Why We Homeschool ~ Part 1

Although we have been homeschooling for quite a while (a little over 5 years, to be exact), we are “officially” beginning our homeschooling journey this week, with Kindergarten.  Although it is not going to take over the blog, you will likely see an increase in homeschool-related posts.  So, I thought this might be a good time to share our homeschooling philosophy…why we are doing what we are doing, and where we stand on several key issues.  It is quite long, and would be far too much to expect anyone to take in all at once.  So, I will be posting it in several parts over the next few days. 

I realize that just the mere mention of the topic of homeschooling can be, and often is, the start of many heated discussions, debates, and arguments.  So, before I begin, I would just like to say that my purpose in writing this is not to question the salvation or the integrity of those parents who have chosen to educate their children in the public schools.  I sincerely hope that each of those families made their decision as we did – with much prayer and purposeful study of God’s Word on this issue.

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But, I do not believe that this is, nor can it be a simple matter of pragmatism – “it works for us, so it is right.”  We do not believe that this just is the best choice for our family.  We believe that it is the best choice.  Period.  We have studied Scripture and prayed about our convictions and the resulting decisions, and we believe them to be biblical.  And, over the years, we will continue to examine our hearts before the Lord, and in light of His Word, on this issue.

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“There are many worthwhile pursuits in this world, but few of them rise to the level of training our children to follow the Lord and keep His commandments.  I desperately want my sons and daughters to walk with God, and I am willing to do whatever it takes, whatever the Bible says I must do in order to be used by God as a means to that end.” (Family Driven Faith, pg. 20)

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I am sure that every homeschooling family has their own reasons for choosing to do so.  And, I am equally sure that those reasons are as varied and unique as the families themselves.  These are our reasons…

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I often say that the simple, or short, answer to the question of why we have chosen to homeschool our child(ren) can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and Luke 6:40. 

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But, in reality, the answer is much longer…. 

“I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.”
~Martin Luther

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“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deut. 6:4-7)

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“The text, please note, doesn’t say, ‘Make sure that this gets done. Make sure your children learn these things.  …when God commands that someone do a job, it is arrogant and disobedient to pass that job on to someone or something else.” (When You Rise Up, pg. 47)

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This passage makes use of a Hebrew idiom: “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” This does not mean that we are to speak of these things only when we are sitting, or walking, or lying down.  It means all the time…not just after school, not just on the weekends, or school breaks – although those times are certainly included.  But, it means all the time, in the context of real life.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4

As parents, we cannot escape the reality of what Scripture teaches about our duty and responsibility in the education, discipling, and training of our children.

“God delegates to parents the authority and responsibility for teaching children.  God requires us to make certain that His Word and principles are applied in a daily, comprehensive manner to the education and upbringing of children.  Furthermore, He will hold us responsible for how we direct the education of our children.” (The Heart of Homeschooling, pg. 15)

“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life….And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord…  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.’” ~1 Samuel 1:10; 20; 27-28 (ESV)

Samuel was the much-longed for answer to Hannah’s prayers.  And, yet from the moment he was born – perhaps the moment he was conceived – she understood something most of us miss.  Samuel was not hers.  He belonged to God.  She was simply the steward, the caretaker of God’s precious child.  And, in obedience to the vow she had made, she willingly gave Samuel back to his rightful owner. 

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Like Samuel, our children are not really ours.

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“‘Tell us, then, what you think.  Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius.  And Jesus said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ They said, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ Matthew 22:17-21

In the same way, our children bear an inscription declaring their rightful owner…and the name on that inscription is not mine.  It is not my husband’s. 

It is God’s.  She is God’s.  She is not mine.

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How can I further delegate a role which has already been delegated to me?  And why, in so doing, would I offer that which rightly belongs to God to a corrupt and immoral system? 

Although today’s public schools claim neutrality on issues of morality, ethics, and truth, education is not neutral.  It is not amoral or irreligious.  It can’t be.  It requires absolutes, true and false, a standard of right and wrong.  Those concepts cannot be properly taught without an absolute authority.  Whose word determines that absolute standard of authority on issues of morality, right and wrong, true and false in the public school system? God’s? Or, man’s?

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” ~Matthew 12:33-35

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If our goal is to raise children, and ultimately, adults who walk with God, who love Christ, who rightly obey and apply Scripture, then we cannot, in good conscience, turn over the discipline and training of their minds (which was entrusted to us, as parents) to a system that is, not just innocuously non-Christian, but blatantly anti-Christian.

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“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.~Luke:6:40

How can I expect my child(ren) to act and think in a biblical manner when they are constantly bombarded with secular, humanistic, anti-biblical ideas and examples? 

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“…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” ~Matthew 18:6

For this reason, we believe that God’s Word must be the authority for both the foundation and content of our child(ren)’s education.  While, yes, this can, and does happen in many Christian schools, we believe that, biblically, the duty and responsibility of educating our children is given to the parents.

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“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.  He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” ~Psalm 78:2-8

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To be continued…

Part 2

Part 3

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11 Comments

Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Homeschooling, Mommyhood, Thinking Biblically

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  • http://www.beingrefinedassilver.blogspot.com Theresa

    Hi Veronica. I am visiting today from iFellowship. I say “Amen” to your post. We are homeschoolers too. Come visit me sometime.
    http://www.beingrefinedassilver.blogspot.com
    ~Theresa

  • http://everydaymommy.net Jules @ Everyday Mommy

    Veronica:

    Thank you for putting your thoughts on this matter in clear, unambiguous terms.

    When attempting to broach this subject with Christians who’ve chosen to place their children in public school I am repeatedly met with one or all of the following responses:

    1. The choice of schooling is just that, a choice. This is our personal conviction and it works for us.

    2. We feel we are being led by the Holy Spirit to place our children in public school (as a witness for Christ, as a light in a dark place, as a soldier on the front lines, etc.)

    3. Why are homeschoolers so judgmental? You’re just a pharisee.

    I’ll be eager to read part 2.

    jules

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  • http://rookiemomma.blogspot.com aurie

    hi! i visited from iFellowship :) thanks for such a consise and easy to read post on home schooling. we have yet to decide if we will homeschool, so i’m trying to gather as much info as possible. hope you can stop by at some point :)
    blessings!

  • Pingback: A Quiet Heart… » Blog Archive » Why We Homeschool ~ Part 2

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  • http://proverbs31wannabe-christy.blogspot.com/ Christy

    This is awesome, Veronica. I can’t wait to read all three parts. Thanks so much for writing this. We struggled so about how to put it into words and you have done so beautifully!

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  • http://dawneshelton.blogspot.com Dawne

    Amen, amen, amen! =)

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