Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

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To School or to Home School?

Home Schooling Creates Security in Your Children

Published on: Jul 29, 2008

I do not have children. My wife and I married late in life so we past our childbearing years. Little did I know that a woman’s prime for bearing children is between puberty and 27. A woman can have children after 27 but the statistics are that difficulties in bearing children increase after that time. It was a great blow to me since I wanted to be a father. However, one has to learn to roll with the punches. I make it a point to encourage all young women to have a family when they meet the man that is right for them, and not to postpone it because of careers or a need to feel financially secure.

I state this as a disclaimer. I understand that I do not have first hand experience raising children. However, I have coached gymnastics for 30 years and have watched the athletes I have trained grow up. So I have second hand experience that I believe is still a valuable contribution to the topic of child rearing.

In the last 15 years I have had a home school class in gymnastics. It is a natural use of the gym which is not used during the mornings and noon times, except for pre-school classes and Mommy and Me classes, since the vast majority of kids come to gymnastics after school. But the home schooled children have flexible morning schedules, which makes offering them classes during the daytime a natural business move.

Many of the kids from my home school classes have gone on to the afternoon team programs. I have noticed that they are often great athletes. It is not because they are more naturally talented or more intelligent, per se. But they have one common characteristic that has helped them immensely: security. Gymnastics is more about self confidence, in one sense, than anything else. Yes, they have to develop strength, flexibility, agility and a good sense of timing and spatial awareness. But a talented child with no self confidence will learn slower than the confident child with less talent.

Why do the home school kids seem to have more self confidence? I believe the answer lies in the shock and trauma that children experience in the institutions of education, whether public or private. I believe that it is a subtle trauma to leave the comfort and security of the home and family to spend 8 hours a day with many strangers. Schools are a trying experience for everyone, especially the Jr High and High School years. Bullies, name calling, peer pressure and the like are common to all who go to school.

But the children who stay with the parents and are taught by their parents retain the security of the home environment. Even when the parents can not home school more than a few years, that experience of being taught by the parents tells the children that their parents care about them enough to spend that time teaching them. There are parents who watch over the education of their children in the institutions, but they do not have the intimacy of directly teaching their children. I commend all parents who go over the homework of their children with their children because that is closer to teaching them than simply farming the kids off to the schools.

It is a common objection to home schooling that their children will miss the socialization of the schools. Really? I already mentioned the bullies, the name calling and peer pressure of schools. Is that the socialization you want? But there is a greater fault in socialization of schools that lies underneath this that children should not be a part of. That is living in a society of your peers only. Society in general is made up of multiple generations. There are many ethnic families who still have the grandparents, parents, children and sometimes great grand children living in the same home or near enough that they gain that experience. But most American families do not live that way anymore. Adult children move far from their parents, and the grand parents were not a frequent part of the family.

Home school kids tend to experience the multi-generational relationships that make for healthy socialization. Since many parents are not knowledgeable in all topics, they frequently join home school co-ops where the labor can be shared. Home school kids gain multi-generational experiences in these co-ops, and at home, because the groups are small and kids are not divided by age alone, but by educational level.

I encourage all Christian parents, in fact all parents, to home school their kids. The reasons to home school, in my mind, far out number the reasons for the institutions. More home schooled kids are getting scholarships to the Ivy League universities. They are outscoring the institutional kids in the SATs and other tests. Why? Because no one really cares about your child the way that you do. Neither will anyone take the time to work through their problems, and adapt the teaching to their learning styles like you will.

And for Bible believers, whether Jewish or Christian, no where does the Bible teach that parents should abandon their children’s education to others. Over and over again in the Bible the parents are told to teach their children. When parents face God in judgment, only the parents will be accountable for the raising of their children. To be sure, everyone is accountable for their influence upon the children as well as their influence upon others. But the responsibility for raising the children is given by God to the parents, not the state or church institutions that create private schools.

Consider my recommendation seriously. I have seen the self confidence and sense of security in the home school kids. I also see kids in home schools that have innate insecurities from other sources, and I can imagine the grief they would have if they were in the institutions of education. What greater love can you show your children than to take the time to teach them about life?

Comments to Original Post

Amy
Submitted on 07/29/2008

Alex,

I completely agree with you in everything you said. Honestly. In fact, I was a teacher for 3 years after college (I have my Masters in Education). I taught two years in a public elementary school and the last year in a private Christian school.

My reasons were many as to why I left this profession. I loved my students. They, themselves, were NOT part of my leaving. In fact, that final year of teaching is when I came to the exact conclusions that you mention here in your Blog. Institutional schooling does far more damage to youth than most people can even possibly imagine.
It’s sad to say…but true.

I agree with you, Alex. I highly encourage all parents to strongly consider home-schooling. In fact, if one parent has already planned on working from home, or doesn’t have to work, I strongly suggest they consider homeschooling. It would be of the highest benefit to their child academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally.

In fact, Alex, you are very ccorrect when you say home-schooled kids learn to be confident, caring, well-adjusted individuals.

Many parents do worry that their kids will have social problems. However, that is a common misnomer. There are so many athletic and extracurricular programs parents can enroll their kids in to form peer relationships. So, that’s not a viable “excuse.” Additionally, I’d say most importantly, the act itself of taking the time to school your child SHOWS them great love. Your kid will know that in their hearts, regardless of if they tell you so.

I’m single and do not have children. But if, or when I do, it’s my desire to home-school them.

~Amy 🙂

Editor
Submitted on 07/29/2008

Amy,
I hope you do have children. I am positive that you will be an incredible mother. As I said in the beginning of the blog, when you meet the right man – right in that you know it is Father’s will for you to marry him – don’t hesitate to have your family. Our world will be better because of your being a mother.

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