by Richard Hornok
“You’re going to do what?” Those were the encouraging words that many people offered 22 years ago when my wife and I announced that we’d be homeschooling our first child. The idea of not sending your child to school just seemed anti-education. For us, the quality of our children’s education was paramount and we found the benefits of home schooling extremely attractive.
Home schooling actually provides parents with some incredible benefits. For one, it insures that their child has a motivated teacher who knows the student well. Not every child learns at the same pace. A parent can customize the child’s workload and subject matter to meet the child’s strengthens and interests.
A second benefit to teaching your children at home is a sense of accomplishment. Every parent is thrilled when they have finally taught their preschooler to count to ten or identify his letters. Imagine the parent’s joy when a child makes it though his first chapter book, or solves his first math story problem.
One of the greatest benefits is that home schooling comes with a flexible and efficient schedule. The parent determines the pace and declares when the breaks will occur. The public system allows for bad weather days. The home schooler can have snow days, good days, and plain ole lazy days. It’s not at all uncommon to find that young people who are excelling at gymnastics, music, or some other time intensive pursuit are being homeschooled. The flexibility of their schedules allows them to pursue their passion while still getting a quality education.
One of the myths or concerns commonly expressed about home schooling is the belief that there will be a lack of socialization. Socialization is actually one of the benefits of home schooling. As parents we all should be concerned about who our children are spending time with. Scripture says, “He who walks with the wise, will be wise. But the companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).” Home schooling gives a parent the opportunity to be the primary influence in a child’s life. Of course kids need to be around other kids but this way the parent has the chance to really monitor whom their child is with, particularly during those crucial early years.
Don’t be misled, though. Home schooling done right actually requires significant self-discipline. Although it allows families to set their own schedule, it’s easy to inadvertently fall behind by cutting yourself too much slack. Far too many home educators have cringed when testing revealed their child to actually be a grade behind. The self-disciplined home educator, however, usually finds that their child is a head of his peers in the public or private arenas.
The best way to determine if home schooling is right for you is to spend time with someone who is a successful home schooler. Find a family who is getting the results that you desire, and see how they do it. If one desires the benefits of teaching his kids at home, and discerns that he has the discipline and the determination, then the best thing to do is investigate it by asking lots of and lots of questions of those who are doing it well. The local chapter of The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers (TEACH) is a great place to make connections. Another resource is pastors in the area. Many times they know families within their church who are home schooling.
Local Homeschooling Support Organizations:
Texarkana Organization for Resolute
Christian Homeschoolers (TORCH) Kim Bragg, President 870-653-6204
Texarkana Educators Association of Christian Homeschoolers (TEACH)
Melissa Johns, President 903-244-1263
The Baptist Book Store
Cindy Elkins, Homeschool Consultant 903-793-5117
Information Websites about Homeschooling
Home School Legal Defense Association:
The Education Alliance – Arkansas:
Texas Home School Coalition: