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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why Homeschool?

This is a difficult question for me to answer succinctly, mostly because there isn't any one single reason why we have chosen to homeschool.  Instead, there are a multitude of reasons, each of which is layered like an onion, which have culminated in our current educational endeavor.  So, I think I'll just sort of list some of my reasons here and then maybe fill them out with explanations, thoughts, and feelings as I find opportunity to.  For the most part, our reasons for homeschooling (though my husband may have different reasons than mine and may prioritize these differently) can be drawn from the various states of being; namely, spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social.

My number one reason for homeschooling my children is spiritual.  Since the inception of public education, special interest groups and lobbyists have claimed that God has no business in schools and have worked tirelessly to achieve just such an eradication.  Sadly, they have succeeded.  I firmly believe, therefore, that without the inclusion of God, the Creator of all about which we are learning, my children (His children) have no business in public school.  Above all else, I want the opportunity to imbue my children with the same standards, values, and principles which I hold dear, and I do not see that as possible, practical, or probable should they first be imbued with seven hours of someone else's standards, values, and principles.  Instead of being their primary contact with vital and valuable life lessons, I am left doing damage control.  I am the janitor rather than the teacher.  It leaves me with precious little time to truly magnify my calling as a mother and teacher if I must forgo a significant lesson on service, faith, or the Savior in order to explain why Guess jeans aren't more important than Target jeans or to correct a child who has ignorantly adopted bad language from peers.  Granted these are opportunities to discuss our values as opposed to worldly values, but they leave no room, no time for instruction in "the weightier matters" of life and eternity.  I want to teach about the Creation, not unravel falsehoods gleaned from Godless theories such as evolution and the big bang theory.  I want to teach about abstinence, chastity, and the beauty of purity, not undo the damage of a "health" curriculum that preaches birth control for "safe sex" (rather than abstinence), birth control for STD avoidance (rather than abstinence), masturbation, and homosexual intimacy methods.  It rather disgusts me how far our public schools have strayed from real academic education for the sake of social "education."  I want our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to be not just a fifteen minute daily part of my children's lives, but an every-minute part of their lives where they grow to see how God's Hand is in every subject they could possibly explore be it academic, professional, or personal.  I have a God-granted stewardship over my children.  They were His first and they are still His most.  How can I do my job as He has pleaded it be done if I am sending them off to someone else to do my job for me; someone who has neither the same level of love for, concern for, or interest in my children?  No one can be more anxious for the success of a child than his own mother, and no one can receive more patience, heavenly guidance/inspiration, and personal revelation for that child than his own mother.

Here are some inspirational quotes which have served to guide me toward the path of home education where my children's spiritual needs are concerned:

"In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many
schools--and it's becoming almost generally true--it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools" (Boyd K. Packer, David O. McKay Education Symposium, Oct. 9, 1996)

"Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today's world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family.  Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility.  While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to 'train up a child in the way he [or she] should go' (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents.  According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father's children.  Our families are an integral part of His work and glory - 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (Moses 1:39).  On God's eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children's lives.  Fortunately, there are understudies involved in the production who may step in when parents can't.  It, however, is parents who have been commanded by the Lord to bring up their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40).
The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.
While circumstances do vary and the ideal isn't always possible, I believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation.  We see so many challenges today from distracting and destructive influences intended to mislead God's children.  We are seeing many young people who lack the deep spiritual roots necessary to remain standing in faith as storms of unbelief and despair swirl around them.  Too many of our Father in Heaven's children are being overcome by worldly desires.  The onslaught of wickedness against our children is at once more subtle and more brazen than it has ever been.  Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home adds another layer of insulation to protect our children from worldly influences." - Elder L. Tom Perry, General Conference Address, Ensign May 2010, pp. 30-31.

"We hold in our arms the rising generation.  They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities.  We cannot be casual in how we prepare them.  Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.
Are the life and teachings of Jesus Christ embedded in the minds and souls of our children?  Do they think about the Savior's life when they wonder what to do in their own lives?  This will be more and more important in the years ahead.
To fathers and mothers, to grandfathers and grandmothers, and to those without children of their own who lovingly nurture children and youth, my counsel is to speak more frequently about Jesus Christ.  In His holy name is great spiritual power. 'There [is] no other name given nor any other way . . . whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ.'" - Elder Neil L. Andersen, General Conference Address, Ensign May 2010, pp. 108-109.

