Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You Don't Have to Defend Why You Homeschool Your Children

My wife Alice and I have been homeschooling our children for thirteen years (full disclosure: Alice has done the vast majority of the work). It has been a wonderful experience that we would not trade for anything. We are thrilled to have had this opportunity. Our eldest child graduated from college this year (and obviously has not been homeschooled for a while now). Our second graduates from high school in a few months. Our youngest is in tenth grade. Therefore, we are much closer to the end of this journey than the beginning.

After homeschooling for so long I've come to an important conclusion: those of us who have chosen to educate our children at home do not need to defend this to anyone.

Occasionally when I'm having conversations with various people we end up talking about children. Sometimes I'm asked where our kids go to school. I never initiate the topic of homeschooling, but if I'm asked I answer. At that point I receive one of two responses. Some people say something like, "That's cool." Others ask the unfortunate and ignorant question, "How do they get socialized?"

I used to answer by giving all sorts of reasons why homeschooling is excellent. I'd tell them that homeschoolers do just fine in social settings of all types. I'd inform them that no research exists whatsoever to indicate that homeschoolers have difficulty interacting socially with others. I'd tell them that home educated kids do better academically than their peers when they reach college. I'd inform them that those who are taught at home achieve higher scores on standardized tests than other kids their same age. I'd even bring up the fact that we are able to provide our kids with a Christ-centered education in a way that non-homeschooling families cannot.

I'm not doing any of that anymore. I don't have to defend homeschooling because it doesn't need defending. It stands as excellent on its own.

God has granted parents the gift of instructing their children. Those who choose to do this full-time are doing an honorable thing. The ones who should have to defend their choice are the parents who are relying on the secular state to educate their offspring.

To Moms and Dads: you do not have to defend your choice to home educate your kids. Your decision is an excellent one. It requires no defense.

1 comment:

Brian said...

... and you should not have to defend why you don't home school anymore either....