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Friday, July 12, 2013

10 Reasons for Homeschooling Your Kids

I have two children, both grown, married, and with children of their own. They are, as they laughingly express it “products of homeschooling.” I homeschooled for sixteen years, in Spain. Homeschooling was our choice for many reasons. I think everyone who considers homeschooling does it because it is a family option. Ultimately, it becomes a mission, a calling. Each homeschooling family has its own story and its own journey.

I do not believe homeschooling is for everyone. I do think, however, it is something that many Christian families should prayerfully consider. I believe it is probably the best option for children with special needs (depending what they are) and learning issues, if the mother can be at home and if both mom and dad know it’s God’s will for them. (A good Christian school is another great option.)

Here are 10 good reasons for homeschooling:

1. Your kids will get a very good education. When you decide to homeschool, you do it because you want your child to learn. No one wants that more than his parents, and so you make sure your child gets one-on-one attention that leads to learning.

2. You will pass your Christian values on to your child. You are not only including Bible as a school subject, but you are pouring your life into your child, teaching him by your example and godly habits how to live the Christian life. Part of your homeschooling is prayer, Bible reading, and life application. How cool is that?

3. You can tailor learning to each child’s special needs. This is the same as having a private tutor for each child—only better—because you are there 24 hours a day. (I had an audio learner, dyslexic child. I taught by talking, and math and reading were learned gradually over time. Reading was “taught” on Mommy and Daddy’s bed, with both of us propped up with pillows. Today, he is working on his second master’s degree—in English-Spanish translation. He worked on his first master’s degree while being a college switchboard operator (over 400 phone extensions memorized). My dyslexic child totally overcame it through a patient early-years foundation. By the way, he’s also a musician.)

4. Freedom. Our family had the freedom to take vacations in September, while other children were in school. We had freedom to schedule our days to be workable for our family—school in the morning, lunch at 2:00 or 2:30, and music lessons and practice after lunch. We had the freedom to change things up. One year our books didn’t arrive (by boat, in the “old days”) until November, so we used the extra time on needed home repairs. We then schooled into the summer. No problem! You do whatever works for you. We finished every book every year. We also had the freedom to change the curriculum, which we did with a couple of high school subjects.

5. Family bonding. If you really want a close family, there’s nothing closer than homeschooling. We found that all that time and teaching in a family atmosphere with parents and siblings together produced a very tight bond. Even today, with all of us separated by thousands of miles, the kids are best friends and very close to us as well. Our favorite times are being together.

6. Teaching life skills. We found that our children easily learned the things that they did alongside us during the day. Yes, we had a very structured school time, but they also helped with cooking, cleaning, home construction, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, demolition (They loved that!), home repairs, painting . . . . Today, our son is a great handyman, and our daughter is a very capable homemaker.

7. Learning is more fun at home. Oh yes, there were days when things didn’t go well. There were times when I was cross, the kids were stubborn, and nobody was teaching or learning well. But overall, we enjoyed learning and being challenged. (I learned as much or more than the children did, since I taught the grades twice, made up the tests, and did all the reading. Another good reason to homeschool: you get an education, too!) Nothing is sweeter than the satisfaction of seeing the youngest learn to read. Nothing is more fun than the competition between siblings to get the better French grade. There’s not much that’s more entertaining than hearing your kids’ hilarious banter at the table while they’re doing their workbooks. Where else can children get home economics hours in a real kitchen, in their own home, baking for God’s servants who are coming to stay for a few days?

8. Learning is more natural when done at home and all through the day. I was a stickler for the core subjects. (Ask my kids!) But, I think that a lot of what our children learned was through sharing rather than teaching. We could talk things over—like history and current events and God’s working in the world. We could philosophize and think and hash out reasonable answers. A lot of teaching has to do with teaching children to think. I felt that we did this more naturally in an all-day setting, with siblings and parents for company, and without peer pressure.

9. Your kids are isolated from negative influences. (Hear me out on this one. First, understand that my kids were not isolated from other kids. They were in music lessons, orchestra, church youth group, played with neighbor children, etc. They had all the opportunities they wanted to be with other children, to laugh, to play, and to be crazy. I believe that homeschooled children should be socialized.) Homeschooling allowed us parents to be the biggest influence in our children’s lives. They didn’t have brand consciousness, materialistic pressures, peer pressures—to be like the group. They were able to stand alone, enjoy simple pleasures, watch decent movies, read good books, help at home—all without being “judged” from without. We believe that they are both the strong Christian leaders that they are today because they were kept from too many ungodly influences during childhood.

10. Homeschooled kids tend to excel and to relate to everyone equally. (Is that two points?) I find that, wherever we go, it’s the homeschooled kids that walk up and ask intelligent questions about Spain, about missions, about living abroad, about the Spanish language. They are comfortable talking to adults. They are also comfortable with little children. You’ll often see an older home educated child carrying a baby.

Colleges used to be wary of homeschoolers. They thought they would have inferior educations and needed to be watched. No more! Who are the winners of the National Spelling Bee? Homeschoolers. Who win science fairs? Homeschoolers. Who are world-renowned musicians? Homeschoolers. Who are the kids who start college at age sixteen? Homeschooled kids. (I’m thinking of two boys right now. Their mom taught in public schools and noticed a certain ethnic group—theirs—was being left behind. She decided that wasn’t going to happen to her kids, and she began homeschooling her sons. One is an aeronautical engineer today, and the other just got his doctorate in communications from Purdue.)

By the way, both of our children are career teachers. Our daughter will start her eighth year of teaching in a Christian elementary school. Our son teaches theology, Greek, Bible, and gives private music lessons at a Bible college. This will be his fourth year. I’d like to think they caught the love of teaching and learning from us. 

Do you have any “reasons for homeschooling” you’d like to share? Do you want to comment on any of mine? Feel free! I’d love to hear from you.


  1. My wife and I recently decided to home school our kids. We have been researching different techniques and many other things associated with the homeschooling process. We recently discovered a fantastic new 21st century learnering system that looks fantastic. It is accessible on any device which is perfect for our on the go type lifestyle. The adaptability, and affordability is what really put us on board with this program.

    1. Thank you, Nick, for sharing. I sincerely wish you and your wife God's richest blessings as you teach your children at home--and while on the run. (We did it the old fashioned way on the run--with a couple boxes of books in a van. It was workable, but not easy!!! We're still glad we did it.) Technology is wonderful!


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