LoveQuest Incorporated © All rights reserved.
219 Old Berzelia Road Grovetown, GA 30813
Because Your Family Matters
Parents In today’s society more parents are electing to home school their children for a growing number of reasons. I will share a few common reasons voiced by Christian parents and some reasons you may not have considered.
Among Christian parents there is a desire to be the primary spiritual influence in the lives of their children. The attitude and prevailing belief of the secular world is that your child should be exposed to all systems of belief and be allowed to choose for themselves. This, of course, is directly contrary to Scripture.* The primary education of children is the responsibility of their parents. That doesn’t mean that it’s never proper to delegate certain facets of their education, especially academic and vocational skills, to other people or institutions. What it means is that parents are to be the primary influence in a child’s life for their spiritual beliefs, the convictions, and the preferences they are to live by. The first nine chapters of Proverbs contain advice from a father to his son concerning wisdom for all areas of his life, and the most famous chapter, Chapter 31, clearly explains the wisdom of a mother passed on to her children and others in their primary and secondary years.
The Bible does not instruct parents to raise their children, rather it exhorts them to train their children. You raise crops; you train children. Raising a child involves providing life necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. Training prepares a child for life by teaching wisdom, the ability to see things from God’s point of view, by equipping them with understanding, the ability to respond responsibly to life situations, and by passing on to them knowledge, the basic non-optional cause and effect principles of faith and success that are governed by the absolute truths written into the universe.** Successful training is manifested when the child captures and demonstrates understanding and proficiency in a stated life skill. The Christian parent is charged with the making of a young champion for Christ. This can be done apart from homeschooling, however homeschooling greatly tips the odds for success in favor of the parents. A successfully trained child is not exempted from life’s difficulties, he simply has access to wisdom that will see him through them and allow him to gain more wisdom in the process.
Homeschooling allows a child to work at his own pace while avoiding boredom or burnout. A child of learning age can master new materials at an alarming pace when he is allowed the privilege of one-on-one instruction. Most home school children require significantly less time in the classroom each day than do students in a large class. Public and private school teachers are phenomenal in their ability to manage twenty to thirty students. However, there are certain disadvantages inherent with a large class that must maintain a certain prescribed pace. Foremost is the large class teacher’s inability to consistently give slower students extra time and instruction they may need to keep pace with the class. This is why tutors can be so effective in aiding a child’s learning: they have one or two students to which they can devote their entire time and attention during the learning session. Again, this is no fault of the classroom teacher. It’s just the nature of the beast. Most would love to have that type of teaching venue, it’s just not possible.
The home school parent can sense fatigue in a student or students and take a day or more off when needed. As long as they get in the number of teaching days prescribed by their individual state each school year, they can decide which days to work and which days to rest. The parents of homeschoolers are free to teach each day until they sense that their student(s) have reached saturation. If there are family events that require more than the normal day’s energy to complete, additional rest can be given so that their best attention and retention is possible.
The home school teacher has the privilege of selecting the best curriculum available for their child. This is one area that is frightening to many prospective home school parents. However, there are professional home school organizations that will test and evaluate your child and prescribe the appropriate curriculum. They will then continue to monitor your child annually helping you select the best options throughout the education process. There are curricula that are highly structured for the beginning teacher, and there are curricula that are less structured giving the individual teacher more latitude as teaching skill and confidence grows. Curricula can be mixed and matched to best suit your home school and your student as both the teacher and the student gain experience.
The home school teacher has the privilege of placing character primary in their child’s education. When the public school system eliminated God from the classroom, all things then became situational in what is right and what is wrong. Now they can no longer teach morality. Without an absolute moral base, you can’t even define morality much less teach it. The same goes for character. Education that focuses just on academics is not a true education nor does it equip the young student for life and living.
One of the most powerful character curricula available today comes from the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) provided by the Institute on Basic Life Principles. It’s based around seven biblical non-optional life principles and provides, in my opinion, one of the greatest overall views of the Christian life. Character Qualities are defined and taught using examples from Scripture of biblical characters that had a particular quality or suffered because they didn’t have that quality. This is just one outstanding resource available to the home school family. There are others.
Classes that require labs or special equipment such as vocational classes are offered by public schools and many private schools to home school students. Some private Christian schools have a dedicated department offering basic and advanced classes that require teaching specialties or special lab equipment, such as biology, advanced sciences, information technology, advanced mathematics, physics and chemistry. Junior colleges readily enroll qualified high school students in their college prep programs. There are also many other resources available to the home school parent for these areas of advanced studies and skill development.
The home school student does not have to miss any of the extra-curricular activities normally associated with the primary or secondary school years. The home school industry has grown so large that in some areas they have their own sports leagues. Public recreational sports, Little League, Dixie Youth League, Pop Warner Leagues, AWANA Clubs, Upward Leagues, Church Leagues, and County Recreational Leagues are available to anyone in the community, and in some states the public schools have opened sports teams to home school students. In recent years teams referred to as “Travel Ball Teams” have gained immense popularity. These private teams recruit athletic talent wherever they find it and compete in nationwide competitive leagues. Travel Ball teams have become very popular with college recruiters. One of our daughters traveled with a team that won a USSSA Softball National Championship as they played against some of the best fast-pitch athletes in the United States and Canada, many of which went on to play Division 1 and Olympic softball. She was offered multiple college scholarship opportunities. Her homeschool background was never once a hindrance. Local Home School Associations offer other extra-curricular activities such as proms, senior trips, and graduations.
A home school high school diploma now carries as much authority as any other high school diploma or GED when proper records are kept. Initially we were told (In South Carolina) that none of our homeschooled kids would be able to enter a college or university with only a home school diploma.*** So, the first young man in the local Association of Home Schools to graduate his home school took the GED exam. Two things happened that surprised everyone. (Well, except his parents.) First, he passed the GED with the highest score ever achieved in South Carolina at the time. Then, having done so, he found out that because he was attempting to enter the University of South Carolina with a GED, he qualified for numerous grants not available to other students with regular high school diplomas. He finished his first year at USC with a 4.0 GPA. That was in the early 90’s. Today colleges and universities are recruiting home school students for many reasons especially those stated above and in the previous article, “Can A Child Be Successfully Schooled at Home?"
A final thought. This article in no way is meant to criticize the public school system. It’s meant only to point out some of the difficulties with the large classroom venue and the limitations of the public and private educational system even when you’ve got excellent, talented, dedicated, and often Christian teachers. My intent is to give those parents who are considering homeschooling a larger view of what is available to them and how it can be very possible for them to successfully train their children at home in a controlled environment if they feel called to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic just might be your introduction and gateway to a whole new approach to your child’s education and his preparation for life.
* Deuteronomy 6:6,7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
** Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
*** This is what I was told by the local Superintendent of Schools when we inquired about homeschooling in South Carolina. Yet none of that turned out to be true. I shared above the path taken by our middle daughter. Today she is certified as a dental assistant and also has a certification as a personal athletic trainer. Our oldest daughter has a growing internet marketing business, and our youngest daughter has certifications in the field of nursing and currently works PRN for a surgical service. Our son is a journeyman carpenter and builder and is working as a foreman for a growing construction company. He has acquired several specialty skills including professional painting, electrician, finish carpentry, and hardwood flooring. They have all been free to follow the careers of their choice. None of them had difficulty pursuing further education following high school. They are all parents and aren’t the least bit worried if the schools are unable to open in the fall due to covid-19. (They grew up in a home school family.) Most of all, they love the Lord and are serving Him in various capacities according to their gifts and talents, and they are training their own children in the “way they should go”.
Advantages Available to Home School Parents