Once a child enters puberty, along with all the changes that this brings to the family, a new concern arises that often grows into a fear. Indeed, it is probably the greatest, most universal fear within the home education community. In fact, this fear is likely the single biggest reason for the collapse and failure of home education programs.
What about high school? What about accreditation? What about obtaining a high school diploma? And, from the child’s perspective, what about friends? Within all these concerns there is an overarching concern that will increase when reaching the fourth level of our fears and concerns for home education.
That is, before embarking on our home education journey, most people want assurance that their efforts will lead to good results. We want to best provide for our children’s post-secondary futures. Once parents get past this initial concern, it seems to go away, until the children reach puberty, when it returns in full force.
This is the stage where all the original reasons for home educating seem to be buried with a greater concern for the future. Lacking the full understanding of what a “high school” level education is and that the alternatives to a regular high school education are actually much better, parents often abandon their original resolve to keep their children out of harm’s way and send their children to be “finished off” in high school.
This may have merit when we apply this to raising cattle, where we send them to the feedlot to be “finished off” before being butchered, but it has no application to students when given serious thought and consideration.
What has actually changed when considering the original reason for having decided to home educate in the first place? Likely nothing, except that the children are older and more likely to be expressing more of their own personal opinions.
You wanted the best education for them. Nothing has changed. You wanted them to be properly exposed to the truth. Nothing has changed. You wanted to be with them to form a solid family unit where siblings grow up to be each other’s best friends. Nothing has changed.
You kept them home because you loved them and desired to do as God had directed. Nothing has changed, unless of course, the world has convinced you to trust it with the children it never created rather than the God who did. Sort of like when the apostle Paul questioned the Galatians, who having begun in the spirit, now foolishly considered being perfected by the flesh.
And you desired to give them the best possible tools and position from which to successfully move on to a fulfilling life. Nothing has changed.
Home education is still the very best way to prepare students for their individual lives. School grouping cannot provide the best environment for a student to develop as an individual. The family has always been the place where children can be who they are without all the extra pressures and indoctrination that comes with school. Again, nothing has changed.
Puberty is when a child starts to really look at the world. Not just their own personal little planet, but what the universe has to offer. It is the stage in their lives where others, outside of the family, will start to have increasingly more influence in their lives, and likely the time when children will start to question the validity of their home education.
This is when, unaware of what school is really about, they may make some noise about going to school to get an accredited education, leading to a high school diploma, and there will be no end to the false information designed to have you believe that man and his institutions can do better than God and His directives.
What students are really wanting at this stage of their lives is to get out of the home. The simple solution here is to let them out; to provide new and stimulating things for learning and opportunities for socializing with others, yet always with the full knowledge that most others will do what they can to undermine your resolve to prepare your own children for their futures.
Even though these young adults can be very convincing at times, parents still need to parent. Young adults hardly have more insight or wisdom than parents.
As long as the child is under your roof, you still have some say in their lives, especially when just entering their adult lives. It is true that you need to treat them as adults, but that is only so when they are conducting themselves as adults.
Children have even less information about how attending school will likely retard their education than parents do. This is not the time to let them make uninformed and potentially life altering decisions.
Should parents keep the student home yet decide to follow public programming, the concerns regarding school based social issues may be taken care of, but the child is still exposed to all that comes with the secular public programming and is now more under the tutelage of strangers than of the parents.