The Time to Homeschool Is Now
When our first child was born thirty years ago, homeschooling was nowhere on my personal radar screen. Then in 1996, Rachael and I reluctantly began our journey down this path. Four years into it we were sold on the lifestyle and made a personal commitment for the long haul, even with high school looming in the not-too-distant future. Not long after that, we began to actively promote and support home education by serving on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education. Twelve years ago, I got more skin in the game by acquiring Apologia Educational Ministries, the award-winning publisher of creation-based science curricula for homeschooling families.
Along the way, my encouragement and urging to families to undertake this adventure of a lifetime has increasingly moved from kind and gentle to bold and serious. The bottom line is this: The absolute best educational option for your child is home education!
Yes, that is a strong statement. Tragically, the constant news stream far too often reminds us of its validity. And although the subjects of physical safety, cyberbullying, liberal agendas, and poor academic achievement are very real and serious reasons why you should consider homeschooling, there are plenty more.
Several times a year, I present a workshop at conferences titled “Give Me One Good Reason to Homeschool.” I open each session with a fun and light-hearted list of reasons to homeschool such as “Your kids never miss the school bus” and “Playing with LEGOs counts as learning.” I then segue to a serious list of important reasons to educate your children at home.
Here are a few biggies for your consideration.
Living Deuteronomy 6
Scripture tells us to teach our kids to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus said this is the greatest commandment of all. As a homeschool parent, you can teach your children diligently when you rise up, when you lie down, when you sit, and when you walk along the way — basically anytime and anywhere!
Protecting Kids from the Liberal Agenda
In 2015, the Supreme Court issued a troubling opinion on marriage that goes against what God Himself said about this sacred institution. Schools are indoctrinating children with a false definition of marriage and family, starting in kindergarten. In today’s society, hedonism is the new god, truth has been replaced with relativism, and homosexuality is officially sanctioned as a good and moral lifestyle that must be accepted by all.
The enemy has been working his game plan for decades, from the dismissal of prayer in the classroom and the social acceptance of abortion to the “whatever” attitude that has permeated the hearts and minds of millions of young people. No five-year-old is prepared to handle today’s onslaught of brainwashing, bullying, and sexual deviancy. And it appears as though things are only getting worse.
Developing a Love of Learning
Are you lighting a fire or simply filling a bucket? Homeschooling parents have a wonderful opportunity to instill in their kids a lifelong love of learning. One key is that you know your children better than anyone else, and you can customize a curriculum that considers their interests, plays to their individual learning styles, and allows them to learn at their own pace.
Reading When Ready
Kids will read when they are good and ready. And the typical age isn’t five or six years old as you might think. The average child begins to read at age eight, plus or minus three years. So yes, there are some kids who are early on the bell curve and read when they are five years old. But there are just as many who are on the other end of the bell curve and don’t read until they are ten or eleven years old. And you know what? If given the chance, they will more than catch up for any “lost” reading in those earlier years.
I know this first-hand with two of my seven children. Our oldest didn’t read until he was ten. Guess what? He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s degree, and is pursuing a PhD. I can’t keep up with all the books he reads these days.
Learning in a Positive Social Environment
Dr. Deb Bell likes to say, “If we built a school from the ground up based on how children learn best, we would build a home.” Many families have decided to homeschool to avoid the negative social environments often found in public and private schools. Your family home provides love, security, and nurture as part of a healthy and positive context in which your child can learn and thrive. There is no safer or more loving place to learn than home.
Exploring Creation Outdoors
Perhaps you have heard of Nature Deficit Disorder. It is a real concern in today’s society. Let’s face it: For most kids today, their only outlet is…well…an outlet. But when you homeschool, your children are free to explore creation as part of their curriculum. And getting some fresh air and sunshine outdoors is healthy for everyone. Besides, what kid wouldn’t love to catch a few frogs and caterpillars, collect a few acorns and leaves, or run around and climb a tree?
An Abundance of Resources
In the 1980’s, it was nearly impossible for homeschool families to find or purchase any curriculum. In response to this need for resources, a few authors wrote material in the 1990’s with homeschooling students in mind. By the 2000’s the efforts of several small publishing organizations resulted in full blown K-12 curricula series covering a wide variety of subjects. Co-ops began sprouting up across the landscape as parents organized activities in their hometowns. And with access to the Internet, online educational options are now widely available.
The Most Valuable High School Diploma
It wasn’t that long ago that people assumed homeschooled students would have a difficult time getting accepted into colleges and universities. Although there was some initial hesitancy from a few places of higher education, soon colleges were actively marketing to recruit high school graduates from the homeschooling population. It turns out that homeschooling students are serious about their studies, generally stay out of trouble, possess strong time management skills, and rise to positions of leadership. The bottom line is that students who graduated high school from a homeschool make the colleges look good, and they are in high demand.
Therefore, in my humble opinion, a high school diploma from a public or an elite private high school is trending down in terms of its worth. I believe that the most valuable high school diploma today is from a homeschool.
The Time is Now
While it may be true that it’s never too late to start homeschooling, why wait? Your children are most impressionable in their early years, and you don’t want them to lose that spark of curiosity, imagination, and the built-in desire to learn.
Homeschooling is a choice, a lifestyle, a journey of epic proportions. Do you sense the urgency of the matter? It is a walk of faith, one with many blessings for those willing to begin this adventure of a lifetime. This is a great time in history to homeschool your children. Said another way: If there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation- based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! You can hear more of what he has to say at the Let’s Talk Homeschool Podcast.
© 2021 Davis Carman