My top reasons for choosing home education:

God gives parents the primary responsibility for the instruction and development of their children.  My husband and I have chosen to not delegate that responsibility to others. But hey, before you stop reading this, let me say that I think it is ok for your to delegate that responsibility to a school of your choice. Because it is exactly that – your choice.

I want our family relationships to be close. I saw this to be true when I was growing up in a homeschooling family, and I see it now with my own children: our relationships grow deeper and our bonds grow stronger as we spend more time together.

I want to enjoy the best parts of my kids. Most mothers of small children would agree that the hours of 4-6 PM are often the worst part of the day. My kids are cantankerous creatures in the late afternoon. It’s in the morning hours that my children have soft hearts and share their thoughts. It’s in the morning hours that my children are most teachable. So yes – I’m selfish – I want to see all of my children, the good as well as the bad and the ugly. Why give someone else the most precious parts of my kid’s day?

I want my children to have an excellent education. Studies have shown that home educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized academic achievement tests. Research reveals that home educated students are often better prepared for college than their traditional counterparts. On a personal level, my parents have currently graduated 6 of their 7 children from high school. Some (like me!) were educated strictly at home, other siblings also took some classes at public and/or private schools. Not only were we all accepted into college, we all received some form of academic scholarship and all made the Dean’s List in college.

I want my children to receive an education that can be tailored to who God made them to be. If my child has a particular gifting, I want to encourage it and allow them to be able to explore their passions. I don’t want my child’s educational opportunities to be limited to what is offered on the semester’s course list. I remember asking my mom if she would incorporate some domestic skills into my school days. I wanted to learn to cook and bake and sew, so my mom showed me how. I had a passion for children’s ministry, and my parents made it possible for me to receive specific training in teaching and public speaking. I also participated in many mission trips during the school year. I use those extra-curricular skills every day in my home, my church, my community.

I want my children to learn at their own appropriate pace. My son in Kindergarten is learning to read very slowly. Homeschooling allows us to progress at a rate that prevents him from feeling like a failure. On the flip side, my son excels at math and often asks to do additional pages in his math book. Homeschooling gives us the flexibility to do two pages of math a day, or eight pages of math.

I want my children to see the “big picture” and their place in it. I want my children to know the world is vast, much bigger than their peer group. I don’t believe that keeping children within their own age level from their own neighborhood gives a clear global perspective. Of course, keeping children isolated in their own home with their own family, does not achieve this goal either. That is why I define homeschooling as parent-lead and home-based.

I want my children to have a Biblical worldview. I hope that my children will come to know that God’s word is true, applies to every area of life, and should shape how we think about our world and culture.

I want my children to be life-long learners. I don’t want my children to have the perspective that they are learning to pass bench marks. We learn to become better people and, in turn, make the world a better place.

So, this is my personal list. What drives the educational decisions in your home?