Author: Deborah Wuehler,
“We know without a doubt it is God’s calling . . . . We homeschool just as we breathe.” This was just one part of a response from the question of how one family was led to homeschooling. As I asked the question of other homeschoolers, I was incredibly encouraged and overwhelmed with the rich answers that were given. Although all the answers were very different from one another, they all pointed to one God Who orchestrated every event in their lives to bring them to make one of the most important decisions they could ever make—that of home education.
Following is the story that started it all; this is what led me to start asking others about their own stories of how the Lord led them to homeschooling. Listen in as Chrystina shares how the Lord changed her heart:
. . . All of last year I had quiet impressions to start homeschooling my children. I never, never, ever desired to homeschool my children. I love them but felt that school is where the trained professionals know how best to teach children. I can quote all the reasons I never thought of homeschooling, but I know that you have heard them all. Nevertheless, as the year went along the Lord nagged at me continually. I finally knelt in prayer and said that if I was to do this, He would have to perform a miracle, as a true change of heart is what I needed. The thought came into my mind that I knew virtually nothing about it, so why not at least look into it. I had only heard the negative, never the positive of homeschooling.
I checked out every homeschooling book our local libraries had, and between the two there were 13 books. I read them all with my journal in hand, writing down what I liked or would improve upon if I was homeschooling my kids. I prayed to the Lord again and asked for His help since this seemed to be the course He was calling my life to travel on. I was told to first teach of His Word, and then follow with the rest of their schooling. I was reminded why public school was wrong for my children: the Lord is not allowed to reside within its walls. I know what I am doing is the right thing, and I believe that I can do this. I thank you all for the courage to speak the truth, help teach those you have never met before, and comfort and strengthen those of us in need.
Chrystina Swain, Killeen, Texas
I was so touched by Chrystina’s story that I became curious as to how the Lord drew others to homeschooling. I received more stories than I can possibly print here (however, you can find all of the stories in full on our website at http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com/How_To_Homeschool/articles/teachers_lounge_winter08.php
Within these stories were numerous reasons given for facilitating the decision of home education. Let’s look at a sampling of those reasons and hear from homeschool families worldwide:
Crime in Public Schools
. . . I started reading terrifying reports about the crime in schools and I knew that there was no way I’d send my child out “among the wolves.” South Africa has a very high child abuse rate, and I just didn’t feel right leaving my children with strangers . . . . Then we read some books about true Christian education and realised that no school we knew of held the same values we have, and so we made the tentative decision to homeschool until the end . . . . My children are only 5 and 4 years old, but I can already say with assurance that homeschooling is the best for them, and I will continue to do it.
Thandi Nkomo, South Africa
. . . Alex began begging me to homeschool him. He would cry occasionally on the way to or from school, telling me his horror stories from school . . . . So, in the summer after first grade, I began to seriously consider homeschooling Alex. We already had some curriculum at home, so we “did school” for a month over the summer break. He did great! Yes, it was new and scary for me, but I had a feeling once we got in a groove it would be worth it . . . . I believe God drew us to homeschool through my son’s (and then daughter’s) repeated, emotional pleas to do so. God speaks to us through others, and I’m glad He does.
Christine Drumm, Channahon, IL
Public School Turned Older Children Away From God
The Lord started my homeschool many, many years ago. I have two grown daughters. They went to private Christian school and to public school. I must say public school was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. I was a single mom at that time. The Lord brought a wonderful Christian man into my life after being single for 12 years. We married when my older children were 16 and 17. I saw how public school turned them away from God. From that moment on, we knew we were going to homeschool any children we had. Praise the Lord—He gave us a beautiful girl . . . . She is almost 11 now and she knows nothing but homeschooling. We know without a doubt it is God’s calling; it is not a year-to-year thing;, it is a lifetime. We homeschool just as we breathe.
Nancy Timbrook, Pensacola, Florida
. . . Going through our many boxes in the attic, I came across a box from my public school experience. I found many copied worksheets that I had saved and I had written on them as a young girl, “Homeschool.” I shared them with my husband and we started talking about our experiences in public school. . . . I used to beg my parents to homeschool me . . . . I made copies of my worksheets and kept them all those years. My husband and I had plenty of time to decide, since our first child was still an infant. But as time went on and we were blessed with another son, we were determined to homeschool and felt that was what the Lord was calling us to do. Today, I am so blessed to be at home with my three children . . . . This is our 4th year into it and yes, we do have some rough days, but we cling to Jesus and He reminds us of why we are here and where He will take us.
Jamie Tvedt, S.H.I.N.E. Academy
A Change of Heart
. . . I had no intention to homeschool. That was for “them,” not me. As my son started kindergarten, I assumed the local public school would be where he’d begin first grade, so my mind was set, and that’s what I planned. Speaking through my husband, the Lord said, “No, you will not be placing your children in public school.” . . . I really struggled, dragged my feet, and tried to convince hubby that if we placed our son in public school I promised to be very involved in our son’s classroom, would join the PTA, etc., so his tender, innocent heart would be “protected” at all times by my presence. Hubby kept saying, “No.” I’m not always a submissive wife. But I knew I had to obey my husband, and God. Reluctantly, I agreed to do it. But I didn’t want to. My mother-in-law was very supportive . . . and investigated and researched curriculum, and I also did some searching. Near the end of that summer, we had chosen our core curriculum. . . . Six school seasons later, I occasionally struggle and drag my feet. I’m teaching a 6th, 3rd and 1st grader, but even with heel marks on the floor, I have homeschooling through high school in “my” plan, which looking back, is evidence that the Lord did indeed change my heart. I’m thankful He did!
