The top reason for our family, and many others, to homeschool our children was to have the freedom to teach them the principles, precepts, and applied practical living out of our faith in Jesus Christ. The Lord takes our entire lifetime to teach us what He wants to, to mold us into the image of Christ. Our course is not finished in a month or a year, but a lifetime. Daily instruction in any matter is bits and pieces at the time, according to the maturity of the student and the subject matter. Isaiah 28:10 states,
All through any day are opportunities to teach about our faith in God and His word. The main reason for learning to read is to be able to read that word for oneself. The apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy, his younger brother in Christ, states,
Have your children memorise Scripture also. Paul to Timothy again:
Each child is a gift, a reward, an heritage from thrice-holy God, and for Christian parents our duty is to teach those children all that we know about Him from their birth until they leave the nest…and beyond when opportunities arise.
Secondly, there is no teacher on the face of the earth who loves your children as much as you parents do, and who always has their best interests in mind.
Third, at home, there are no foolish peers to influence the heart and mind of your equally foolish child, as there are in school settings. His siblings and parents are who he sees and interacts with most of the time. Through visits to grandparents and other family members, older neighbors, members of your church, interaction with other families with children of all ages, your child learns to be comfortable chatting with people of every generation, and doesn’t have the pack mentality of those who live their lives five days a week, 4-6 hours a day, with their age mates, with very little one-on-one interaction with the classroom teacher. Peer pressure is kept to a minimum.
There will be tons of opportunities for pursuing interests and hobbies. Usually in communities there will be a homeschool group or two to offer support and activities. I just noticed that the Extension Office in my county has 4-H for homeschoolers. My older grandchildren took lessons at their church (which amazingly is comprised of ALL homeschooling families) the last quarter before Summer just once a week in guitar, water colour painting, Spanish, and sign language. Two each. There are music lessons to be taken. Older boys could learn useful skills such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical, animal husbandry, mechanics, etc, etc, from professionals in those fields. The list is endless and varied according to the interests of each child and family. Daddies have skills to pass on to the children and those skills are mostly, though obviously not exclusively, around the home and shop. I would only warn that you don’t overload your “extracurricular schedule” and wear Mother and children down. Too much activity is worse than none at all. And you cannot create a love for home if you’re not at home.
I leave you with a few little quotes on the topic:
“Homeschooling isn't an experiment. People have been learning at home for thousands of years. Government schooling is the experiment, and it's not going well.” - Anon
"Even a parent who is not a superior teacher will excel over a state school, for the secret lies not in the skill of the teacher, but rather in the one on one interaction, the absence of all the state school propaganda, and God's consonantal family blessings." - Gene Long
Katie O'Neal is a Georgia native living in the Heart of Dixie. She is a Christian, a widow, a mother, and a grandmother. She was a homeschool mama in the 80s and 90s, and is currently a homeschool grandma. She is rabidly in love with her immediate family, her blood kin, and her Southern folk and their history, culture, and future. She has been a reader from childhood. She is an agrarian-minded homemaker, and more…but this’ll do for now.