Whether considering homeschooling or already on that path, examine the statements below. If any of them apply as reasons/motivation to homeschool, you may want to change course, and do it fast. If nothing else, you might at least want to adjust your expectations.
1. Shielding your kids from the world. It’s true that by homeschooling you will be able to delay the influence of the world on your kids. You can help them think logically and analytically so they can better discern the things of the world. BUT, you cannot shield them from it. Sooner or later, the world will find them, whether it’s through neighbors, TV, friends at church, other homeschoolers, or books. If not while they are school-aged, it will be when they go to college or get a job. Scariest of all is that sin and rebellion resides within their own hearts, and the world is just an extension of collective sinning and rebellion. So the only thing you can realistically expect is to prepare them for the world as much as possible without being fooled that you are actually protecting them from it.
2. Insuring your kids’ salvation. Only God saves. Repeat after me. Only God saves. Teaching your kids the Bible, praying with them, including redemptive perspective in your history and science books, and volunteering at the local shelter will not necessarily lead them to salvation. Yes, Scriptures admonish you to teach and pray and lead by example, and homeschooling provides plenty of opportunity to do so, however, even after you do all you can, salvation only belongs to the Lord. And God finds and saves all kinds of people, from every group, every race, and every style of education. He forms and grows godly men and women from all walks of life.
3. Earning a bonus holy parenting badge. I, myself, have been a member of the holier-than-the-next-guy club, where homeschoolers rank at the top of the list. What self-sacrifice, hard work, discipline, and LOVE for our kids! While I admit not all homeschoolers feel this way, I have also observed it’s an easy temptation to fall into this trap. So do yourself a favor and reconsider your ways if there is even a hint of belief that homeschooling will make you (or demonstrate to others, even God) that you are a more loving and dedicated parent than those who send their kids to school. It’s a lie and it’ll serve you well not to believe it.
4. One-parent vision. This one is simple. Don’t homeschool unless both parents are in full agreement. The last thing you need is for your marriage to suffer as a result of this choice. It will be worst for your kids in the long run.
5. Counter-cultural peer pressure. You would think peer pressure only works when it comes to doing what the majority does. But I’ve seen enough sub-cultures where there is pressure to be counter-cultural, to believe that by homeschooling, you will change the world, one family at a time. While this could be true (I’m not sure, really), don’t homeschool because you feel pressured to. If you belong to a church made up mostly of homeschooling families, watch out for this kind of thinking. Be sure to homeschool because this is what you believe is the best choice for YOUR family. It’s an individual calling. Homeschool because you love it, not because you have to.
6. You are a homeschooling family. Raise your kids as individuals, not only family members. Homeschooling might work wonderfully for certain members of your family and not for others. Be open to being a “homeschooling family” who has a kid in school, because he/she needed it. Homeschooling is not one-size-fits-all.
DO HOMESCHOOL if both parents feel strongly that God is calling you to do this, if you have an environment which is positive and conducive to great education, and if your child has educational or emotional needs that will not be met in school. In addition to that, homeschool because you love it, and because your children love to learn, and because you grow close as a family. Pray for one another and sing hymns and read about God in your science books, because they won’t be able to do that in public school. Help your kids become best friends and go on lots of field trips and read lots of fun books. I homechooled for 19 years and I wouldn’t take a single one back.