a sense of relevance in the broader culture? Another income for your financially strapped family? Time to develop under-used talents and pursue suppressed dreams? I would have given up homeschooling for all of these and more, at different points in the journey, but God in His good providence thwarted me.
Now, with two adult children and more on the very brink of manhood and womanhood, what encouragement can I offer to not give up? Persevere, for the rewards truly will far, far outweigh the costs. Words cannot express the joy and the humble amazement that are mine when I look at the children God has given me and consider the men and women they are becoming—nor can words convey the depth of gratitude I feel for God’s allowing me, even constraining me, to participate in His purposes for them.
*This article published January 25, 2010
Copyright 2009. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Fall 2009. Used with permission. Visit them at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.