Q: Hello Andrea! We have homeschooled in the past. We placed our middle child back in school
in 8th grade. He is currently in 10th grade and it has been a trying year. He has always been a good student but this year he is failing most classes. My husband’s solution is to pull him out and homeschool him once again. I agree but I am concerned. Concerned about his future. Worried that I will somehow hinder opportunities that he might have been exposed to in the public school system. As I type this, I can see how silly that sounds. But, the concern is still there. Maybe just a little advice and encouragement please!!! DeAnna
A: Hi DeAnna! I think your concerns are common to most homeschool parents. When you’re doing something unconventional you can’t help but worry that you’re going to mess something up! The reality is that we choose to homeschool because the alternatives aren’t meeting our family’s needs and goals.
At one time, when I was having these same concerns, I was comforted by the life of King David. He was always known as Israel’s greatest king, a man after God’s own heart. How did he grow up? Did he attend the best school with the most opportunity for personal development? No. He spent his childhood out in the fields with flocks of sheep attending to his father’s business. It was during those times that he learned the skills God wanted him to have for the future work God had prepared for him. (He fought lions and bears that turned him into a warrior, learned to make beautiful music that gave him the opportunity to work for King Saul, and he learned to shepherd which is essential for any leader.)
God designed families to raise children. Schools are substitutes for families. While it’s certainly legitimate for parents to hire a substitute, that’s not necessarily what’s best for our kids. Our kids are raised according to someone else’s values. (Those values aren’t those of their teachers, it’s the values of those who want to shape society as they see fit.)
We’re all pretty average. Being raised in an environment that constantly reinforces the idea that you need to achieve greatness leaves most of us feeling like failures. But life isn’t about achieving greatness, it’s about love and service. I, personally, would rather have children who grow up to be plumbers, carpenters, garbage men, etc. than CEOs, celebrities or political leaders. I want my children to value a simple life.
I’d like to recommend Shelly’s YouTube channel. She’s a mom of 11 (I believe) and she shares that philosophy of accepting our children as the people they are and not feeling the need to replicate what substitute families do when raising children.
God designed us to be the best parents for our children. Whatever His plan is for your son is His plan and there’s no need to worry. If He puts on your hearts to bring your son home, that’s exactly the opportunity he has for your son to develop what He wants your son to develop.
Sincerely, Andrea Mills