There are a variety of reasons that parents choose to home educate their children. Perhaps you have family or friends who homeschool and you’ve decided to give it a try. Some families are dissatisfied with the quality of education or the moral influences in the school their children are currently attending. Maybe you just can’t squeeze enough money from your already tight budget to afford church school, and you don’t consider public school an option. The list could go on and on. As Seventh-day Adventist Christians I believe that homeschooling gives us, as parents, the best opportunity to raise our children for the glory of God and lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior and friend.
- Before you get bogged down with the mechanics of homeschooling – methods, books, plans and schedules – take the time to earnestly seek the Lord in prayer and the study of his Word. Take all of your hopes, expectations, doubts, and misgivings about home education to Him. Seek His direction and wisdom.
- Research and study homeschooling.
Here are a few essential reads recommended by Adventist homeschool families:
- Education by Ellen G. White
- Anything by Dr. Raymond Moore, but especially: Home Grown Kids, Home-Spun Schools, Home Style Teaching, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook.
- Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.
- Get connected with your state’s homeschooling organization and become familiar with your local homeschooling laws so you will know what is required.
- Talk to other homeschoolers, but try to remember that each family is different and will homeschool in a way that works for their own family’s situation. Don’t try to imitate, but instead be prepared to see a variety of homeschooling styles.
- Establish your own Philosophy of Education. Write down the reasons you want to home school and save this document for future reference. It will be a tremendous benefit later when you get discouraged and need to re-focus on why you are teaching your children at home. You will probably add to this list as as times goes on and become an experienced home educator. Also write down the Bible verses and Spirit of Prophecy quotes that helped you make your decision.
- Be prepared to answer questions and concerns from family members, friends and even church family. If your church has a school, your reasons for making this decision may be misunderstood. You’ll want to be able to talk about your decision with others in a way that doesn’t condemn their choices or preferences and put them on the defensive, though you may not always be successful. Don’t worry. As time goes on the results of your decision will shine through your children and skeptics will become believers.
- Make sure your spouse is in agreement. You may be the one responsible for planning and teaching, but you will need your spouse’s support both financially and emotionally. Your children need to know Mom and Dad are united in this decision.
Now you can move on to choosing methods and books, laying out plans and making schedules. You’ve begun the journey of a lifetime!