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Monday, July 7, 2014

Why We Homeschool – Reason #2

 

**  This post is part of a blog series.  Click here to start at the beginning.  **

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I am back today with another reason why our family has decided to homeschool.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I could have totally stopped with reason #1 (God) because we truly feel like He has called us to teach our children at home but there are so many legs to that one reason that I thought I would keep going.  (Please forgive me if they all come back to reason #1.)

Reason #2 – Togetherness

We believe in family togetherness.  When you are homeschooling, the opportunities for family time and bonding are just priceless.  This is not only academically, but spiritually, socially, character building, and so much MORE. 

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Our pastor has been doing a series of messages on Sunday mornings entitled Family Works. They have been so good each week but it is sad to me that in so many homes and family trees that the traditional American family is disintegrating.  We all get caught up in the busy-ness of this world that it seems we forget about not only putting God first, but also we forget to spend time together.  Let me see if I can say this better…

Families who spend time every day growing and learning with each other are going to be close knit.  As far as our family goes, we just believe that homeschooling allows our family the precious commodity of time together so that we can accomplish this.  We have that time built into our daily schedule to spend together, and let’s be honest…  isn’t that really what our children want from us, our time?

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Yes, we are together A. Lot. Of. The. Time. but we really do like each other and we like it that way.  I often hear parents say how they just cannot wait for the new school year to start up again so they will have their time back.  I have often been in conversations where this topic comes up and not only does it make me feel so uncomfortable sometimes, but it honestly just breaks my heart because often times it appears that their children are burdens.  I know that the majority of people do not mean it that way but that is usually what I take away from our conversation.  Sure, I could get so much more done around here if my children were in school during the day.  For this particular school year coming up, that would mean that half of my bunch would be in elementary school and maybe even more if we put Joy Lynn in a 2 or 3 day a week preK program somewhere.  So yes, I could definitely have that clean, clutter free home that I dream of with all my chores done by the time Josh and the children arrive home in the afternoon.  But then I am very quickly reminded that “me time” is not in the Bible, but well I guess it is, and God refers to that as “selfishness”. 

Philippians 2:3 (American Standard Version)

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

This once again brings me back to how quickly time passes and how very few years Josh and I are going to actually have with these precious children before they are grown and out of our nest.  I really do not want to look back and think that I did not spend enough time with them when they were young.  I am just being honest here but 4 - 5 waking hours a day is just not enough for us. 

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Psalm 144:4 (New International Version)

They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.

Psalm 78:39 (New International Version)

He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.

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You do remember that quote I shared in the last post right?  I am telling you that thing comes up so often in my life that I just cannot run from it.  I will share it again just in case you forgot…

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Again, please hear my heart on this.  It is not that schooled children cannot have close relationships with their families, but I just feel like if our family choose that option we would have to fight harder to keep our children’s hearts.  For our family, it just feels like we would be competing with the bonds that the children are forced to make 6 – 7 hours a day with their peers (a bond that we feel occurs when the parents are absent daily). 

This was a huge part of our family’s decision to homeschool because as parents, when we send our children to school daily, it feels like we have removed ourselves completely from a big chunk of their lives for the majority of their day, almost every day. 

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And when I think about family togetherness, it also leads me to think about relying on peers.

Peer dependence and peer pressure is a huge part of growing up.  As children start to grow into young adults, why should it surprise us that so many often rely on their friend’s opinions, rather than their own family?  Why would a son or daughter turn to someone other than Dad or Mom with the little and big questions in life?  Why do they not value the opinions of those in God given authority over them, but rather, look to friends for what they think?  This really should not be a surprise to us since they spend far more time with their “friends” and out of daily necessity, have formed trusting bonds with them.  This is a survival method, so to speak when they are allowed to spend excessive amounts of time with peers instead of family together time and so they look to those they are around the most as a sort of “family”. 

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To be honest, I am just not comfortable handing these sweet souls over to their peers so they can influence them and just “hope” that we get a good teacher or good friends who will do it right each school year.  For my husband and I, it just felt like 5 or 6 years (kindergarten age) was not enough time for us to teach their hearts about God and how to make life decisions for Him. 

Stay tuned for more ramblings from my heart,
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***     Disclaimer:  I understand that everyone has their own reasons for your family’s educational choices.  Please realize that these are just a few of OUR reasons that we have decided to homeschool our children.  I would love to hear your comments but please choose to keep them respectful.  Thank you.     ***

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