This Is A Great Time to Homeschool
Maybe you are now convinced that you should be homeschooling your children and yet you’re still asking if you can homeschool and not mess up your kids.
You Can Homeschool
It’s very easy for moms to believe they don’t have what it takes to homeschool. Is this true for you? The temptation is to think you aren’t qualified, organized, or patient enough to do this. However, God blessed you with these children because He wants you to raise, train, disciple, and educate them in the ways of their Maker, and He will give you everything you need to do this for His glory.
The good news is that now is a great time to be homeschooling. You can homeschool!
Let’s step back in time for a moment. Are your kids amused when you tell them about the thrill of purchasing your first microwave oven? Do they struggle to imagine having to restrict their phone conversations to a five-foot radius lest they rip the telephone cord from the wall? I still remember fondly the first time I accessed my e-mail from a smartphone, saving me a trip back to the desktop computer at my house. Today we have high-speed Internet, social media, and books on our phones, with virtual reality set to become a part of our daily experience. When it comes to technology, this is truly a great time to be alive.
Now consider the current state of home education. An estimated 2.5 million students are being taught at home nationwide in the United States. In our home state of North Carolina, there are more homeschooled students than students enrolled in private schools. Since Rachael and I started our homeschooling journey more than twenty years ago, the number of homeschooled students in the Tar Heel State has exploded by 650 percent—and it’s still growing! This is an exciting time to be homeschooling.
Local Support Groups and Co-Ops
You need not go it alone as you undertake this adventure of a lifetime. There are numerous support systems already in place just waiting for you to participate. Ask around and join a local homeschool support group. Many such groups organize field trips, picnics, Ladies’ Night Out gatherings, and other activities that promote real-life education and positive socialization for children while providing teaching moms with encouragement and support.
In the world of homeschooling, co-ops are trending up. Most communities have one or more active co-ops where families come to together to form parent-led classes in core subjects like science, math, writing, history, and Bible. These same groups often sponsor extracurricular studies in music, art, or foreign languages and may even offer organized sports. The variety and creativity displayed in this area is encouraging because of the help they provide with structure, accountability, and fellowship.
A World of Curriculum Choices
Thirty years ago, pioneering homeschool families had few choices in the way of curriculum. Even twenty years ago, the pickings were slim though improving. But in the last ten years, the quality of curriculum being published for the homeschool market has become top notch. Several different educational methods are represented, ranging from workbooks and unit studies to classical and Charlotte Mason. And you can often choose a format that best suits your student’s learning style, including print, digital, audio, and video.
Many of today’s homeschool publishers tailor curriculum specifically to the needs of homeschooling families. For example, Apologia’s textbooks are written directly to the student in a conversational style, helping children to become independent learners. If you are looking for textbooks written by men and women who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and take a clear biblical worldview in their approach to the subject matter, then you will be quite pleased at the choices that exist in the world of homeschooling. Apologia and other publishers provide excellent solutions that satisfy these requirements. Of course, plenty of authors and publishers choose to keep their work religiously neutral, if that is your preference.
With the numerous curriculum options available, the research process can seem long and laborious. But excellent options abound, making homeschooling a rewarding experience in the end.
Today’s technology is making a difference in the lives of home educators. As long as your students have access to the Internet, they can participate in a virtual classroom from anywhere in the world. This includes your family room, a hotel lobby while traveling with the family, or on a missions trip to Kenya. On a recent family journey, three of my children shared a single Wi-Fi device to participate in three separate online classes as we drove along the I-40!
As a father, I believe in homeschooling. As an engineer, I love technology. Much like peanut butter and chocolate, when combined in proper proportions, homeschooling and technology are two good things that come together to create something revolutionary. We call ours Apologia Online Academy (Live Online Classes – Apologia). Several other virtual programs offer instruction in a wide assortment of subjects. This technology effectively unites the benefits of teacher-led, real-time instruction with the advantages of highly convenient and multimedia-rich Internet delivery.
Mom and Dad
Yes, there is plenty of real, personal, technological, and online support for homeschooling families these days. But I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you of the most important reason why you have everything you need to homeschool — that would be yourself. You are the child’s parent, you love them more than anyone in the whole world, and you will do whatever it takes to help them learn and succeed in life. You taught them how to walk and talk (two very complex skills to master), and you have everything you need to teach them the love of learning. You also have the patience required to help them learn to read, write, and multiply fractions. You are their parent, and you can do this!
This is truly an exciting time to be homeschooling! And with all the help that comes in the form of people, groups of people, curriculum, and technology, today is a time when I can say with absolute confidence, “You can do this thing called homeschooling.”
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
President | Apologia
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is also the author of four illustrated children’s books designed to help kids learn a biblical worldview. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! His books include: Good Morning, God, which is based on Deuteronomy 6, A Light for My Path, an ABC book based on Psalm 119, In the Beginning, which is based on the Creation account in Genesis, and Psalms to Know Early.