Should I Educate My Children At Home? Fears and Concerns Series (Part 1)

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At every stage of home education you’re going to encounter fears and concerns, beginning with the one we are going to address today. Fears and concerns are to be expected whenever we determine to follow an unfamiliar path.

Now, if we consider fears and concerns to be “symptoms”, all we need to find is a “cure” for each. There’s an antidote or “cure” for both. The antidote for a concern is a solution, and the best solution is always simple. So, I’m going to offer you some simple solutions for your concerns.

What do you think is the antidote for fear? It’s called faith. We either believe or we’re scared. That’s what it boils down to. We are not to confuse worldview and religion with faith. I believe that faith is tied to truth and truth is determined by God, not man.

Everybody has a worldview, and everybody is religious, even when they “insist” they are not, but not everyone has faith. Wherever faith is lacking, fear is experienced.

I’m going to discuss some of the most common fears and concerns of home education in this series. I will be coming at them from a Bible-based faith perspective and largely as an un-schooler. You’ll understand more about this perspective as we proceed.

In the pre-structured period of a child’s education, the question is: “why should I home educate?” Here’s the simple answer: because it is the best option, most of the time. I cannot truthfully say that it is for everyone, but it most certainly is for those who gave up their job or career to be home with the children.

The other thing to consider is that the alternative isn’t so good.

Nobody can know a child better than a loving parent, and you are already his or her greatest teacher.

You potty train them. You’ve taught them the most difficult thing they’re ever going to learn in their life, and that’s called language. You’ve taught them to speak intelligently.

You train your children for the first six years, and then you determine to let them be taught by some “professional” who knows very little about them. We do this without questioning the system or truly knowing the system’s or the teacher’s world view perspective. And we are truly unaware of what is being taught, even if in a private school that claims to share your world view!

By default, you are your child’s greatest teacher, because nobody knows or cares for a child more than a loving parent. As truly unique individuals, children need the consistent individual attention that only a parent can provide. That’s all there is to it.

Now, when I ask parents why they are not teaching their children at home, I get a number of answers. Listen carefully to these reasons for not home educating.

“I could never do that.” / “I don’t know anything about it.” / “I’m too busy.” / “I’m not patient enough.” / “I’m not educated enough.” / “I only have grade ???” / “I couldn’t teach high school.” / “I have to work.” / “I have a career.” / “I can’t afford it.” / “I believe the government has that responsibility” or simply, “I am not interested or I don’t want to.”

Have you noticed that every one of those “excuses” start with “I”?

Parenting demands sacrifice. This should be an obvious fact.

When you gave birth, your life changed. Whether you’re the mother or the father, you suddenly stopped being number one. Any healthy individual should realize that in order to properly parent a child, that child must take priority in the parent’s life.

Now children always believe they are the centre of the universe, which is precisely what we have to “fix” when parenting. It is truly sad when parents, who somehow missed this important lesson, put themselves first, whether by failing to provide for the child, through career ambitions, or unabashed selfishness.

Parents have the freedom to choose. The choice is, will you sacrifice yourself for the sake of your children, or will you sacrifice your children for the sake of yourself?

If you give this some serious thought, those are the only two options parents have. No matter what decision is made, something will always need to be sacrificed, but only the sacrificing of “I” can be legitimately considered to be a sacrifice. Sacrificing something other than “I” is actually more of an offering than a sacrifice! Think about that!

Everybody Has a Worldview: Worldview Series (Part 2)

(A wise man once said) When we’ve chosen to take a different path, we must be prepared to do things differently, and be willing to come into conflict with those who would have us do otherwise.

Think about this. What happens when you decide to do something different? Do people encourage you? Not really. Some may be challenged by your choice while others may actually be threatened by it, but few will applaud it.

The path that you’ve taken as a home educator is a decision to do something different and with that comes the challenges and conflicts of those who would prefer that you do like everybody else.

What is it that makes people react, sometimes violently when someone challenges their position on a matter? To answer that question we need to consider the root cause or foundational premise that directs the actions of people. That brings us to the importance of world view.

World view is defined as what is unquestionably assumed to be true, about oneself, and the world around us. (repeat)

The whole idea of world view actually is the world’s replacement for a word that the “worldly” don’t like to use and that word is “faith.”

So, instead of asking what faith do you belong to, we sort of make it more generic and downplay its meaning, I guess, by saying it is a world view rather than a faith.

Faith is defined as a strongly held belief or theory and world view as what is unquestionably assumed to be true about oneself and the world around us.

There is not much difference in those two definitions and we can see that they are connected as faith is the foundation of world view. Quite frankly, they are the same because both are established on our perception of God.

Everybody has a world view or faith foundation. One of the greatest tricks of the world is to say, “I’m not religious.” I have never, in my entire life, met a person who wasn’t religious, for the simple reason that there is not a person on earth that does not have a world view or faith system.