Sydney Hennessy, Tacoma, Washington
Because of the “System”
. . . The whole idea would take me several years to get wrapped around this brain of mine. I spent nearly all my life wanting to teach . . . . I finished high school and went to college for Education. But, when I was in the end of my first teaching experience, I monitored a study hall. Many children were “herded” in and seated and I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. I decided then, I really didn’t want to teach in the public field—not because of the children but because of the system. . . . In short, we’ve had six children, 16–8 in ages, and we homeschool. It took me 7 years or so to finally say, “God has called me to homeschool; I love being home; teaching my children is the hardest job but I wouldn’t do it any differently, as long as I have the choice.”
Danell Pribis, Phoenix, NY
Desire to Teach Own Child
Long before kids were a possibility in my life, I wanted to be home with them . . . raising my kids was of utmost importance to me before they even existed. In my mental plan, I would return to an awesome, satisfying, and successful career once they were school age. . . . I fell into teaching . . . at a private school,. and my child could attend there, tuition-free! As I taught my students, . . . I made mental notes of what the kids liked and what helped spark learning because I wanted to teach my son this way. He was learning, just a few classrooms down the hall, but I was missing out on being part of his “a-ha” moments. . . . After 2 years, I began daydreaming about being home with my son . . . . The seed was planted and watered. . . . I prayed, . . . “I am sometimes very slow to recognize where You are pointing me to, Lord, so please, please make it so obvious a sign that I can’t miss it.” Towards the end of that year, the school announced it was closing after some 40 years! Imagine my shock. No job and no school for my kid—God does have a sense of humor. God is good . . . and for me and my family, that was the door opening that led us on our homeschool journey.
Liliana Hense, Palo Alto, CA
Special Needs Child
. . . A guest speaker talked with us about homeschooling. She made homeschooling seem do-able and rewarding. The Lord spoke to me through that veteran homeschooling mom, and I knew that my son would never go to public school. When my son was six we got the devastating news that he had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal disease that causes progressive muscle wasting. God knew that our son had this disease and we believe that He led us to homeschooling before we knew he had it. Our son suffers from frequent falls, inability to get up once he falls, inability to climb stairs, and an inability to run. That coupled with physical therapy twice a week would make public school a challenge. It hurts my heart to think of my child sitting on the ground and waiting for a busy teacher to notice and help him up. Our children belong at home and they deserve a God-centered education.
Angela Gilbert, Dierks, Arkansas
Desired a Christian Worldview
I think one of the main reasons why we felt led to homeschool had a lot to do with my own educational experience. I was raised in both public and private Christian schools, and neither of them seemed to fit the educational goals that my husband and I had for our own children. Even with church, Sunday school, and youth group, my Christian worldview was really lacking. My academic experience could have been better as well. I attended 3 different Christian schools, which each had their own positive and negative aspects. One of the biggest negatives was the homework load, and the fact that the teachers there, like in public schools, still have to teach to the ability of the average child. . . . I managed to keep my faith through my public high school experience, but I was not the example of salt and light that so many Christian parents hope their children will be. “Peer dependent” was my middle name, and something that followed me a while into my young adulthood. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool when our oldest son was very young. We wanted to give him and his brothers a better chance to focus on what God thinks rather than what their peers think. . . . We are learning the academics together, and more importantly, we are learning more about our Creator together.
Lisa Mandere, Redding, California
To Honor God
. . . I read about the reasons people were homeschooling their children . . . . What hit me hardest were the parents who said they homeschooled to honor God. After reading the scriptures and praying, these parents were convicted to homeschool their children to keep God at the center of their homes. I felt that conviction almost immediately after reading their stories. I knew the most important gift I could give my children was a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Would that happen if I let them spend 6–8 hours a day away from my home? Maybe, maybe not. Those odds were not good enough for me. . . . I am halfway thru our first year of homeschooling and the kids and I both love it. We have an opportunity to start our day with Christ without rushing out the door to school. I am sure this is what God had planned for us from the beginning. It just feels right!
Heather Etcher, Berryville, VA
Many similarities have been shared here, in the overt and covert ways that the Lord orchestrates people and events that lead to the decision of home education. We have seen convictions mature to realize God’s intention that the family unit be undivided in learning, loving, working, and growing together. We have seen the vision clarified that God never intended for us to give our children over to an ungodly culture.
Why is God leading so many parents to take back the education and discipling of their own children? What is His purpose for the future? Well, I can’t pretend to know the unknowable future, but I do know I can find past, present, and future truth written in His Word. He desires of us what He has always desired. He wants children who are like Caleb of old, whose hearts are fully His. He wants Daniels who can take on a king and a kingdom and stand strong in the midst of ungodliness. He wants Josephs who, although they are falsely accused and put in places of confinement, are Godly examples of excellence and service to the King of Kings. He wants Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednegos who will not bow to the idols of the day, even in the face of death. He wants obedient Esthers who are not afraid to trust their God for miraculous deliverance. He desires Timothys who are bathed in the Scripture from infancy and ready to preach the Word and serve the Church at an early age.
God desires that the hearts of fathers be returned to their children and that the hearts of mothers come back home to be joyful mothers of children, so that a Godly heritage might be raised for His glory and purpose.
May His desire be our desire as we continue to keep those children Home Where They Belong.