Not About Fear But Opportunity (On Why We Homeschool)

We are just finishing up our first year of homeschooling the little ones.

And so I thought I’d share a little bit about our decision to home educate our two youngest.


Although I homeschooled my middle son for 8th grade, this is the first year i was totally responsible for deciding on and overseeing the curriculum for my Kindergartener and preschooler.

Now, it’s Kindergarten and pre-school so how hard could it be right? Really just to get to the point of actually even attempting to “teach” them myself was a big deal.

In truth in the past I would have never considered homeschooling even in the primary years. I would have be in a hurry to get my kids old enough to “go to school”.

But a lot changed in me, I should say God changed ME in the years since we ran out of options and had to consider homeschooling for my middle son.

Honestly, I’m not a particularly patient person. But once I felt that God was calling me to homeschool I made a conscious decision that I needed to get on board and started praying fervently that God would change me. And He has.

He has given me a longing and desire to teach my children.

But when I talk about homeschooling a question I get asked is whether we homeschool because I’m “afraid” to send my kids to school outside of the home.

And perhaps initially it started with a little bit of fear. Because my tween son was in a public school and had easy access to drugs and after learning about some of the other things that were going on in the school, I did fear for his safety.

But now that son is in high school  but what I learned during that year inspired me to try homeschooling the younger ones this season.

You see what started out as fear for my son soon turned into a great opportunity to get to spend time with him, get to know him better and teach throughout the day.

With my younger ones it was a little different in that I didn’t really feel “afraid” to send my daughter to Kindergarten outside of the home but rather didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to teach her myself. And yes, scary things can happen at schools but I’m a realist and I know scary things can just as easily happen on the road or even at home. So that’s not really my motivation.

I guess having teenagers really has made me realize just HOW fast the years fly by and I wanted to really savor as much time as I can with them.

We had done the traditional school thing with my older boys. They were in school from 8-3, then sports, dinner and several hours of homework. By bedtime we were all tired and we maybe had a few minutes of conversations here and there and perhaps a few minutes of prayer but much of the influence on my boys was happening outside of the home.

I did not want this to be the case with the little ones. Particularly my daughter. I believe God entrusted ME with with my children so that I could raise them in the ways they should go.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19

I have become truly convinced and convicted of this and see it as my holy calling and responsibility to “teach” them.

We only have them for less than a quarter of their lifetimes and as I see it they each have their own “bucket” or maybe “backpack” if you will that they will take with them when they leave home.

While they’re at home my husband and I get to fill their backpacks with the knowledge we believe they will need to be adults in our world. Yes, they should know how to read and understand mathematical concepts, know where countries are located and scientific facts. But I want to fill their buckets will things they can’t learn in traditional classrooms, how to be a good friend, how to seek wise counsel, how to show mercy and kindness to others, and how their true value come from their identity in Christ not in their accomplishments.

I believe it is my responsibility to teach my daughter to be a woman and I want her to leave home one day knowing that there is as much pride in being a homemaker and mother as there is in pursing a PhD.

I want my son to know how to treat a woman, how to be a godly husband and father that it’s OK to be vulnerable. And these are not things he can learn in a classroom.

My greatest goal is to have them leave home with a love of God and their very own relationship with the Lord. Because I may not always be around, and when the storms of life hit and they inevitably will; it’s not their class rank or GPA that will get them through hard times. It will be their faith and the relationships they have cultivated with loved ones who will encourage them through them.

Teaching them at home helps but modeling my own faith daily I believe will have an even greater impact.

I don’t mean any disrespect to teachers. Really, we have close friends and family members who are excellent educators. But if I can be honest, it’s not enough to be a good teacher these days. The school system and curriculum standards can make teaching a challenge.

In the years our older boys have been in school (they are both now in high school), I would say they have had a few excellent teachers and a few terrible ones. Most were probably average. That’s in both public and private schools. They do attend a Christian high school now, that I believe is truly excellent and would consider sending the little ones there one day if it seems like the right thing to do later on.

The bottom line for me during this season is that I’m not afraid of having them attend school outside of the home at all but rather at this point I just think I can do a better job myself.

A ratio of 1 teacher (me) to two students beats any student to teacher ratio. And I know my two students better than anyone. I know their strengths and challenges. I know how to get them to focus and when to take a break.

And yes, having a background in education and school counseling, does help but really it’s being their mom that’s the greatest qualification, whether I had a teaching background or not.

During our school day we talk about kindness, we apologize, we share, we think  and solve problems, we interact with others.  We learn from our everyday lives and that doesn’t stop at 2pm. And yes, we read and practice math too.

Truly, I don’t want to get all political or controversial about the state of our schools or the education system in general. And I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to homeschool their children even if they wanted to. And I get that it’s not for everyone, I believe many can homeschool but it is a calling and may not work for some families.

No matter where our children learn, we are all able to fill their buckets.

I just wanted to share a little bit of our story  in case someone might be considering homeschooling but just not sure they can do it. If you are, please email me as I would love to encourage you on your journey. You can also read more about our own journey here.

 Next week I’ll share a bit more about our “school year” and what we learned.

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  1. I love when you talk about “filling their backpacks.” It paints such a beautiful picture of homeschooling. I have not felt called to homeschool my kids, but I’m a big fan of it. I completely agree that kids are influenced so much from outside people. As you said, most of their influence comes from outside our homes. Good luck with your homeschooling. It sounds like you are going to do a fantastic job!

  2. I do not homeschool but have a huge respect for my friends who do. It’s encouraging to read of other parents who are doing the best they can, following Gods direction in raising their kids. God bless you as you teach!

  3. I school my girls at home through an online charter school. My reasons for keeping them home are similar to yours. It is not a fear of public schools, but a true calling. Not everyone is called that way and it takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. Good job finding the balance and deciding what is best for each of your children individually. Enjoy the younger grades, they are fun and full of lots of discovery.

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