Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Benefits of Homeschooling--for the Parents

Back in the early days of homeschooling, critics claimed that children could not be adequately educated or “socialized” by their parents.  As that pioneering group of children has matured to adulthood and some are homeschooling the next generation, every “concern” has been abundantly proven bogus.  Not only are homeschoolers adequately educated, they are able to achieve far more than the average public school student because of the many benefits of receiving an education at home.
Jones family 1995
For Christian homeschooling parents, too, the potential benefits are enormous, both for this life and in preparation for the life to come.  When families don’t have to expend energy battling the humanistic propaganda and moral decay found in government schools, they can delight in strengthening their God-given roles within the family so parents and children can all grow spiritually.  Homeschooling is so much more than mere schooling of the children; it is the ultimate family project!  There’s something about homeschooling together that acts as a totally honest mirror (as in James 1:23-25) for parents to accurately see their spiritual deficits.  There’s no hiding them; they must be dealt with!  But the close ties between parents and children make the family a safe haven in the storms of life where God’s plan for parents to bring up their children in His nurture and admonition can be the focus.  Thus anchored in their knowledge of God’s Word, parents are strengthened in their faith, better able to meet the trials of life when they come and better able to help their children grow in faith, too.
Field trip with other families
Weekly kickball for all ages
As an added bonus, parents have the wonderful opportunity to learn along with their children, covering subjects they never learned in school or have forgotten.  This is especially true as the children reach high school age.  Most teens are able to work independently by this time, but many subjects lend themselves to a joint participation between parents and children and/or other families:  foreign languages, civics, science, history, music, art, and drama.  This can be as involved as going through the entire course together (learning Spanish or German as a family, for example) or working in local politics during an election year, dissecting specimens for biology or doing chemistry experiments, visiting a Renaissance festival or a Civil War re-enactment, having family singings or learning musical instruments, taking art instruction or painting a mural on a bedroom wall, acting in a community theater summer production as a family or just doing a dramatic reading of a play at home, or joining Toastmasters to improve everyone’s public speaking skills.  Opportunities abound!
The Kerrville Knights--excitement for all the families!
One reason homeschooling can be superior to the government schools is that our goal can be teaching our children how to learn, whereas the public schools have to focus on imparting a checklist of information to be parroted back on standardized tests.  (That’s how they receive their ratings and their funding, at least here in Texas.)  As children of God we should all be lifelong learners of His Word.  This process, as well as a desire to learn, can best be taught at home as we show our children how to search out information for themselves.  Instead of cramming their heads full of facts in order to make "good grades" on tests, we give our children the tools to become lifelong learners.  In the process we parents help ourselves become better students.
Shakespeare class
Parents can reap many blessings as a result of homeschooling:  a growing faith, stronger family ties, an opportunity to learn along with our children, and a chance to show our children how to be lifelong learners.  So the next time you explain the benefits of homeschooling to a skeptic or prospective parent, don’t forget to mention the benefits for the parents!
Our homeschool band 1997


  1. Very well put, Katy! You have always been an inspiration and a help to the Mitchell homeschool family. Bless you!

    1. Aww, thanks, Heather! You and your family are precious to me! :)