by Mike McHugh
The best reason for parents to choose home education is because they are convicted that God’s Word and Spirit directed them to this educational alternative. Notwithstanding this fact, however, there are multiple reasons for parents to home school due to its many benefits. The following information will help to summarize some of the chief advantages of Christian home education.
1. Parents know exactly what a child is taught
When a seventh-grader began to be privately tutored in math, the mother complained that the child had been doing poorly since fourth grade. It was discovered that the child did not know her multiplication tables though she had been primarily in private schools. This mother had not been informed by teachers that her child did not know her tables, and therefore assumed that her daughter was simply slow at math. This common problem does not afflict home school parents for they are working directly with their children and know their strengths and weaknesses.
When parents are estranged from the teaching process, they can be easily misled by the report cards that their children bring home due to the fact that scores are often inflated to keep both parents and school principals pacified. Actual learning and grade reports are often at odds with one another. Another parent also told me of her anger as she discovered that her child had been given credit for reading an entire book when she actually had read only the first page. Few parents have not heard of the teacher who measures his popularity by how many of his students are on the honor roll. Grades given at home by parent teachers, however, seldom have an inflated nature for such parents are more concerned about learning than grades.
Proverbs 27:23 says, “Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Home school parents have comprehensive firsthand knowledge of the true condition of their children’s education. How many parents in traditional schools truly know what is going on with their children’s education?
2. The sanctity of the family is strengthened
Contrary to the humanistic idea that children belong to the state is the biblical truth that parents alone are given the duty by Almighty God to “train up a child in the way he should go…”. Parents who home school are striving to obey the commands of Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
The education of children has never been scripturally shown to be the responsibility of the state or even the church. Scripture does allow for parents to hire tutors or schoolmasters if they are incapable of teaching their own children, but even in these circumstances the ultimate burden rests upon the parents. When parents send their children to tax-supported government schools, they are undermining the sanctity or authority of their home by empowering the state to be in charge of the education of their children. The gradual and predictable erosion of parental rights in education over the last century stems largely from the fact that families have been willing to give the responsibility for their children’s education to the state. As the old saying goes, “ Whoever takes responsibility, gains authority.” Parental rights in the area of child training will only be re-established as parents begin to exercise responsibility for their children’s education by way of home education or through a private Christian school.
3. Home schools produce fewer rebels
Home education helps to promote strong and close family relationships. The values of parents are more readily passed on to their children, thus equipping them to be able to stand up against the pressures of society. The homeschooled child is more stable than the child who has been exposed to conflicting values in his early years. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” ( James 1:8 )
4. Parents inspire their children daily as they live out their God-given convictions
When parents home school their children they must make a commitment which will demand self-discipline, diligence, patience, orderliness, family loyalty, selfless love, and an often painful re-ordering of priorities. As children see their parents make daily sacrifices on their behalf, with little recognition and no monetary reward, they are inspired by the devotion and character of their parents. These “cloud of witnesses”, otherwise known as our children, also are blest as they see their parents manifesting the courage to do something different from what the world calls “normal”.
5. The roles of homeschool parents are in keeping with the biblical ideal
Regardless of the fact that there are legitimate cases in which both husband and wife must work outside the home, it is still true that the biblical ideal is for the wife to be a “keeper at home” and the husband to work to provide materially for the household. (Titus 2:5,1 Timothy 5:8 ) As mothers stay at home and exercise their normal biblical calling as a homemaker and teacher to their children, the family is blest. Contrary to modern views, a mother’s role as homemaker does not fade away once her children reach school age. The most influential career that any wife can exercise is that of a homemaker. The hand that rocks the cradle, and guides the hearts of the young, does truly rule the world for God has ordained it to be so.
6. Parents get re-educated in their academic knowledge and worldview
Home educators are often surprised to realize how much they did not learn in school as they go through school material with their children. Christian parents who attended secular government schools and are now teaching at home with a Christ-centered curriculum, are also amazed to discover how much the Bible relates to all areas of life and study. Such parents often develop a renewed interest in learning as they grow in their understanding of the world and in biblical wisdom.
7. Home school children have health advantages
Home educated youth are less apt to catch communicable diseases and colds from other students. Anyone who has sent children to a conventional day school, can tell you how often children are sent to school even though they are sick. This problem is multiplied many fold in the case of young children, due to the fact that they are regularly putting objects into their mouths.
8. Home schools encourage positive and real-world socialization
Children in home school tend to imitate the adult behavior of their parents instead of the often destructive, selfish, cruel, and crude behavior of other classmates. The larger the group of children, the more likely it is that there will be at least a few “rotten apples” bent on corrupting the whole barrel (class).
The mix of ages in a home school is commonly more in tune with the real world, for society is not, after all, segregated into peer groups. Home school kids have to relate to adults and children of differing age levels on a regular basis. For this reason, most home school students find it easier to relate to and communicate with adults as well as those from other age groups. Conventionally schooled children tend to stay with children their own age and may feel uncomfortable with older or younger children. Such children are also often more easily swayed by peer pressure as evidenced by the way that traditional school children feel compelled to talk and dress like their peers.
9. Home schools can provide students with special personalized treatment
The conventional school instructor can scarcely afford to give personalized or preferential treatment to his students. The needs of the group or class must invariably outweigh the needs of the individual student. For obvious reasons, home school instructors have a much easier time meeting the specialized needs of each child they teach.
10. Christian home education provides rewards in this life and the next
The busy homemaker described in Proverbs 31 was showered with honor and praise by those in her household because she served them well. Faithful parent teachers will reap in due season if they faint not. The calling of Christian home education requires sacrifice, yet it is also a joyous endeavor, for we know that the daily struggle to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven will be rewarded some day by our heavenly Father. The greatest reward of all, however, will be when God is pleased, by His grace, to save our children and grant them the gift of eternal life.
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Copyright 2006 Alida Gookin
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