Monday, January 17, 2011

All Parents Should Home Educate

Now that I have your attention (smile), let me explain:

Although I was never home-schooled, I was home educated.  Before I went to kindergarten, I learned to read by being read to. I was also taught to be kind to others, especially to those who were weaker than I was in some way.

On the first day of kindergarten, the teacher formed three reading groups with the not-so-carefully disguised names of "Cheetahs" and "Bears", if I remember correctly. Yes, I know that is only two. I can't remember the middle group because I was never in that one.

We were doing our reading evaluation, and a little boy named Adam was struggling to read the words. Everyone else in the group could read better than he did, and it was obvious, even to five-year-old me. Then, it was my turn. I picked up my book and imitated Adam's halting style, "" with the same monotone he used. I was happy. Now he wouldn't feel bad because there was someone else that read like him.

I stayed in Adam's group until my parent's came to a parent-teacher conference and saw my reading evaluation. Since they home educated me, they knew what I was capable of and questioned the teacher as to why I was in the "Bears" group when I read "Cheetah-style" at home. I had learned from my parents a much more important lesson than reading, however grades don't reflect that.

Most parents just miss the depth of their child's intelligence and, more importantly, their character, because all they see is a report card. My parents were very involved in my education. Even though they sacrificed to put me in an excellent school, they didn't trust the teacher to handle every detail. Science projects were a family affair. My mom drilled our multiplication facts into our heads. My dad made up funny ways for us to remember history facts and Bible verses. They were there for every event, and applauded our every sincere effort. They didn't have to ask us how we were doing in school. They knew.

Yet, there is so much more to an education than academics. Just as my parents taught me kindness, they also taught me respect for authority. "The teacher is always right." In the very few cases the teacher was legitimately in the wrong, they took care of it; but without lessening that teacher's right to authority in our minds. They didn't leave character issues for us to "mature into". They didn't even leave them up to the Sunday School teacher. I learned very few things in Sunday School that I didn't already know from being taught at home.

Yes, I've used my parents as an example of home educators because they taught me how to do it. I've taken it a step farther and kept my children home from "school", because I don't want to miss a thing! Even if you send your children to a brick-and-mortar school, don't fail to home educate. You may be surprised what you learn.


  1. I have a friend who sends her daughter to public school but she doesn't fail to home educate. In fact, her daughter has memorized more scripture than my kids have and it is because she is so diligent in home teaching her. It blows my stereo type of public school kids out of the water. Humbling...

  2. I agree, Rebecca! Although I am personally convicted about sending my child into government religious instruction, I understand that some parents may be called to do that.

    Regardless of where our children receive their formal education, however, I think the Bible is clear on our responsibility to home educate in a Deut. 6 type way as parents.

    Thanks for your comment!