Our Decision to Homeschool

Disclaimer: This post is long. It also addresses potentially controversial topics. Please bear in mind that these are my opinions (even those based on experience and observation). Also, part of the joy of being an adult is making your own decisions based on your own family's needs. In no way is the following meant to condemn, guilt-trip, or vilify.

In a few short months Sweet Potato will be 3. Many of her peers will be heading to preschool in the fall. She will not. I don't have anything against preschool or people who send their children, I would just argue that as Tabitha's parent I can do a better job for a lot less ______ (insert money, time, stress, etc.).

Before I go any further I should probably state a few biases. First, I was home schooled and loved it. Second, David wishes he had been and is eager for Tabitha to start. Third, I've taught in the belly of the beast that is public education. For a whole host of reasons my child does not need to endure that institution. Finally, and most importantly, for our family this is what we desire and our sense has been that God desires it for us, for at least this season, as well.

Our "Philosophy"

Some families of home schoolers write out elaborate educational philosophies. For us it boils down to this catching motto: Flexibly Feeding Fun.
  • Flexibility--
    • To explore interests when they strike, not based on some rigid core curriculum
    • To promote appropriate development for each child, individually
  • Feeding--
    • To encourage curiosity
    • To foster deeper thinking, learning, and overall education of mind, heart, and soul
  • Fun--
    • Who ever said that life preparation had to be drudgery? God created life to revel in Him and bring Him glory. I can't think of a better way to instill this heartsong into our children then through learning as a family!
Because I know some of you will say, "That's great Kristin. You'll do a fine job. But what about socialization?" I dislike that this is even an "issue" but let me attempt to give you our answer. We want our children to be socially competent individuals. However, for us, this means nurturing them in an environment where they are primarily surrounded by socialized adults. Since young children mimic and mirror behavior, we want the behaviors seen most often to be those fully matured. Peer relationships are wonderful and good and healthy. Tabitha has a couple friends with whom we regularly and intentionally play. But honestly, children--and I'm talking all the way up to those in late middle to early high school-- need far fewer friends than our culture promotes.

In short, we would rather our children have positive socialization vs. negative socialization. Having taught in private and public school settings of varying degrees of socio-economic status, I can tell you first hand that there is far more negative socializing than positive socializing in both camps. Some people use the term "green-housing" for this type of homeschooling approach. The idea is that when a plant is young it is tended and nurtured inside a greenhouse where it can grow, strengthen its roots, and prepare for being transplanted. Then at the appropriate time and season for that specific plant, the gardener moves the plant outside the greenhouse. A good gardener will still tend  and nurture, but the plant is strong, and hopefully able to withstand weather, disease, and its environment while flourishing.

For David and I, we want our seedlings to eventually flourish in this world. Until that time comes, we desire to be the primary ones investing, nurturing, and strengthening their roots.


Popular Posts