Even as an adult with a bachelor’s degree and a steady job, I still rave about my homeschool experience. I consider it a tremendous blessing.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Deuteronomy 6:6–7

God called my parents to fulfill this scriptural mandate by homeschooling all three of their children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It was a great sacrifice on their part. It meant surviving on one income (in California!). What’s more, my brave mother put up with us three kiddos 24/7, and not just for a month or a year; she dedicated two decades of her life to our education. And I am so thankful she did!

Homeschooling changed my life in these five ways—and more:

1. Homeschooling taught me what a Christian worldview is and how to apply it to daily life.

The beautiful thing about home education is that every subject can be taught from a Christian perspective. We never put God in a box that we only pulled out during Bible study, but we incorporated His Word into every subject from English to science.

When I was a child, I took this for granted. I assumed everyone learned about God during PE. I thought it was normal to learn about evangelizing the people of different nations during geography. However, I later realized that not many children receive the foundation of a biblical worldview. Our society has greatly disassociated itself from Christian principles. Researcher George Barna states that “Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life.”[1]

I am exceedingly grateful that my education taught me how to incorporate God into every aspect of life. The Christian worldview my parents instilled in me continues to direct my life decisions today.

2. Homeschooling built strong family relationships.

The first institution established by God was the family. The family is the core of the church and the core of society. Satan tries to divide the family unit in any way that he can. And it’s sad to say, but in the United States he’s been quite successful. So many families don’t even eat dinner together anymore. In fact, it’s common for each family member to live in his or her own world, making family time a rarity.

Homeschooling, on the other hand, provides plenty of time together—and yes, it sometimes was overwhelming! However, the upside was that we were able to nurture wonderful relationships with each other. We served together both at home and abroad, we learned together, we taught each other, we played music together, and we shared inside jokes. To this day, there is no one I would rather hang out with than my family. In fact, I dedicated my first book to them, calling them “my favorite people.” This point is so important to me that someday, when I have my own family, I intend to promote family in the same way.

3. Homeschooling taught me the importance of godly character.

A national survey reported that 75 percent of its high school participants cheated in school.[2] According to Time, “nearly 40% of employees from 18 to 34 said they would act dishonestly to save their jobs” and “a quarter of them would explicitly lie.”[3]

Our nation’s morality is crumbling. We desperately need individuals of strong moral character. I am so thankful that my schooling K-12 revolved around building character. Sure, grades were important, but my parents realized that academics had little worth if there was no substance to a child’s character. Or, as C.S. Lewis put it, sometimes all education does is make us “more clever devils.”

My parents’ emphasis on character over academics changed the way I think about education.

4. Homeschooling taught me time management.

During my junior and senior years of high school, I cross-enrolled at the local community college and started to accumulate credits toward my degree. Because of my homeschool background, I was used to programing my day and planning out how much time I would need to finish my assignments on time. Those time management skills made my transition into college classes quite easy. Once I finished my associate’s degree at community college, I transferred to Liberty University and completed my bachelor’s degree online. Since I was used to learning on my own and knew how to stick to a schedule, the online school was a perfect fit for me. It allowed me to pursue other interests and hold a part-time job while finishing my degree.

5. Homeschooling allowed me to explore my gifts and interests.

My parents didn’t get to experience much of the arts when they were growing up, but they wanted to make sure we received the opportunity. They cut back on a lot of things so that we could try a variety of classes in elementary school, including music and art. By the time I was in middle school, I decided on an artistic focus, being specifically interested in flute, voice, and ballet. As I grew older, my ballet schedule grew quite demanding. I was at the studio six days a week for several hours. Because I was homeschooled, I still managed to fit in my music classes during the day. Not only that, but I could intern with one of my teachers during the day, which became the foundation for my current job as an instructor.

These are just a few of the ways homeschooling has positively influenced my life. Trust me, there are many, many more. I would like to encourage all parents who are currently sacrificing in this way to press on.  Your children may not thank you now, but they will one day look back and appreciate all the love and work you put into educating them. And years down the road, they too will be able to share the top five ways that homeschooling changed their lives.

 


[1]               Del Tackett. “Why Is a Christian Worldview Important?” Focus on the Family. Accessed from family.org

[2]              Kathy Slobogin. “Survey: Many students say cheating’s OK.” CNN, April 5, 2002, accessed from http://articles.cnn.com/2002-04-05/us/highschool.cheating_1_plagiarism-cheating-students?_s=PM:fyi

[3]             Alice Park. “Lie, Cheat, Flirt. What People will do to keep a job.” Time Magazine,  March 12, 2009, accessed from http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1884573,00.html