Customization or Personalized Instruction
We choose to homeschool so that we can cater to the unique learning needs of our children.
From the outset, our reason for choosing to homeschool was primarily pragmatic. Our child found it challenging to follow the pacing of her previous school due to her specific learning disabilities, namely dyslexia and dyscalculia. Homeschooling has afforded us a way to teach her by choosing curricula and investing in materials that support her learning needs. We are also able to make choices in outsourced intervention programs and therapies that help her overall development.
Convenience & Practicality
We choose to homeschool so that we can cultivate a culture and environment that is best for the whole family.
Homeschooling has provided us an opportunity to make sure our child learns in an optimum environment where she can focus despite her attention deficiencies. Learning at home has given her ample time to rest which has been beneficial in helping her develop better executive function skills.
Since we have begun homeschooling, we have also avoided the dreadful morning rush traffic that is so prevalent in Metro Manila. Homeschooling became a time-saver in more ways than one, giving us greater opportunities to spend time with our children in less wearisome conditions.
Homeschooling has also given us the freedom the create a thought environment and learning culture that reflects our family goals and beliefs.
Curiosity & Creativity
We choose to homeschool so that we can redeem childhood wonder and curiosity.
Mark Twain has been attributed in saying, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Our family has largely embraced this maxim although we are not against education in school settings. However, homeschooling has allowed us to highlight our children’s strengths. It meant allowing them to be curious by asking difficult questions, making way to fresh insights and satisfying discoveries. This also happens in schools and learning institutions, but homeschooling has allowed us to be first witnesses of this sense of wonder and curiosity.
Classical Christian Education
We choose to homeschool so that we can apply classical Christian educational philosophy and pedagogy.
Upon discovering how classical Christian education fits with our family goals and beliefs, we have been trying to employ the form and content in our homeschooling. We aim to employ the seven liberal arts and the great books in our curriculum. But more importantly, we hope to grow wise, virtuous, and eloquent children who are continually nourished by what is True, Good, and Beautiful.
We choose to homeschool so that we can ground our children in the Christian worldview by instructing them according to Scripture.
John Calvin wrote in his magnum opus:
Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, emphases mine.
Calvin recognized that the only way we can attain true knowledge is when we know God and know ourselves. We choose to homeschool so that we can properly ground our children in these two aspects. The Bible reveals to us who God is and who we are in relation to Him—sinners in the sight of a holy God.
We can confidently train and disciple them when we are faithfully instructing them to love God and keep His commandments. In homeschooling, I don’t need to switch my thinking caps or roles whenever I teach my children. I am both parent and teacher at every moment. I love what Joel Beeke has to say about this in his book, Parenting by God’s Promises:
The Bible is our curriculum, or the content of our prophetic teaching. We cannot give our children a better or more useful gift than knowledge of the Holy Scriptures from their earliest days (2 Tim. 3:15). We should read and explain Scripture to them at the level of their own understanding. As they acquire the ability, they should read and memorize it for themselves. We need to introduce older children to study Bibles, concordances, commentaries, dictionaries, and other helps, and they should share in explaining God’s Word to their younger siblings.
So we let our children memorize Scripture so they can hide the Word of God in their hearts. We fill their hearts with beautiful hymns and Psalms. We also systematically teach them theology through catechism. Beeke explains this further when he wrote,
Creeds and catechisms are other valuable tools or methods by which we may communicate the truths of the Word of God to our children. These documents provide clear, concise definitions of basic doctrines and key words in easily memorized form so our children can hide them in their hearts. Bible references (“proof texts”) anchor these definitions in Scripture. The catechisms not only teach basic Christian doctrine, but also show us how to live according to God’s law and how to pray. When we catechize our children, they learn the basic truths of Christian faith and living, and we reinforce and deepen our own knowledge of them.
We need not shield our children from a plethora of opposing worldviews. However, we must first provide them with a solid foundation through “doctrinal maximalism” that is rooted in Scripture. This, along with the seven liberal arts and the great books, will help them sift through the cultural lies that is sure to come their way.