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Why We Do It

My husband wrote an essay on why we decided to homeschool and why we attend a Classical Conversations Community in our area.  I thought other people might be interested in our reasoning.  Homeschooling works well for our family, but every family is different.  Every child is different.  When choosing an educational method for your kids, you should always investigate your options and do what is best for your family.  Well, here ya go!  Enjoy! 🙂

Among other things, homeschooling allows our daughter to attend events and go places public/private school attenders are unable to. This has been a huge boon to her understanding of the world and the people in it.  Here she is with her grandmother at the Office of Strategic Services Society Banquet in Washington D.C.

By the time my daughter was born, three observations had swayed my opinion and placed it into the homeschool camp.  

First, I saw the practical results of modern American education passing through my college classroom and was not impressed.  My history survey classes quickly became, by necessity, “what you should have learned in high school.”  That this was a cultural and educational failing somewhat unique to Americans in general was illustrated by the fact that most Asian students—who had never had the benefit of any American history before coming into my class—routinely outperformed their American counterparts.  I had to cover basic skills such as research, grammar, analytical thought, note taking, etc. While I appreciated the chance to make a difference to them, it showed me the American system doesn’t educate, and, worse, it doesn’t even teach children how to learn.  I am not judging people who came through the system–and there are many very good students who did–but it doesn’t follow that I want that experience for my own daughter.

Second, my observation of the philosophical changes to the content of government education convinced me that I could not trust government schools to teach all sides of the cultural and religious equation.  Even well meaning, Christian teachers would be forced to teach to the tests and to the blatantly biased secular-humanistic curriculum. Far from an attempt to “shelter” my child, the goal is to insure that she is presented with the whole picture in a truthful way—secular humanist thought included, but given no special privilege.  Further, the idea that I could somehow undo eight hours of damage inflicted upon my child each day by spending a little time with her in the evenings and weekends struck me as impractical.  It would be far better to just do it right the first time, and that meant either a private school or homeschool.  

Finally, as Michael Card once said (and I paraphrase), Kami and I “don’t want to become strangers to our children’s souls.” Sending our daughter off and making her someone else’s responsibility for the majority of the week (indeed, of the year) would not further the goal of knowing her.  This left really only one choice: homeschooling—and being convinced that the classical method is best, Classical Conversations made the ideal choice for finding the balance amongst a specific schedule, a practical, intentional curriculum, social outlet, and family freedom.

Of course, I’m not saying that I would never send my children to a formal school, if it was the right one, and I’m certainly not judging or attempting to look down on those who do.  But, at least for now, this is where I stand.