I am sure it is difficult for many to understand why we feel the need to home school. There are various reasons for home schooling and while the majority do so for religious reasons, many others home school for secular reasons. Also, upon examining what the public education system is producing, one feels capable of doing at least as well at home! This is not to undermine the educators in the public system. I have many friends and family members who are teachers and they are great teachers. They are even great Christian teachers. But the system is not able to produce the high quality many parents want for their children.
If I had to name the primary purpose for my personal choice to home school my children, it would be that I hope to teach my children to 'think for themselves'. If it were only for religious reasons, I could place them in many of the good, Christian ,private schools which offer religious training. Many families make economical sacrifices to do this.
The greatest fault I have with most school situations is the classroom itself. I do not think it is conducive to producing individuals who are able to be strong, creative thinkers. Many students do overcome the restrictions the classroom and institutional setting of the school place upon them, but this is usually in spite of that atmosphere and not because of it.
I do not feel that the subjects which are taught are nearly as critical for the students future as I would find the methods and skills given to the student with which he will be enabled to continue to learn on his own. I have written about this before in an article entitled, 'Free To learn' .
How do we go about teaching children to 'think'? Why is it important that our children be creative thinkers? Our society depends upon free thinking individuals with the mental habits necessary to make good decisions and be productive.
By educating my children at home, I not only am aware of their ability to learn material, but can daily observe their reasoning skills. It matters not so much what curriculum we use but that we are able to see how they are reasoning. We can identify when they are making incorrect assumptions and we can immediately correct this before it becomes ingrained. A lazy study method can be replaced by a better method before it becomes a bad habit for life. We also eliminate the constant peer pressure upon the child to think, walk, and talk like all the others. This allows the student to be free to explore his own methods and tastes and discover the strength to be independent.
In this day and age that we live in, our children are daily bombarded by information, not always correct information. Our children are products of this new information age and have access to more than we could have imagined! It is vital that we not just provided them with conceptual information and knowledge but that we also provide them with the tools necessary to analyze information so that they can evaluate all that they hear and read and know truth from fiction.
As Christians we have the duty to make sure our children use their God given talents and abilities to learn but that they do not place their human knowledge above the eternal wisdom of God. We desire righteous children who are capable of honoring God. We also are required to serve our fellow man. We need to prepare our children for a life of service to bring glory to God and to make known His ways among the nations. This is the way to impact our world and bring about true hope and change!
In order to raise children with this concept of a life of Godly service, we first must have children who are aware of a life purpose of more than acquiring wealth and fame. We need a generation of young people that are willing to live selfless lives, that will give of their strength and knowledge to a cause bigger than themselves and make an eternal difference...and they just will not learn that in most schools!
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.