The summer is in full swing. Plans for vacations, swim meets, camps, and Vacation Bible School fill our minds and our calendars. And although many parents long for the lazy, carefree days of summer, they instead agonize over where to put their children in school this fall.
Gone are the good old days when nobody pondered the question of where their children would attend school. There was no need; kids went to neighborhood schools that enforced values and beliefs that were taught at home. School was cozyan extension of the home. My wonderful across-the-street neighbor was my first- and second-grade teacher; my dog walked me to school everyday and remained faithfully by my desk until it was time to walk home again; and we had devotions in the classroom every morning.
Things have gone terribly awry during the last 30 years. Parents today do agonize over educational choices for their children, and rightfully so. Our society delights in profaning the very things we should honor: God and His Word, absolute moral values, marriage, and respect for the dignity of all human life. The U.S. Supreme Court has banned God and His Ten Commandments from the public school room. Classroomsmicrocosms of our society as a wholecannot remain cozy, safe havens when the society who fills them has become increasingly valuelesss and violent.
Perhaps more than any other generation in American history, parents today are being forced to evaluate educational options rather than merely accept the status quo. These choices include public, private, and home education. As you decide what is best for your family, remember that the primary indicator of success in any educational environment is parental involvement.
Why do parents choose to home school their children?
The goal of the HomeSchool Channel is to acquaint you thoroughly with the whys, wherefores, and how-tos of home education. I encourage you to browse through the channel and find those topics that are of particular interest and concern to you. Today, I will give you a synopsis of why some parents home school. In other articles, we will more fully explore each of these reasons, as well as consider how to get started.
1. Many Christian parents choose to home school because of the opportunity it provides to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Teaching children to love God with all that they are and have is time-consuming and life-encompassing. Home schooling allows parents to be their children's constant companions in this noble venture.
2. Home schooling works.
Statistics compiled by private foundations and organizations, universities, and state departments of education all point to the fact that home schooling works, and works well. Nationwide, home-schooled students consistently score well above average on nationally-normed standardized tests.
3. Home schooling employs a tutorial method of instruction that is extremely efficient and effective.
Parents can pay special attention to readiness, learning styles, giftedness, special needs, and individual interests.
4. The home school abounds with opportunities.
There are many opportunities for non-vicarious, experiential learning through the implementation of unit studies; travel; internships; volunteer work in the church and the community; and service to the elderly, the infirmed, and the needy.
5. Parents can exercise a great deal of control over what is taught.
6. Building family unity and maintaining the integrity of the family is yet another motivation for home schooling.
The lazy days of summer will soon give way to a busy new school year. Consider joining the ranks of hundreds of thousands of parents nationwide who are experiencing great joys and success through teaching their children at home. There has never been a better time than now.
Come to think of it, maybe the good old days are now. Like their mother before them, my children were taught first and second grades by an intimate friend; they walk to school every morning; their dogs lie faithfully by their desks; and they have devotions (almost) every morning. Life is good.
Zan Tyler is the editor of the Home School Channel for Crosswalk.com and the author of Anyone Can Homeschool. She and her husband have three children and have home schooled since 1984.