Are They Valid?
by Tamara Eaton
Ten common excuses which are actually reasons to homeschool!
- 1. My kids drive me crazy.
Then maybe it's time you do something so they don't drive everyone else crazy, too! It's easier to ignore problem areas if you send your children off to school each day--you don't have to put up with it all the time. Let the teacher and other students do it instead.
But who must answer to the Lord for how you taught and trained your child? Not the teacher but the parent. Homeschooling isn't a "cure-all" for poor behavior but it does give us time together to work out any problems instead of ignoring them, and it eliminates the negative role models and peer pressure which often influences negative behavior.
Or maybe you feel that they DO respect others, just not you? You can tell them when to brush their teeth, get dressed, go to bed--just not when to do their math! There is really no difference--it's all a matter of obedience and respect.
Ephesians 6:1-2 "Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."
- 2. I don't have enough patience.
Patience comes through overcoming trials and learning to yield to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) instead of the fruit of flesh. You'll never develop patience if you continually avoid opportunities that would require you to put it into practice. But you might be surprised how quickly it grows with frequent exercise--homeschooling can be that vehicle the Lord uses to work patience in you!
- 3. I'm not highly educated.
Fine--here's your chance to learn right along with your children! There are tremendous resources available to help us teach our own children. Studies have proven time and again that the success of homeschooling is not dependent upon the level of the parents' education. According to Dr. Brian Ray's recent study, "Home educated students' test scores remain between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers have a college degree or did not complete high school." [http://www.nheri.org National Home Education Research Institute's website address]
- 4. I love my job.
What's more important during this season of your life--your children or your job? Your job can wait. Your children can't. Your decisions and priorities are already influencing them every day--either for good or bad. I've never heard older people say that they wished they had spent more time on their job. I have heard them say they wished they had spent more time with their children.
If you love your job more than spending time with your children then maybe this is a sign that your priorities need reevaluating.
- 5. I don't have time.
There is always time to do the will of God. Is He calling you to homeschool? Then He will provide the time. As a result of homeschooling our children, we have limited outside activities and found a simpler lifestyle. We're not forced to succumb to the modern pressures and stresses of our society with its hectic pace--instead we are able to slow down enough to enjoy time together as a family, embracing a slower paced lifestyle without sacrificing the modern conveniences of our microwaves, washers, dryers and computers! (See articles on "Priorities" and "Time Management Tips" for more encouragement.)
- 6. I'm selfish--I need my privacy and space.
Jesus said unless we take up our cross and die to self, we can't be His disciple. (Luke 9:23-24, 14:27) Good parenting requires sacrifices during this season of our life. However, choosing to homeschool doesn't mean that you can never have any privacy anymore. When the children are young, we have regular naptimes and bedtimes so that gives us time apart. Older children are trained to respect the need for quiet time in the afternoons and evenings. The children also have their own activities and playtimes apart from mom during the day at times, too. (See article on "Feeling Frazzled" for more tips.)
- 7. I can't afford it.
If it's God's will that you homeschool, you can't afford not to! And He will provide all your needs if you trust Him. (Matthew 6:33) We have never been a "high income" family but God has worked in the most unexpected ways to provide our needs over the years. Think of how much you spend now by sending your child off to school--don't forget to include the "hidden" expenses of special school wardrobes to keep up with the peers. Homeschooling curriculum can cost as much or as little as you like--it all depends on what you choose to do. The public library is free and full of helpful resources for your homeschooling! We have always chosen not to purchase a full packaged curriculum and saved so much money by putting together our own curriculum. (For more help on this, see the article on "Choosing Curriculum")
- 8. I never liked school.
Homeschooling will help you see how enjoyable learning can be in a relaxed, pressure-free atmosphere at home! You don't have to structure your homeschool like a public or private school-- so don't let your past experience with school hinder you from committing to homeschool your children. Give them the opportunity to experience what you missed out on in your childhood and see how much fun you can have while learning together!
- 9. My children are too sociable--they'd get lonely homeschooling.
An EXCELLENT reason to educate them at home so you can make sure their "socialization" experiences are positive instead of negative. Homeschooling doesn't require your children to become hermits, but you will have the freedom to select the activities and make sure they are blessings and not hindrances. (See article on socialization called "Missing the Mark" for more information.)
- 10. I could NEVER do that!
If we had known in advance and in detail all the negatives and challenges we'd have to face as parents, who among us would have been brave enough to have children? God gives us the grace, strength and wisdom we need when we need it-- not in advance! I find great encouragement in scriptures that remind me that I must yield and abide, then He is sufficient to take care of all the needs and enable me to fulfill my responsibilities.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 "And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God..."
John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing."
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
And the following scripture has always encouraged me when I've been tempted to dwell upon my inadequacies:
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God had chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
Homeschooling, like parenting, requires faith--faith that the Lord will give us wisdom and grace as we need it. In His infinite wisdom, He has designed us so that we MUST rely upon Him! Why doesn't He give us all the wisdom we need to be parents right at the start when the child is first conceived? Instead, He allows wisdom and maturity to develop as we grow through trials, the study of His Word, and experiences--all the while, pointing out our need of Him daily in order to walk in His ways. Thus, He receives ALL the glory!
May the Lord direct your family in His Ways and give you clear wisdom and direction in the education of your children!
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."