(Last Updated on November 24, 2020)
Has the word “homeschool” caught your attention lately?
Are you curious about it? Feeling called to it? Wondering if it’s something you should explore more?
Do you feel a little crazy for even considering such a counter-cultural concept?
That’s exactly where I was not too long ago.
Back then I hadn’t even heard of homeschooling. But, after reading a book that mentioned it, I couldn’t seem to get away from it! The more I looked into it, the more sense it seemed to make for our family.
While no one else can make the decision for you, I can share what helped us decide to homeschool in the hopes that it will help you decide, too.
This is a big decision, not to be taken lightly. Discerning whether God is calling your family to educate at home might not be easy.
But remember – He is a God of peace, not confusion. Humbly ask God to help you understand if this calling is from Him. Ask for clarity and guidance as you sort through the options. And pray for Him to bring you to a place of peace with your decision.
He might speak to you through interactions with other people, through your Bible reading or through reflection and prayer.
Whatever you sense He’s calling you to do, don’t ignore it! We all know how that worked out for Jonah!
Persistence of the Call
I’ve read that pastors sometimes recognize their calling from God into the ministry because the feeling doesn’t go away. It persists.
I’m guessing the same is true for people God calls to other vocations, too. I know it was true for me when I first read about homeschooling.
I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to look into it more. And the more I researched, the more it intrigued me and I felt nudged onto the path of home education.
If you feel like the word “homeschooling” is haunting you, it may just be that you’re supposed to look into it for your family!
While there’s no one personality type or set of gifts that makes someone a good homeschooler, it helps to take a hard, honest look at yourself and see what you find.
To homeschool successfully, parents need to be dedicated and responsible. Homeschooling isn’t a cake walk and, by definition, home educators have taken on a huge additional responsibility. Are you up for the challenge?
Another common trait I’ve seen in homeschoolers (and talked about more in this post) is resourcefulness. As a homeschooler, you definitely don’t need to know everything, but you will need to know how to find answers and resources for your kids to succeed.
Also reflect on your own personality (and your spouse’s). What are your spiritual gifts? What’s your personality type? Think about your strengths and weaknesses and how those will play out in a homeschool setting. And, don’t worry, most weaknesses can be compensated for given the flexible nature of homeschooling. The key is just to know what they are!
Think about your family’s personality and background. What are the specific reasons you think homeschooling would be a good fit? Are there family goals (like homesteading, traveling internationally, teaching a certain worldview, starting a home business, etc.) that a homeschooling lifestyle would help you achieve?
For some friends of ours, homeschooling allows the kids to see their dad more since he has an unusual work schedule. Others, like ourselves, love the freedom to weave our faith into our days together and teach through daily life experiences. What are your reasons for considering homeschooling?
Think about the practical side of the choice, too. What role would each person play in the homeschool? How would it affect finances, careers and time for other household chores?
As hard as it might be, also be honest with yourself about dangerous patterns (like substance abuse, for example) or other serious issues that would need to be addressed before educating your kids at home. Just like having another baby doesn’t solve marital problems, bringing your kids home to an unhealthy or unsafe situation will only make matters worse for them and you.
Opportunities & Opened Doors
In my own experience, I’ve found God often shuts some doors in order to direct us down a different path. At the time, it’s sometimes confusing. Other times I sense things falling into place. Either way, when I look back, I see His hand in it all.
Do you get the sense that home educating is the right next step or that relationships and opportunities have presented themselves, nudging you in that direction? Do you feel like other educational options would be the wrong step for your child or family or that it would be an uphill battle making traditional schooling options fit with your family and goals?
Pray for God to provide opportunities – local co-ops, homeschool support groups and programs, communities of homeschoolers near you, classes and resources you’d need for your kids – and watch expectantly for His provision.
I know it’s super-cliché, but He really does equip those He calls. If this truly is something God wants your family doing, He’ll open the doors and provide what you need to make it happen.
No matter what you end up deciding, know that this isn’t a permanent “there’s no going back” kind of decision. In the USA, you’re not locked into any particular method of education from K-12.
Some families start with a baby step like studying a subject or two over summer, just to see what it’s like. Others, like our family, test the waters by trying it “just for a year” with the plan to re-evaluate along the way.
So. Should YOU homeschool?
Like I said before – I can’t decide for you.
But, if after reading this post you find yourself still resonating with the idea, I think there’s a strong possibility this is the path for you! At the very least, keep researching homeschooling and keep praying for discernment!
If you are considering educating your kids at home, check out the posts below for more encouragement and ideas:
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