Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Should Children Have A Say In The Decision to Homeschool?

I have seen this question being asked by different families considering homeschooling.  It goes a little something like this.  " My husband and I really believe that homeschooling is the best choice for our family but my 7 (8,9,10 you get the idea) year old doesn't want to.  What should we do?"  Forgive me if this sounds a little harsh, but why do they get a say?  My 6 year old doesn't want to take baths or brush his teeth but we make sure that he does.  Most of my children would rather eat candy than fruits and vegetables but we don't let them just eat candy.  My 10 year old would love to play video games all the time but he doesn't get to.  God has given us the job to be the parent and given us authority over our children.  Sometimes children don't like the decisions we make, but they are children and do not have the knowledge or maturity to understand why we make some of the decisions that we do.  If you, the parent, think that homeschooling is the best decision for your family then that's the decision you need to make.  Don't give them a choice.

When we made the decision to take my then 8 year old daughter out of public school, she did not have a choice.  But, we did talk to her about our choice, a lot.  We told her the reasons why we had made the decision.   We talked about her feelings about it because we care about her feelings and reassured her that different doesn't always mean bad.  In fact, more often than not being different is a very good thing.  I also shared with her that I was nervous too!  Not only did I have a newborn, 2 year old, and 4 year old at home, I was adding homeschooling an 8 year old to my day.  But, we still stood firm in our decision and that it was the best one for our family.

Even though she didn't have a choice in the decision to homeschool, one thing she could choose was some of the things we could study.  The first year we homeschooled, Chelsea loved the Little House on the Prairie books so we decided to homeschool using The Prairie Primer.  We loved it!  We had so much fun reading through the books, learning to sew, doing other great activities, and taking field trips.  Since that year I have tried to feed my children's interest in learning by teaching using things that interest them.  That doesn't mean they like everything we do, but it does make the things that you don't like easier to deal with when you know the rest of the time you are doing something you enjoy.  

Parenting is not an easy job.  We love our children and want them to be happy, but that doesn't mean that they are always going to, or even should be.  We have to be the authority and make the best decisions that we possibly can for our families.  The decision to homeschool was one that we talked and researched and prayed over.  The first year was the most challenging but I can honestly say that within a very short period of time we knew with absolute certainty that we had made the right decision and we've been homeschooling ever since.
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