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3 Reasons NOT to Homeschool

Heidi St. John

Homeschooling is a wonderful form of education. I love it. (Well, not always.) But here are few reasons you might *not* want to do it:

First Reason You May Not Want To Homeschool

You're homeschooling out of fear. I meet parents all the time who are pulling their children out of school because they're afraid. Afraid that their kids will be influenced by the world. Afraid that their kids will walk away from their faith, afraid of any number of scenarios that they feel homeschooling can prevent. If fear is driving you, I want to encourage you to spend some time in prayer.

God's Word is very clear: fear is NOT from God.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?"

Ps. 27:1

I love this, because it makes it very clear that the LORD - not homeschooling - is our salvation. Homeschooling will not keep your children from walking away from the Lord. A strong, personal walk with God is what does that.

Many parents choose curriculum out of fear, to the point of exasperating their children and becoming hostage to another's expectations rather than letting the Lord direct them to what is best for their child. In this way, we sometimes let fear drive us without even realizing it.

How can we know if we're acting out of fear or faith? Ask yourself: if the Lord asked you to stop homeschooling, would you trust Him to protect and guide you? To give you insight into the heart and mind of your child? Or would you be afraid?

Second Reason You May Not Want To Homeschool

You think homeschooling is easier than other options

I've been homeschooling for 18 years. It might surprise you to know that many of those years have been less than idyllic. Some of them have been downright difficult. Strong-willed children, learning hurdles, exhaustion, illness and burnout have all been part of our homeschool at one time or another. Would I change it? Not on your life. I gotta tell you though— it has been anything but "easy."

Third Reason You May Not Want To Homeschool

You think homeschooling is "the answer" to the problems this generation is facing.

I love homeschooling. I think it's one of the best things Jay and I have ever done for our kids - but - it's not "the answer."

We keep our children home because we believe it's the best thing for our family, but we know that homeschooling in and of itself will not solve the problems we're facing in this generation. The answer is Jesus. I spend a lot of my time urging parents to stop waving the banner of homeschooling start lifting high the banner of Jesus Christ. Some may trust in horses (or homeschooling, or the government, or ourselves) but we (the children of God) trust in the name of the Lord! (My little paraphrase of Psalm 20:7)

So, why do my husband and I choose to homeschool our children?

There are several things that come to mind but our top three reasons are these:

First Reason We Choose To Homeschool

We don't believe that education is neutral—or benign.

Education is the imparting of ideas and yes, even ideologies to a student. As parents, my husband and I feel a keen sense of responsibility to make sure that we know not only what, but who—is influencing our children.Luke 6:40 tells us that "a student is not above his teacher," and that ultimately, the student will become like his teacher. That's a huge responsibility—telling parents that their children are going to a lot like whoever teaches them. Knowing this also gives me a very healthy respect for my role as a mother—because the chances are good that my kids are going to be an awful lot like ... you guessed it ... me.

Second Reason We Choose To Homeschool

We want to be the primary influencers in the lives of our children.

We're not under any illusions that homeschooling will keep our children from making unwise decisions, but we believe homeschooling our children gives us much more influence in their lives as grow into adulthood. Why? Because it allows us time. Time to talk with our children about the things that we believe matter the most.

Over the years, we've taken our kids to places like Washington D.C. so that they could see our Constitution and the Magna Carta. We've been to courthouses and walked the halls of the senate building. Why? Because we can. Homeschooling has allowed us to take the education of our children to heart, and has allowed us to make a significant investment into their lives. Sooner or later, all of our children will be making investments into the lives of their own children, and we hope we're setting a good example for them!

Third Reason We Choose To Homeschool

We love being with our kids.

From newborns through young adults, we just love being with our kids. Homeschooling has allowed us to take advantage of "last minute" field trips and capitalize on many truly teachable moments with them, because we're not bound to anyone's schedule except our own.

Last week, we were reading Minn of the Mississippi, and the kids were struggling to understand the lock and dam system described in this timeless story of a snapping turtle who traveled from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Because we homeschool, I was able to make a last-minute decision to stop "school" for the day and in favor of some hands-on learning. I took the kids to Bonneville Dam. Going to Bonneville helped bring the story of Minn to life—and gave our kids the chance to be part of the story, rather than just hear it.

In the end, every parent is responsible for the education of their children—whether or not they choose to homeschool. There's a lot at stake where education is concerned, and we need to get it right—one prayerful, trusting family at a time.

(This article was reprinted with permission by Heidi St. John at heidistjohn.com)

Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and two grandsons! The St. John's children range in age from early elementary school to adult. They have homeschooled the kids all the way through high school.

A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.

Find Heidi on Facebook: Heidi St. John, The Busy Mom, Instagram: @heidistjohn

About Heidi's new book:

With the rapid-fire changes in our culture, moms are facing questions that previous generations never saw coming. Even our right to determine what's best for our own children is under fire. Today's moms need a special kind of strength, and Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom) offers help and answers in her new book Becoming MomStrong, available at bookstores everywhere this October!

Visit Heidi St. John's site: heidistjohn.com 

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