With the return of school buses, back packs, and the hustle and bustle of summer being over, everyone is going back to school. We started school three weeks ago, so it’s business as usual for us.
We home school our children and as a result, the question my wife and I often hear this question: “why in the word l would you want to do that?” More people probably think the question than ask it.
After all, we live in St. Johns County, people move here just for the schools. We have some of the best schools in the state. We have leaders on the school board who care about Christian values. We have lots of involved teachers, parents, and administrators who really do care about the education of the children in the system.
So why would we spend all of the time, expense, and effort required to educate our children at home. I mean, are we even qualified? Neither Claire or I have a teaching degree, so we shouldn’t be teaching our children, right? Not to mention that all kids who are home schooled are socially inept. Or at least those are some of the objections that we often hear.
For us, it was a decision that involved a lot of thought, discussion, and prayer. Initially, it wasn’t really want we “wanted” to do. Although I was home schooled through 4th grade, Claire and I both went to middle school and high school in this county. I had some great teachers along the way, many of whom where better than those I had in college. But something kept drawing us back to home schooling.
We wrestled with the decision for quite sometime but really believe that God was calling us to home school our boys.
There were a few key reasons that lead us to this decision: Faith, Family, and Flexibility.
Our faith is of the utmost importance to us. We strongly desire to share our faith with others and most importantly, with our children. Home schooling gives us the ability to see how God works through all subjects and is the creator of all things. While in the public school system, education and faith are required to be separate things, home schooling allows us to explore how God is involved in everything.
Family time matters to us. My business allows me to work from home and make decisions about where to spend my time. This allows me to be with our family more. Home schooling does the same thing with the boys schedule. Claire and I have the incredible opportunity of watching the boys learn to count, read, and grow in every area.
Since I work for myself, my hours are very flexible. I am not bound to the typical 9-5 or Monday through Friday work week. I set my own hours based on the needs of my family and the business. Home schooling gives us that same flexibility. We aren’t forced to rush the kids out the door in the morning or adjust our schedules to match the school calendar. If we want to vacation while everyone else is in school, we can do that. The unique combination of working from home and home schooling gives us an incredibly flexible schedule.
In addition, the flexibility and customization of the education our boys receive is pretty incredible. We are able to custom tailor the curriculum and learning plan for each boy based on their specific gifts, talents, and abilities (and weaknesses). If they are stronger in one subject, we can push them ahead while providing extra care or attention in areas they may need more help.
The biggest objection often levied against home school children is that they don’t get enough social interaction and as a result, become hermit crabs or some variation there of. That claim often comes from those who have little to no experience with home school children other than the random outliers.
While it may be true that some home school children don’t get much social interaction, that is not true about our children or the vast majority of other home school families we know. Not to mention that there are plenty of children in public and private school who have just as much trouble with social interaction.
Our children are constantly around other kids their age and those younger and older than them. They are in large group settings at Church on Sunday, at small group on Wednesdays, social co-op, academic co-op, sports actives, and get togethers with friends. There is no shortage of social interaction for our children and it’s not something that even mildly concerns us.
Home schooling is not for everyone, nor is public or private school. We are thankful to live in a country were we have the freedom to educate our children the way we believe will be best for them.
It’s not the easy path, but for us, it is the right path.