Turning Hearts: What Home Schooling Means to Me!
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Why did we choose to home school our children?
Over the years, as I
have been asked this question, I’ve usually spouted off reasons such as:
“We want the freedom to select teaching materials that reinforce our religious
beliefs and moral standards. We want to provide the academic superiority of
a one-on-one teaching situation. We want the ability to monitor our children’s
socialization experiences. We want to tailor the course of study to the
individual. We want the flexibility to create more family time.”
These are the
reasons I clung to as I tried to convince our family, friends and even curious
strangers that we were not really crazy for keeping our children out of that
traditional and highly revered American institution—the public school.
I, oh so
seriously, would list these reasons and add a few statistics and stories about
the success of home schooling so that my decision sounded very rational and
But, when I’m perfectly honest with myself, those are just secondary reasons
why I chose to teach our children at home. The real reasons are matters of
Home schooling was and still is attractive to me in part because
of the images it evokes: children snuggling on the couch as I teach them to
read; little boys’ faces alight with excitement as they assemble model rockets;
my son absorbed in a book while lying on the back of his pony; cross-country
trips in the station wagon learning about the Oregon Trail; acting out the battle
of Yorktown with boys who have muskets slung over their shoulders; twilight
adventures collecting lightning bugs; the pride in a child’s voice as he says, “Look how well I wrote these letters!”
To me, home schooling speaks of close family relationships, highly valued
home and family life; happy children who love learning; meaningful traditions;
simplicity; nurturing, mentoring relationships; restoration of excellence;
freedom to pursue individual interests; entrepreneurship; recapturing meaning
and purpose to life; and discovering one’s destiny.
After over twenty years, our home schooling journey is completed, because our youngest child is now 19 years old. During the past twenty or so years
we have seen a profound shift in home schooling as well as in our culture at
We grew up in an era when there were very few latch-key kids, where
neighborhoods were fairly safe because you knew all your neighbors and they
shared many of your same values, and where families were far less stressed
and far more stable. In other words, we grew up in homes where there were
parents present most of the time we were home.
But we are seeing a whole
new generation of parents embarking on the home schooling adventure who
don’t come from that base of home and family.
Many of you come from homes that were filled with tension or with various
forms of dysfunction. Your image of a father may be a busy, negative,
pressuring, authority figure, and your image of a mother may be a distant,
distracted, but somewhat nurturing career woman.
Or perhaps you don’t
have any strong images of a particular parental role because you come from
a broken home.
The other difference between your upbringing and ours is
that your lives were lived primarily in a series of institutions: daycare, school,
after-school care, church, recreation centers. As a result, you may be not only
disconnected from a sense of real family, but are also disconnected from a
sense of meaning and purpose in this life.
A large reason home schooling is
so attractive to your generation is that it carries with it the promise of providing
the family-oriented feelings, experiences, and identity shaping you missed as
But what we all have in common is the desire to make right some wrong in the
upbringing of children—not just for ourselves, but so that our children can have
the type of home life we believe is possible, but may never have experienced.
We all long to restore something that has been lost. In this case what has been
lost is the heart of the parents for their children and the heart of the children
for their parents. We home school because we want to reconnect to multigenerational
values, to relationships, and to a sense of destiny.
So, in the end, no matter what the generation, teaching our children at home
has little to do with academics or with shielding them from secular influences.
It has a great deal to do with our desire to turn both our own hearts and theirs.
And we turn hearts not by the pushing, demanding, shaming, or competition
of an institutional setting, but through the drawing out of true identity in an
intimate, open, trusting, emotionally safe, relational environment that we try to
create in our own homes.
ELLYN DAVIS is a mother of four and has been homeschooling for over 20
years. She is the author of the modern classics, Going Home to School and I Saw the Angel in the Marble.
Until next time....
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Home Schooling Resources
I Saw the Angel in the Marble
With over 4,000 copies sold in just a few months, I Saw the Angel in the Marble is becoming a home schooling best seller!
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Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)
The Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over. People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>
Angel in the Marble/ Davis Seminars Set
Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>
From Home School to Home Business (14 CD Set)
If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who attended tell us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>
Building the Business of Your Dreams (8 CD Set)
Here is just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview with Mike Bickel and Bob Frazier of The Joseph Company on how Christians who start their own businesses can be part of Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>
|Voice your opinion !
I home schooled my three boys for their whole schooling experience, so I know what home schooling means to me.
But I wasn't sure what home schooling means to all the other parents who are educating their children at home.
Then I remembered a great book I read recently called, The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki.
He makes a strong case that when you ask a crowd of people to answer a specific question... the answer they come up with is often better than what even the smartest person in the group could come up with on their own.
Call it the collective wisdom of people.
And that's when I got a crazy idea. What if I surveyed as many home schoolers as I could to find out what home schooling means to them?
WHAT HOME SCHOOLING
I'd really like you to be a part of this survey, so please go RIGHT NOW and tell me what home schooling means to you!
MEANS TO ME SURVEY
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Rhea's Entrepreneur Days. I've known Rhea Perry for over ten years and seen her heart for helping home school families develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start their own family businesses. She also is very concerned that teens are trained to become entrepreneurs.
So for the last five or six years she has held "Entrepreneur Days" where she brings together leaders in different businesses and lets them share their secrets.
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