Friday, January 28, 2011

Why in the World Would You Want to DO THAT?

Do what you ask?

HOMESCHOOL

Yes, that.

Yes, we are a proud homeschooling family. I can't tell you how many times I have heard the above question. SO. MANY. TIMES. So, why in the world would we want to homeschool?

I have lots of answers to that question because there are lots of reasons why we homeschool. Most people I encounter usually just nod and smile and think we're a little crazy. Though homeschooling is increasing in popularity with more and more families choosing this mode of educating their children every year, we still don't know that many homeschoolers and most of the people we are close with really don't understand why we do it.

I have always wanted to, but never have, sit down and write out in clear and concise language why we do it and what our philosophy on home education really is. And I still want to do that. And someday when I have lots of free hours (which is pretty much never if you are a homeschooler) I will do just that.

But today I came across this blog post and this blog post (it's a 2-part series on the same blog) that really put into words our primary motivation for home teaching our children. This particular post is based on a biblical commentary written in the early 1800s, looking primarily at Deuteronomy 6, a chapter of the Bible that contains one of the most oft-quoted verses of Scripture given by Christian homeschoolers when asked that WHY question. Specifically, verses 6-7:

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and
when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
What commandments are THESE, you ask? Well, maybe you didn't, but it's my blog so I am going to share anyway. In chapter 5 of Deuteronomy, the Ten Commandments are repeated again to the Israelites. And then in chapter 6, verse 5, we find what Jesus referred to as the GREATEST commandment:

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength.
So there you have it. It's pretty simple really, but in these few verses lie the answer, for us, to that WHY question. That is the ultimate answer anyway-there are many, many others which I will eventually be sharing here, along with answering some of the other typical questions we get, like:
What about socialization? (Although most who know our kids don't really ask this anymore because they know they are VERY social).
What DO you do all day? (Very soon I will be doing a "Day in the Life" post complete with pictures and hour-by-hour commentary on HOW we homeschool and what we do all day. I will probably eventually do several days because what we do is different every day. *hint* We don't REALLY stay home all the time).
How do you choose your curriculum?
What curriculum do you use?
How do you have the patience to homeschool?
How do you stay organized?
What about high school/college?
Aren't you sheltering your kids?
Do you ever get time to yourself?
Don't you think your kids would be better used by God in public school, to witness (can't stand that word but can't think of a better one) to other children who need God?
Is this even legal?
What made you choose to start homeschooling in the first place?
I'm thinking about homeschooling, can you give me any advice?
Aren't your kids going to be asking "Do you want fries with that?" for the rest of their lives? (Yes, someone once said this to me).
Is there something you have always wondered about homeschooling? If so, ask it in the comments or on my facebook page (you can find me @ Lisa Brady Epsteen) and I will be happy to do a post about it. But please be patient, after all, I do have to do some teaching! In the meantime, read the blog posts I linked to. They really well describe where my heart rests on this issue.