Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Will the Homeschooling Movement Survive?

I recently watched the Western Conservatory's Vimeo documentary titled Homeschool Dropouts and found it very thought provoking. The documentary talks about the differences between the early Homeschooling movement and the current Homeschooling movement. It also talks about the First Generation as compared to the Second Generation.



One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that parents can choose for themselves what and how  to educate their children as they feel is best.  What has changed for the most part is the why.

I think the why is the most important reason.  The whys have changed since we began homeschooling in the 1980's.  Homeschooling parents in the 80's were pioneers.  Most people had not heard of it before and there were many spiritual battles as well as legal ones.  Many homeschooling parents, such as ourselves, chose to educate our children at home because we strongly felt it a calling from God.  We wanted to nurture our children in the admonition of the Lord first and foremost.  We wanted to choose curriculum that honored God as well as teaching the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic.  We did not want the secular influences that prevailed in the public schools. Granted, not everyone had the same whys but I believe the majority back then did.

The hows and whats varied from family to family.  Some chose challenging curriculum and others chose a more laid back approach.  Can we as parents recognize the failure or success of how we educated our children? I believe we can.  Can we as parents recognize the failure or success of how we shared God's love and beauty for them?  That question is harder to answer.

I remember hearing in a sermon years ago that God has no grandchildren. That has stuck with me all these years.  Our children must choose for themselves whether or not they will believe in God, whether or not they will follow Christ, or whether or not they choose to deny Him.

The verse - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 KJV) is one that we can cling to. If we teach God's Word, honor God with all our hearts, and do our best to follow Him as our children are growing up, then I believe that wayward son or daughter will return to God at some point in time. God has promised us this.

Over the years, the majority of the whys to homeschool have changed. Perhaps it is because parents recognize the dangers of the moral decays permeating society and the schools. Perhaps it is because parents feel schools are unsafe.  Perhaps it is to remain family oriented rather than peer oriented.  I am not saying that those are bad reasons to homeschool.  They are just different reasons than most of the early Pioneers of Homeschooling.

Many homeschooled children will choose not to homeschool their own children. Some children may become bitter due to their parents' choice to homeschool them. Some children may appreciate their parents as they recognize the sacrifices their parents made in embarking on this overwhelming task.  As parents, we can choose to love even when a grown child lashes out.

We can choose to love when their life's decisions don't agree with what they were brought up with.  It is not easy.  But God's love conquers all.

My mother often said that when your children are little, they step on your toes.  When your children are bigger, they step on your heart.  This is very true.

Will the Homeschooling Movement survive?  I hope that it does but I don't think it will.   I think the only reason it has survived this long is because families chose to have God as the center to the whys.  When honoring God is not foremost, there really is very little left. Time will tell.

6 comments:

  1. I have always been inerested in American homeschooling. It is soemthing that is very rare in England, although as a teacher I was sometimes called in to tutor 'School refusers'. That was always interesting!
    I often wondered if the lack of companionship, of healthy competition and of not having peers to develop discussions etc, would make homeschooling a little restrictive. I don't know enough about it, and am not judging. But as an ex teacher I find it a fascinating subject.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth, I am happy to address your thoughts. I think it will be easier to write another post about it as others may have the same thoughts as well. Love the term school refusers! :-)

      Delete
  2. Well here in Alabama the homeschool movement is alive and well. Many young couples in our church homeschool or are part of a homeschool co-op. I think most of the parents I know who choose home schooling do so because the public school systems are becoming more liberal, yes even here in the Bible Belt. We sent our children to Christan school for the same reasons and I sometimes think they wish they had gone to public school. All have done well so I am not going to second guess my decision. You are right, it is a personal choice. So far I have been happy with the public schools that my grands attend. Thankful for good teachers who are also believers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arlene, homeschooling isn't for everyone and I know there are some excellent Christian schools and public school teachers too. :-)

      Delete
  3. This is a good series of posts my friend! I taught my youngest 2 sons at home and they have done well! They both have advanced college degrees and are very successful in their jobs. And my youngest son and his wife have homeschooled both of their kids. And my granddaughter started college this week at age 17. (My youngest son started college at age 16) Homeschooling is not for everyone but kids can get a wonderful education and advance at their own pace! Thanks for taking the time to write all of this. You should write it in an ebook! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, I didn't know that. I'd love to hear about the curriculum you used etc. Congratulations on their success = your success! It is good to see a 2nd generation of homeschooling. xo

      Delete

But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Maria Craik, A Life for a Life, "Chapter XVI: Her Story," 1859