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!