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
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
- 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]
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
If you love your job more than spending time with your children then
maybe this is a sign that your priorities need reevaluating.
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
- 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.)
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
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
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which
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.
[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."