If you’ve lived, you’ve experienced things, you’ve heard things, you’ve been told things, you’ve read things, everything that you’ve been exposed to has been part of what formulated your world view.

Whether right or wrong, true or false, reality or otherwise, everyone has a world view based on all our personal experiences, whether we are aware of it or not.

Some people can actually point at it and give it a name. Other people don’t know that they have one but indeed they do and it’s based on our perception of God.

Now, speaking of education, how many people have actually been home educated? Very few, I venture to guess. Most of us are actually doing something that we have never experienced ourselves as students.

It’s like telling our children to do something that we’ve never done. A bit of a challenge, to be sure as it must begin with our correcting the errors in our worldview.

So really, when we stop to think of it, what do you think is going to happen when someone starts talking to you as a home educator and asks, what experience have you had with education?

Nearly all of us have been to school. So what do we bring with us? What’s our world view in regards to education? It is probably what we’ve experienced which is, school.

So what do 99.9 percent of the people do when they first start home educating? Bring the school home, because that’s all we’ve experienced, that’s our world view. We’re comfortable there, because that’s what we’ve come to believe is true.

I want to challenge your world view as it relates to education. It’s important, because your world view becomes the foundation of every decision that you’re ever going to make in your life, including all the decisions you will make regarding the education of your children.

It’s important because you want to make the best decisions and your making that decision is going to be based upon what you believe to be true.

I find it’s almost impossible for me to start any session on any topic without first talking about world view. It is that important. Debates that we may have, usually boil down to an expression of faith or our strongly held belief or theory in a matter.

Where are we placing our faith? Where is our world view? Since our world view and faith is the foundation for our intellectual and spiritual being, it becomes the bias.

As a matter of fact, you can see this throughout the world. The Jewish people believe that their world view is the correct one, everyone else falls under the category of gentile. The Muslim people figure that their world view is the correct one and everyone else falls under the category of infidel.

The Christian world view also believes that it’s the right one (and I happen to believe that it actually is the right one) and everyone else falls in the “other category” we refer to generally as unbelievers. All these are faith categories and therefore, all are world views.

So, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other religion, all world views really have two perspectives; one in keeping with what one believes and another which is what everybody else believes or anything that does not agree with what we believe. This creates an environment of us versus them.

If you think about this, it is the reason for every war that has ever been fought. Both sides see the other side as “the other guys” who don’t but should believe as they do and they are willing to fight over it, whether with words or with actions.

So, How Do We Sum It Up?

Part of the series Questions For Home Education
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-09-29.

The which, where, how, when and what of home education is actually determined by one simple thing, our faith.

Our world view is shaped by everything we have experienced, whether true or false. We tend to trust what we have come to believe as true and may even defend ourselves when presented with opposing thoughts. This series is meant to challenge your world view.

Bible Reference: Luke 16:15

I find that whenever I am asked to summarize my thoughts about a subject, I usually come up with the same answer. The way we do things is rooted in what we believe. The Bible is clear on this issue, calling belief in what is true, faith and in what in not true as, a lack of faith. The world seems confused on this point, mixing up faith and lack of faith under the banner of “world view”, which can be defined as the sum of all that we have come to believe to be true and accurate, regardless of whether or not, it is in fact, true or accurate.

Jesus questioned whether He would find faith on earth upon His return (Luke 8:18). He was asking if there would be people who believed more in God than human institutions, who trusted more in God than human accreditation and who would follow God rather than pursuing money? Faith or lack of faith? Trust or fear? Confidence or confusion?

While we all demonstrate some degree of faith in our lives, we also demonstrate a clear lack of faith at the same time. Take home education for example. While most may believe that God created the children, most are also fearful that God has no interest in their futures! Somehow, we believe that the creative genius of God ends when the children are born and that their futures depend on us! Our actions demonstrates more of a belief that God creates and abandons than in His ability to create and direct, especially when it comes to the “high school” or secondary level education. Until our children reach puberty, it is easy to have faith in God, but when outside influences start whispering in our ears that God doesn’t care and that we have to do something, our fear takes over and our faith disappears. We try to appease these fears of the unknown, particularly the future of our children, by putting our trust in the world and its system of accreditation rather than in the all-knowing power of God. Faith in God yet fearful of His failing our children. Faith in God but uncertain of His abilities. Faith in God but following the constructs of man. Is this really faith? Small wonder Jesus doubted He would find faith on earth at His return!

Yes, it is true that home education can be summarized as being a question of faith. What do we believe about God? Can he finished what he started or as the Apostle Paul so clearly put it, “having begun by the Spirit, will we seek to be perfected by the flesh”? Faith or lack of faith? Trust or fear? Confidence or confusion? No matter what, it is faith, or a lack thereof.