This post over at Spunky's really got me to thinking (in the way that only Spunky can get me thinking!) about our decision to homeschool.
Although I am a relatively new homeschooler, our family's reasons for homeschooling have already evolved over the 4 years of my son's life. We practiced attachment parenting long before we even knew what attachment parenting was. We were extremely relieved to find Christians who shared our beliefs about grace-filled parenting as both my husband and I held stereotypes of all Christian parents being only authoritarian and not very forgiving, loving or accepting of their own fallibility and none of those characteristics described our views of being good parents. In fact, I can say that Satan tried to keep us from deepening our Christian faith for that reason alone. We felt that we might be treated as outcasts because we read our Bible to understand that it is discipline, not necessarily corporal punishment, that is crucial in raising children who will learn to love the Lord even when Sam and I are no longer with them. Thankfully, we found other Christian parents who felt as we did and our parenting style did not keep us from fully pursuing growing in our Christian walk.
Against the backdrop of understanding that children are a sacred trust sent from our God who loves little children, we have become more and more convicted that homeschooling is God's will for our family. The fact that homeschooling would keep us close as a family and allow us to tailor our children's education to their learning styles are bonuses. Understanding that homeschooling is a lifestyle as much as it is an educational alternative, my husband and I have sought to create an home-centered lifestyle in which our family will make spending time together a priority as we battle the forces of Evil that seek to kill, steal and destroy all that would bring families closer together.
Our greatest problem in establishing the kind of family life that we dream of has been finances. Coming from a very high income situation in which our expenses matched our income (primarily due to high student loan debt), we as a family have struggled with ways to creatively make homeschooling work for family. Our most promising approach to this situation has been combine our homeschooling with home business. We have friends who have taken this approach and not only does their family business allow them to homeschool but it also serves as a vehicle for learning for their children. Sam and I are excited to explore the myriad of ways in which homeschooling will allow us to give our children real-world experiences to contribute to their education. Although we acknowledge that any venture may have its tough times, my husband and I are very excited to be embarking on the journey of homeschooling. We hope that if hard times come, we will focus on the benefits of homeschooling for our children, ourselves and for our family as a whole.
It is difficult to summarize years of prayer, research and conversations with my husband and observations of my son as I explain why we are homeschooling. In the final examination, God has called me to homeschool so I will homeschool to the best of my ability with his guidance and help.