We all come to a moment when we’re faced with our ideals for our families. Will we use these 18 (or remaining 12, 8, or 3) years to teach our children chiefly by experience or by beautiful books, by providing a stable, calm home to launch them from, or an exciting, risk-filled childhood to build their character? At what point will we set them out further into the world? At what moments do we draw them back? How will they thrive and what’s right for which child? While all parents come to this crossroads, the home educator must engage these questions not only from the perspective of a naturally protective parent but as a teacher who challenges and stretches their student. Finding the balance can be exhausting.
And the world we live in is at unrest. Political and social disruption are raging on our streets, on our screens, and in our hearts. Even our neighbor children have been tucked away safely at home for months, trying to avoid a global pandemic. The question no longer is “Are your children really socialized?” Because, suddenly, over socialization is a universal threat to health. There is a common feeling of ‘survival mode’ instead. How can we keep our families safe? How do we talk to our children about racism, protests, and rioting? How do we do the right thing by our children, regarding their hearts, their education, and the raw, ugly truths of our world?
Homeschooling affords our families freedom. That freedom is the downright precious commodity that we cling to and praise when we find our favorite curriculum, take breaks in the middle of November or February, sell our homes to live in an RV for a year, pursue Dual Enrollment courses, or experience a family crisis that breaks down normal routine. That freedom also affords our home schools the ability to educate in the midst of upheaval with a vigorous commitment. The world is on fire, and our kids may be “safe at home”. But that’s the time lesson plans change and we revisit American history so we better know our rights. We dig deeper into civil unrest of the past. We interview older friends for their firsthand experiences. We read living books, biographies and autobiographies of people who have come before and saw the beginning stirrings of what we see now. That’s when we dig a little deeper into past pandemics, their beginnings and their ends. We write formal letters and emails to local leaders. That’s when we spend entire school days serving the oppressed, sickened, and impoverished around us. The rubber hits the road in times of crises, in our faith and in our commitment to homeschooling. And when the world is too much to bear, we learn to cope by writing fiction, prose, screenplays, scores, or essays that will act as a healing balm to hurting souls.
Home education is not a call to retreat. Now, more than ever, it is a call to action. Our responsibility is not to shield our children from society, creating a bubble that calls it merely “the way we see it”. Rather, home education allows us to build a path that explores and engages with the way others “see it” in compassionate, active, and affective ways. We have the opportunity to teach from our faith and our dearest beliefs about the world, while allowing room for our households to grow and evolve as Scripture, experience, and time instructs.
The work is getting harder…for all parents. Teaching our children feels overwhelming as we’re faced with unprecedented times in unprecedented timeframes. For those of us who have chosen home education, these are the moments ripe with possibility. This is when we can change the narrative of our families’ perspectives, shaping young hearts with a relevant, sharp education that prepares them wholeheartedly for the future, even when we ourselves can’t imagine what that will look like.Follow Us Here: