Reasons to Homeschool

When someone finds out we are homeschooling our kids, one of the most frequent questions I get is why did we choose to homeschool the kids? Here are our reasons:

- We believe that this is what God has called our family to do.
– Builds a strong sense of family and relationship between each other.
– We can emphasize the study of the Word of God and character building.
– We believe that individualized instruction is much better than institutionalized education.
– Our schedule is more flexible and we get to adjust with each other’s schedules. This gives enough opportunity for the kids to pursue and develop their God given talents.

Knowing why you are choosing to homeschool your kids would be the most important question that you must be able to answer before finally deciding to homeschool because when tough days come, and they sure will come, these reasons will help you through and bring you back towards the right path for your family.

Article Contributed by: Chris of http://www.mommyjourney.com

Original Article: http://www.mommyjourney.com/2012/04/reasons-to-homeschool.html

The Ironies of Learning

As we’ve homeschooled Arielle and Kayla these past 4 years, I’ve learned these and continue to remind myself that:

Less is more.

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It’s better to study in chunks rather than in big gulps.

It’s better to immerse in a topic rather than try to study all the chapters in the book from cover to cover. (I don’t think we’re even required to finish the entire book in all subjects every schoolyear! Do schools actually do that?)

Slow is fast.
The more you take time to teach a child how a thing works or about a topic in such a way that he/she would be able to grasp the idea and see the big picture of it, the faster it will find its way to his/her memory bank.

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Five Years of Homeschooling … So What?

For the record, we are currently finishing our 4th and last quarter of our schoolyear.  Our HOMESCHOOLING schoolyear (a deep breath here).  Yes, it’s “we”, “our” and not “our daughters” quarter and “their” schoolyear.

As I sit in front of the computer and stare at my screen, I ask myself “What really did we gain from this out-of-the-norm option we had taken five years ago?” (Now, for a sip of coffee … Did I hear somebody say “out-of-this-world” or was that “out-of-your-mind”?)  It definitely has not been smooth sailing all the way but despite the many bumps, potholes, pit stops, and roller coaster rides in this journey (journey: my personal metaphor of how homeschooling has been to us), I must humbly say that the cruisin’, smooth landings or touchdowns every end of a schoolyear accomplished is a constant and faithful reminder of God that He is in control of everything, even if there were a lot of moments when it felt turbulent and out of control.Just like when travelling to a place, especially for the first time, we have “pasalubongs” or souvenirs from our homeschooling journey which have accumulated these years  and which personally find most memorable and worth keeping.  I have a few which are my favorites:

1.  Learning takes place anytime, anywhere, everytime, everywhere.  It is not anymore limited within the four walls of the classroom, to what the teacher always says, when the bell rings, or when it’s time to take the quarterly exams.  Homeschooling has tore down those classroom walls and truly has made the world our classroom.  We learn hands-on, real-time, and sometimes, in the most unexpected and unconventional places, with ordinary, extraordinary but real people and scenarios.

Prepare Your Child for Life Success

Life success is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as yourself.  It is a life defined by peace, faith, true joy, and legacy – making a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.

Parenting success is doing everything we can to prepare our children for life success.

The gospel of Mark puts things into perspective when it says, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36-37) Let me rephrase the question from the perspective of a parent, “what good is it for my child to gain the whole world – wealth, prestige or power, but lose his soul?”

I believe that many children lose their soul when they are in school. Well-meaning parents send their child to a reputable school to get them educated for future success but there is always the danger of one or more of the following:

-          The loss of innocence and purity

-          Negative influence of peers

-          Emotional disconnection or distancing from parents and siblings

-          Pressure of materialism and having to keep up with trends

-          Emphasis on the wrong values

-          Internalization of or confusion due to a world-view that is not biblical

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My Children Belong to You

When I joined a church-wide fast about three years ago, I surrendered my children to God. It was one of the most difficult spiritual experiences I have gone through as a parent.

Why? When I was young, something traumatic happened to me (which I may share at a later time), and while I believe that God certainly used everything for good in my life, I had this fear that something “bad” might one day happen to my children. I put bad in quotation marks because as a follower of Jesus, I do believe that God is ultimately in control of our lives and is purposeful, good, and wise in all that he does. However, I also know that tragic occurrences bring pain and I would never want for what happened to me (or anything remotely similar to it) to ever happen to my children.

As I prayed to the Lord during that fasting week, I felt there was something blocking my communion with God. And as the week progressed, God revealed to me that I was not able to surrender my children to him. It was then that he spoke to me.

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Have Home, Will Learn

This is the article I authored for Smart Parenting. It came out in the March 2011 Issue.

When people ask me where my kids go to school, my answer is, “They don’t. They are homeschooled.” More often than not, I get a follow up question like, “What’s that?” Being a die-hard advocate of homeschooling, I enjoy answering that question. It helps that I was homeschooled myself, I homeschool my own kids, and I ran a homeschool program in the past. I have seen homeschooling from a 360 degree angle and experienced the benefits first-hand.

Homeschooling is not easy, but it is worth it. It is not easy because it means taking on the responsibility of teaching and training your child; it may entail giving up a second source of income; it requires you to re-program your understanding of education; you need to model what you teach; and society has preconceived notions about it that aren’t always positive.

Yes, there are times when I feel a little bit of that pressure to be conventional. For example, I sometimes wonder what people think when my kids are with me at the grocery and it is a weekday morning. Other kids their age are sitting in classrooms, listening to a lecture, or maybe taking a test. But my worry quickly passes when I see the delight on my kids’ faces as we make a learning experience out of picking fruit and vegetables. So, in a sense, the grocery is our classroom for that morning.

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1955 to 2011. What is Your Legacy?

When Steve Jobs’ passed from this earth a page on Apple’s site read, “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Steve Jobs. 1955 to 2011.

During the HSLDA conference in Branson, Missouri, last September, I listened to a speaker by the name of Arnold Pent III talk about “faith.” He began by reciting the entire book of Hebrews 11 beginning with one of my favourite passages, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

A man now in his 70’s, with successful businesses in real estate, oil and energy, Arnold recounted the days of his youth and the legacy of faith his parents passed on to him. Hebrews 11 was only one of the many books of the Bible he and his siblings memorized as children. This was back in the 1950s.

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