To Home School, Or Not? That Is The Question

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Angie will be in grade 00 next year, which means that before we know it, she’ll start grade one. It’s probably time to get serious about making decisions regarding schooling. She is not on any waiting lists, though there’s no way we could afford private schooling anyway. There are several good government primary schools in our area that we could send her to.

But.

I have been thinking about home schooling for a while now; since Angie was a baby, actually. I had planned to home school her for the preschool years, but then Emmy was born and I couldn’t function on very little sleep, so I put the idea of home school on hold. I don’t regret sending Angie to school. It was the best thing for me and for her at that point in our lives. We’ll be sending Emmy to the same school in January.

Home schooling is still on my heart, though. Over the last few weeks I’ve started doing more research on it, and the more I read, the stronger I feel that this is the direction God is leading us.

I want the best for my children.

I love my daughters. I want them to blossom. I want them to be the very best they can be – to grow into the women God made them to be. I don’t yet know what their particular learning styles are, but it’s something we can discover together. If we home school, they won’t have to compete with 25 other children for their teacher’s attention. I can adapt the curriculum to suit them and work at a pace that they can thrive at.

I want them to be social.

In a school setting, they would be surrounded by children their own age. They would learn behaviour and language from these children. I have already noticed that Angie’s table manners took a turn for the worse when she started preschool. If we home school, the girls would interact with children of various ages, as well as adults, in a variety of settings. Which is more beneficial? I feel it’s the latter.

I don’t believe that home schooling will negatively impact their socialisation. There are so many ways to involve them in social activities – church, youth group, sports. They are naturally social creatures anyway and I know they’d go crazy if home school was limited to staying in the home.

I want school to be a safe place.

These days, schools are not necessarily safe. There have been two separate incidents reported this year of teachers accidentally showing pornographic material to their classes. Never mind the bullying, there is the concern that someone might rape my child at school, or that she could be offered drugs. She will undoubtedly be exposed to foul language and inappropriate behaviour.

I don’t want my daughters to be so sheltered that they have no idea of the real world; I want them to be so rooted in truth that they can stand firm when confronted with the realities of life. I want them to feel safe enough to ask questions, to try new things, to make mistakes – without having to worry about drugs or peer pressure or whether they’re in the cool group.

I want them to know Jesus.

When I was at school, Bible Education was part of the curriculum. That, unfortunately, is no longer the case. We try to incorporate Bible teaching into our daily lives as much as possible since we believe it is our responsibility as parents. I worry about what is being taught at schools, and it concerns me that some schools do not allow prayer or even Scripture Union groups anymore.

If we home school, I can choose or create a curriculum that has a strong Scriptural element. I can ensure that the books, plays and films we study have positive moral lessons. I can teach them that Jesus can be part of everything, even schoolwork.

So, will we be home schooling?

I don’t know yet. If we decide to go this route then it will be because we feel it is absolutely the best thing for our family and that it is what God wants us to do. We need to do more thinking, more research, more praying and listening for that still, small voice.

Do you home school? Would you ever consider it?

Comments 14

  • So true, Aidan suddenly shouted at me , Hey!hey! and I’m pretty sure he picked this up at school. I know I couldn’t because I’d just let him get away with playing the whole day but it is becoming more and more popular and I can see why. I pray you get clarity on the subject 🙂

    Side Bar: I used to love Scripture Union…..went on camps almost every holiday.

  • While I have no opinion against home schooling (if done properly and if socializing is taken care of) it also takes the right mom. You have to be 100% dedicated to it. I do not think I would be able to do it properly. That being said we are Afrikaans and are surrounded by some of the best schools (semi government) in the country in Afrikaans. Our primary school has it in their contract that it is a Christian school – apart from bible study Christ is incorporated in every day. If a kid choose not to do this, they can simply read a book or go to another area in the school. So the choice is easy.

    However my one boy is special needs but very intelligent and it has been very tough going getting the right school for him. We are still praying very hard that he will get a place there (he has been accepted but they are full). It made me once again think that for him home schooling might have been an option.

  • After being a teacher in South Africa – at University and in High School – I was convinced I was going to home school my future children. No question. The we moved to London. Like SA, there are good schools and bad schools; Amelia’s school is a small (one class per grade) Church of England (i.e. Christian) school, and she loves it. Check it out: http://www.stjamesprimaryschool.co.uk/. We prayed really hard about which school would be perfect for our daughter and God gave us a gem – we’re so pleased and blessed! Thank goodness because I’d be a terrible home school teacher/mum – I can think of nothing worse than educating my own children (there would be blood shed on both accounts) but I was very concerned about the godlessness in schools ( I sound like my mom – scary). And, like you, I want my kids to understand people and to develop the skills required to survive in this crazy world. My point: we prayed and God hooked us up – and I know, as do you, that He will most certainly do the same for you, whether it be school or home school! Good luck Mel! X

  • Please excuse my interchangeable use of mum/mom – I blame England; it has a lot to answer for 🙂

  • wonderful post. I swear so far the schooling debate has been the most stressful part anout raising a child. Mikayla will be turning 4 in January – I’ve had her in a nursery, that didn’t work for me so I sent her to a private school – not working for me either so next term she will be starting T a Montessori. My problem is I feel like home schooling is such a huge responsibility- what if I do it wrong? In terms of sending her to s school in GR R etc – how do we know they are safe? And how do we choose the right one? It’s crazy.

    • It seems there’s a lot of support for parents online and in terms of home schooling co ops, which I think could help with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the responsibility. At least, I hope that’s the case! Ultimately, you know your child best and you’ll figure out what form of schooling is best for her (and you).

  • We are in the exact same boat and feel pretty much the same as well. Definately leaning toward home schooling.

  • Yes; we homeschool, we never considered any other path. It has been a true blessing and one which I will never regret. 🙂

  • […] husband and I have decided that we will be homeschooling the girls from grade one. There are many reasons we’ve made this choice, and most of them are really good. We want to give our children the […]

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