I’ve been in the homeschool movement since I was a teenager. I’ve watched as it has become mainstream and well known. No longer do kids get strange stares and odd questions when asked what school they go to. We are now in the third and fourth generation of homeschoolers, and as the history develops, so do other issues.
Not Enough Jesus?
One year, at a homeschool convention, I heard a speaker tell the audience the reason teenagers rebel is because they don’t have enough Jesus in their lives. She gave this analysis after she had encouraged hundreds of families that assignments, lesson planning, and transcripts were NOT important in the education of a child; teaching Bible was of sole importance. After I finished my huge eye roll, I began discussing the issue with my then eighteen-year-old daughter, who was listening in with me.
I’m proud of my daughter’s insight. It was level-headed and full of the common sense that is often lacking in those who are agenda driven. We both agreed that in homeschooling, we’ve seen parents taking the responsibility of their child’s education to heart and giving it the diligence it requires. On the other hand, we’ve seen just as many who may have good intentions but allow other things to get in the way. Students are left to themselves, struggling to progress without basic understanding of key concepts.
Couple that with websites and groups of first generation homeschoolers who are radically opposed to homeschooling. They cite the educational deficiencies of homeschooling as well as the alienation and parental abuse within many homeschool families. Although this is a very small niche, their information is factual.
The Real Life of Homeschooling
In my own experience, I’ve had years where I was proud of my work as a homeschool mama. We were diligent in our routine and accomplished a great deal, covering fascinating and exciting topics. Ironically, those were also the years I did crafts and science experiments.
Other years, I’m sad to report, I failed my kids. I allowed the pressures and drama of life to pull me away from my first priority. This left holes in my kids’ education. These were the years I’ve not only had to apologize to my kids for, but have also had to correct for by spending a lot of time trying to fill in the gaps.
Some teenagers do rebel because they do not have a relationship with Jesus. But, the bigger issue among homeschoolers arises because so many tweens and teens are frustrated that their parents don’t invest in their education. My heart aches for kids who have unbelievable potential but haven’t been given the opportunities.
Our Priority in Homeschooling
We are responsible for the future of our children, and that definitely includes investing in their spiritual growth. But, becoming a facilitator of our children’s future also includes a solid academic foundation, training in responsibility, and recognizing our responsibility to teach them balance. That overall facilitation encompasses our true responsibility – and priority.