There are a lot of great reasons to homeschool. But there are also a few really bad reasons to homeschool your kids, according to Gospel Coalition blogger Christina Fox.
As a mom who homeschools her children, Christina recognizes that homeschooling might be the right option for some families but not for others. She shares 3 reasons—bad reasons—why some parents choose to homeschool. Have any of these played a part in your own reasons for homeschooling?
1. You homeschool because you are afraid. “We shouldn’t homeschool because we fear something bad will happen to our children,” Christina writes. “Our children will have bad things happen to them whether we homeschool or not. We live in a fallen world where sickness, injury, crime, and other things occur around us all the time.” If you find homeschooling appealing because you think it will protect your kid from sickness or evil, perhaps reconsider. We must learn to trust in God’s promised protection against evil, for ourselves and our children.
2. You homeschool because you think it will save your child. “The Holy Spirit is the one who awakens your child’s dead heart and gives a soft heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:23–24),” Christina writes. “So don’t pursue homeschooling because you think it will guarantee their salvation.” We must learn to trust in God’s sovereignty when it comes to our childrens' salvation.
3. You homeschool because it’s what all your friends are doing. Christina writes, “Someone is not a better Christian because they homeschool. Homeschooling is something you do because you believe it’s best for your family. It’s a decision made after much prayer, study, and research. It’s a decision made for God’s glory, not to please others, not to fit in, and certainly not to appear more ‘Christian.’” We must learn to recognize God’s leading in our lives and not simply mimic the calling of those around us.
While these are some bad reasons to homeschool, there are a lot of great reasons to homeschool. Crosswalk blogger Dr. James Emery White is passionate about homeschooling, and has this to say when it comes to making the decision to homeschool:
“[H]omeschooling is what lets you guard and protect your child’s heart and optimally mold their character in a dark and fallen world…It’s what allows you to optimally shape their spiritual life, and pour into it without contest during those years when there should be no contest.”
If you’re looking for more advice, Crosswalk writer Lisa Aberle shares 6 helpful pros and cons of homeschooling. A few pros include: educational and schedule flexibility, learning about life in real time, and a helping your child build a solid sense of identity. Some cons include: less structured schedule, not being taught by trained, expert teachers, and the challenges of teaching multiple grades at one time.
If you feel passionately about public school or feel like it is your only option, be encouraged. iBelieve writer Betsy St. Amant shares several reasons why public school is the best option for her family, and how she has seen God’s faithful provision for her daughter in public school.
“It’s scary out there—but when I remember that God oversees her days, I can relax. God knows the hormones that are coming, the peer pressure that lurks, the temptations and fears that will cloud her young mind in just a few short years during those scary junior-high days. I trust Him with her future. With her education. With her development.”
While she may send her child to public school, Betsy is still a teacher in her daughter’s life. She is working hard to teach, guide and prepare her child for the world outside the walls of her home. “[I am] teaching morals and godly character. Teaching Scripture. Teaching that God is always with her, even when I am not. Teaching that God protects her in ways I can’t. Teaching priorities. Teaching healthy self-esteem. Teaching kindness.”
Parents, what helped you decide whether or not to homeschool your children? Please keep comments respectful, thoughtful and kind.