File this post away under “disclaimer.” I have wanted to do a series like this for some time. When we first decided to home educate, I had no idea that it would give us a rich family life. However, I am often hesitant to say as much because…I don’t think that the benefits of home education should be used as reasons or arguments for home education.
Allow me to explain.
If I decide to home educate because someone told me that a benefit was that their children seemed to catch fewer colds, then I’d be pretty tempted to quit the first time we spent all winter with the sniffles. And if I decide to home educate because someone told me that a benefit was that their children seemed to have strong sibling relationships, then I’d be pretty tempted to quit the first time I spent a week breaking up sibling squabbles every ten minutes. And if I decide to home educate because someone told me it was fun, then I’d be pretty tempted to quit when it got hard and I felt like escaping.
See what I mean?
There are benefits, yes. Real, tangible benefits. But benefits are almost completely subjective. I might find something fun or exciting that someone else doesn’t. I might find something hard that someone else finds easy.
Because of this, home education needs to flow from conviction. That conviction is best found in Paul’s use of the Greek word paideia in Ephesians 6:4.
Now, to be fair, I think the full sense of the word paideia can include delegation–the hiring of tutors, and Christian schools as well. For our family, home education is not only the most direct route to fulfilling God’s commands, it is also pretty much the only route available to us. We cannot afford Christian schools or tutors, and I will not get a job to pay for one because I have many young children who are not school age and who should not be abandoned in order to provide an education for the older children.
Sometimes God makes His will obvious by eliminating all but one way to fulfill it. Limited means can offer direction in its own way, and this is not a bad thing.
So as I was saying, please take this series for what it is: benefits I have observed in my own home, or in the homes of beloved friends who have chosen this same path. It is Thanksgiving soon, and I am thankful for this journey. Waxing nostalgic with
pen and ink keyboard and coffee is my own way of celebrating.
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