15 March 2008

Not a Homeschooling Family

I have a confession to make. This may shock those of you who think otherwise, but {drum roll, please} we are not a homeschooling family.

We are a Christian family who homeschools. There is a vast chasm of difference between the two.

A homeschooling family finds their identity in homeschooling. Thus, homeschooling influences and overshadows almost every decision, whom they develop relationships with, whom they invite into their home, which church they join, which businesses they patronize. Not only do they find their identity in homeschooling, but they sort and categorize others into three categories: those who homeschool, those who support it but who never had the opportunity to do so (either because they have no children or because their children were of school age before homeschooling was an option), and those who place their children in an institutional school. Those in this last category are sub-divided yet again between government schools and private schools.

However, a Christian family who homeschools finds their identity in Christ, not in any choice they may make, no matter how important. This family also understands that there are really only two categories of people in the world: sinners and sinners who have been saved by grace. And that those in the first category may move into the second whenever the Lord decides to regenerate their hearts, and that their response to sinners should be modeled on Christ's, which means to love them - for while we were yet sinners Christ showed his love for us in living and dying for us. So Christian families who homeschool open themselves to relationships with whomever the Lord sends into their lives, even non-homeschooling unbelievers {gasp!}.

Homeschooling families view education in fairly narrow terms with mom and dad (mostly mom) doing most of the teaching, or it doesn't count as homeschooling. However, Christian families who homeschool know that it's not about mom and dad doing it all, rather it's about finding the best option for each child in each discipline, subject, or skill, yet staying involved and learning along with their children in the midst of each option. This might mean that a child learns mostly through online classes and tutors, with parents providing guidance and accountability, discussing the material covered in class as well as the events and conversations that take place, helping their students to progress in a mature and godly manner.

And, no, this isn't a prelude to an announcement that we're placing our children in school. Our commitment to and convictions about homeschooling are stronger than ever. It's that I don't think the insularity of some homeschooling families is biblical. We are called to be in the world, even though we aren't to find our identity, virtues, or worldview there.

I'm not sure that I have much more of a point, other than to lay this out for your consideration. This realization has taken me many years to come to, but this realization has given me liberty in our homeschooling and in our relationships.



  1. Amen! Preach it, Sista!


  2. We also are a Christian family who homeschools. Isn't it amazing the things we have to define.

    I'll just leave it at that. :-)

    (frequent visitor but I think first-time commentor)