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Why Do You Homeschool?

By Kim Green

    Why do you homeschool? I get that question a lot- especially when people find out that we have adopted 8 kids- ages 8 and under! Why would I put myself through homeschooling them? … they wonder.
The Bible says:

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

"Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." (I Cor. 15:33)

"Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you." (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

When making educational choices for our kids, we've looked at these verses and felt that to put our kids in public school was clearly not the right thing to do. They are still in training.... Many parents will give the 'salt and light' argument as to why they send their kids to public school. However, research shows that often times it's "reverse evangelism" that happens (Nehemiah Institute and Barna Group) . It's interesting that while the research says that 70-88% of “Christian teens” leave the church by the 2nd year of college--- 94% of homeschooled children stay in the faith. Mmmm... something speaks volumes there to me. Many parents say that they give their kids moral training at home but then leave the academics to the school system- by doing this, you are denying your children a Biblical worldview. The argument "but I'm not that smart" doesn't really hold up either because all you really have to do is stay a week ahead of them! :). I've also heard "I can't stand my kids that long"... mmm... maybe there is something that needs to be fixed there then?!
Our culture is driven by a "get a good education so you can get a good job" philosophy. This philosophy only breeds materialism and a sense of being able to work hard and attain success on your own. Trusting in God is not part of the equation- again- a worldview. But the Bible says to “seek first the kingdom of heaven and THEN all these things will be added." (emphasis mine). Somewhere along the line, we've lost the Biblical model for bringing up our kids found in Deut. 6: "Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Educating our kids is a 24/7 job the Bible says. Our ultimate goal for our kids should be to develop their character through the Word of God, and of course academics will follow… even flow naturally out of that foundation. But to do that, it requires sacrifice and discipline on our part as parents.

So what are some ways we (the Green family) develop character in our eight children?

1- Daily family worship. We not only start out our school day in the Word of God, we end it there as well. The beginning of our school day starts with worship, prayer, memorizing scripture, and memorizing questions and answers out of a catechism (geared towards kids). We end our day with Daddy leading family devotions, discussion time, and prayer right before they go to bed. After this family worship time, my husband takes a minute with each kid to hug them, tell them he’s proud of them and loves them.
2- First time obedience is expected of our children. When we ask them to do something, we expect a “yes mom/dad” and immediate action. By teaching our kids to obey us, we teach them to obey God’s Word for us as well.
3- The curriculum we choose. By educating our children at home, we have the distinct advantage of choosing what enters their mind and what lense they filter all other information through.
4- “Words To Live By”. We deal with issues of tattling and lying for example with laminated Bible verses that I have hanging in a folder in our kitchen. Verses such as “Keep what you know to yourself, and you are safe; talk too much and you are done for.” (Prov 13:3) … are all easily rattled off our kids lips when I give them “that look” after they’ve tattled. By applying the Word of God directly to their behavior, they really can’t argue with “my rules” can they? 
5- In our time out corner, there is a laminated sheet of paper with Bible verses about how to treat one another. After they’ve “done their time”, the appropriate verse/s are read with them before they go and restore the relationship that they damaged by their behavior.

Those are just a few of the ways we’ve tried to incorporate teaching our kids the character traits we want them to leave our house with. In addition, there are other things like daily chores, servant opportunities, and practicing the behavior we expect.

Some additional resources that
you may want to look at:

*Parenting With Scripture: A Topical Guide For Teachable Moments by Karen Durbin
* Five Minute Devotions for Children: Celebrating God's World As a Family by Pamela Kennedy and Amy Wummer
*Children’s Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett and Michael Hague
*Our 24 Family Ways by Sally Clarkson
*Hero Tales by Dave and Neta Jackson