He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, June 29, 2015

Teaching The Children

         
          I met a young family the other day with two small boys.  The oldest is about to begin Kindergarten.  I asked him, “Are you ready to start school?”  He looked at me, not sure how to respond when mom chimed in and said, “We’re going to homeschool!”  I was elated!  Now that may sound kind of odd, but as I see our public school system decline every year, it seems more and more logical, and likely, that we’ll see a greater trend of this!

           As parents we are commanded in the Bible to teach our children.  Home is where they learn values, behaviors, and manners, honesty, justice, determination, consideration, and love.  It is in this environment learning is easiest and most productive.  We can build on what they already know and deepen the values they need to learn. 

            Children supply us with unique opportunities to teach all day long.  God teaches us to teach our children His truths.  Jewish families often recited Deuteronomy 6:1-9 in the form of prayer twice daily, which provided the means where children could memorize the scripture which serves as the groundwork for all other learning. 1

            There are many reasons to consider homeschooling.  As parents who take sole responsibility of their children’s education, many believe a home environment provides for a better education than one obtained in public school, given student behavioral problems, tradition, and religious objections to what is being taught, while given the freedom to instruct in the way of religious beliefs.  Additionally, there are times when family issues, transportation or even a child who has a special needs, can be dealt with more effectively in a home environment, than if in a public classroom.  And sometimes a classroom environment does not adequately challenge a child and here again, home schooling offers another option!

Our first three children, all daughters, were enrolled and graduated from a public school system and did very well.  Our boys also began in this environment, and while also doing very well academically, actually asked to be homeschooled!  About a year later, we finally took the challenge when our oldest son was entering tenth grade and youngest son entered seventh. 

I will admit to being somewhat intimidated by the adventure but forged ahead after prayerful consideration.  It turned out to be an incredibly wonderful experience!  During the second year of homeschooling, my husband ended up retiring and we were able to add the benefit of traveling to our son’s education. This was fabulous!  Not only were we able to focus their education on their interests, but literally take them to the places they were studying!  This completely enhanced the learning experience.

I understand not everyone can be in the situation we were in, but the door is open to so many other interesting opportunities, which creates interested participants, in this kind of learning environment.  While teaching our children the basics and necessary fundamentals required for a solid educational background, we were also able to teach our children what we believe is important in our faith, to our country and society, in communication and values which will serve them the rest of their lives. 

Now all that said, I also recognize not everyone or family is suited for homeschooling.  But I encourage you to at least look at the option.  Our public school system, in many ways is failing our children, as laws are passed regarding what they must learn, as well as laws for those subjects they cannot learn, or even be discussed.