"We want to pass on our heartfelt values to our precious children.  Isn't this ultimately why we decide to homeschool?  Somehow, we all come to the point of realization that someone else is impressing their values on our priceless children; that we are being robbed of the most important privilege of parenthood.  Our belief in Jesus Christ is our most valuable possession and if, day in and day out, our children are being taught values that counter biblical principles; then there is surely cause for alarm." - Diane Hopkins

"...character is greater than intellect. Goodness is better than smartness. I knew that if we educated [our child] without spiritual principles that we could just make her a clever devil..."
- Reed A. Benson

So, I just wrote all that and then found the following quote which does a magnificent job of summing up my reasons for homeschooling:

"Why do people take or keep their children out of school? Mostly for three reasons: they think that raising their children is their business not the government’s; they enjoy being with their children and watching and helping them learn, and don’t want to give that up to others; they want to keep them from being hurt, mentally, physically, and spiritually." - John Holt


e. del mar said...

very well said. by the way...i miss you. hope all is going well with the new baby. I look forward to watching you home school because it sounds very interesting to me.

Lisa said...

Hi, Liz! Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet comments. I'm now your newest follower! :) Enjoying your blog and looking forward to reading more. You have a beautiful family!

Lisa said...

Btw, I've added your button to my Awesome Blogs page here: http://raisingfutureleaders.blogspot.com/p/awesome-blogs.html

Add mine if you'd like. I would so love to know how you made your drop down menu bar under your header. Care to share with me? :)

Lisa xoxo

Courtney said...

Amen Sista!! I'm taking that last quote and a button and running with them :)

Tracy said...

Hi Liz,
I found you on Friday Blog Hops and stopped on by. Your reasons you homeschool are similar to mine with religious reasons being at the top for our family of 6. I homeschool my 4 "cupcakes" and I'm enjoying all the roller coaster ride of homeschooling. I'm your newest follower! Follow back if you'd like and stop on in and leave a comment :)
Have a blessed Friday!

Aspiring Millionaire said...

I am heavily leaning towards homeschooling as well. My family think I am nuts, but I don't see why I should send them to a public school for them to be taught everything we believe in is not right, and for them to be taught things we believe in abstaining from are right and ok.

I found your blog today and am so glad to have found another member blog. You have done such a great job in explaining everything and the Spirit comes through in what you have written.

Great job. I look forward to more. :)

My Family My Forever said...

Thank you for this post! I am in the process of doing a link post on several different areas of homeschool and "reasons why" is among them. I would like to include your post if that's ok?

Your family is beautiful! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Jeanette said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Really I couldn't! Great post and great quotes. Thanks for sharing.

Mariel said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto! This has been our first year homeschooling and it is going wonderful! I love the feeling that I am doing what God wants me to do, and this is it!

Here's a link to why I decided to start this year:


Liz said...

Mariel, that is one awesome post! I'm jealous that you made it through so many of your reasons. I managed to get through the spiritual stuff and then felt daunted by all the other reasons I want to homeschool. :D I've thought about just listing them and leaving it at that, sans explanation. Maybe I'll just put a link to your post at the end of mine and say: "See Mariel's post for the remainder of my reasons for homeschooling." :D

Happily Every After said...

Liz! How fun to find your blog! I've been in the hunting and gathering process ever since I decided to homeschool my kids this year. Your blog is one of those I have "gathered" for useful ideas, tips and inspiration. When I first cataloged it, I didn't see your homepage and therefore didn't make the connection. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was going through my reader updates last night and saw a post about an old boyfriend! What a small world. Congratulations to Daniel! and how fun to see how your family (and baby Soren) have grown!
I hope you don't mind if I continue to follow your homeschooling blog? It's been awesome to browse the web and find the many strong, intelligent and inspiring women willing to stand up and demand more for their children (and communities).