Our weekly couples Bible study just recently started working through a series on parenting. I was struck by one of the points the study brought out--that we are the product of our relationships. The relationships that we develop as children and into adulthood with key figures in our life shape us and make us into who we are today.
The study pointed out that there are three main relationships that are important to a child's development as they grow up. The three are: relationship with God, relationship with parents, and relationship with those outside the home. As parents, so the study said, we have a chance to influence and sometimes even control the nature and quality of these three relationships.
I was so inspired by this point because it was the first time I really understood what it is inside of me that draws me to homeschooling. I've tried to explain it to be people before, and it's never come across quite how I've wanted it to, but now I think I can explain why we homeschool, and why we will continue to homeschool until I feel Little Bean and Miss O are ready to face the big world out there.
We homeschool because I value relationship with my children above certain experiences they may get at a brick and mortar school. I want them to be at home in the early years to gain wisdom and understanding from influences that I trust and that I want them to emulate. When they are at home, I can guide them much more than if they were at school the majority of their day. As parents, I believe we have a responsiblity to them to turn up the relationship dial and make our time together enriching and supportive of the growth of their little minds and hearts.
We homeschool because in doing so we can use our influence in their lives to direct them to God. Certainly those who send their children to school can do that as well. But for us, having them nearby as problems come up, we have many more oppertunities to pray with them, to direct them to God's word and to show them how the Bible would teach us to respond in tough times is so important, that it's crucial.
We homeschool because I want more control (no, I'm not afraid to admit that either), of the friends and peers who influence them. I'm not trying to comepletely shut them off from the world, but I believe a child must be ready to face the world with confidence in knowing the difference between right and wrong and why things are right and wrong. I don't believe my children can face the world alone yet. They need more guidance, more practice in the safety of our home, before they will be able to face the world and maintain their convictions. Right now, they are still building their convictions, and I want to be there to influence their minds and hearts.
Certainly, there are many more reasons we homeschool, including of course, that I like being able to choose the nature and course of their study, that I want to tailor their education to their individual needs, and that I just like being with them! But for me, these are secondary to the relationship aspect, which I find to be such and important part in shaping and guiding them in their growing up years.
Please see this post for an updated answer to this question!