Why Do We Homeschool?

Drum Roll Please… counting down… I will list our top tens reasons for choosing to home educate and then I will explain each of those in a summary below.

Make every moment count... before they slip away

10. The PERKS

9. It’s What Works for Our Family- Enabling Our Family Mission and Individual Missions

8. Out of the Box Education- Delight Directed, Diligent, & Independent- Adapted to each child’s unique learning style and core nature

7. It’s Sanctifying, Producing a Rare Fruit- John 15

6. Stewardship – Best Use of Time

5. Legacy– Leaving a Legacy of Kingdom Focused Impact

4. Indoctrination

3. Home Discipleship

2. Socialization-Relationships

1. Calling/Mission

Homeschooling is part of our family’s identity, NOT our identity. Our identity is founded in Christ Jesus.

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Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee our kids will be saved. Our only Savior is Jesus Christ.

To read why I haven’t blogged about homeschooling much here at Leaving a Legacy, visit here.

20101203-TolpinFamily-13543Teaching our children is our way of life. It isn’t something we do from 9-12. It is in all we do, how we interact with them and one another. The love for learning is caught, not taught.

 

 

Summaries of the Top Ten Reasons the Tolpins Home Educate:

10. The PERKS

The reality is that homeschooling isn’t easy. It takes intentionality, decision-making {choosing curriculum}, discipline {to get it done}, determination {to keep going, when it gets hard}, but it can also be such a joy. We choose to allow circumstances to steal or rob us of the joy God puts in our hearts, it’s up to us to choose joy and happiness. And our attitude truly does make all the difference.

The perks of homeschooling are the smiling faces when you get to witness them read for the first time, figure out how to divide, truly delight in what they are reading, or even when you see them mediate biblical reconciliation between friends at a play date. The perks are in the cool field trips and “nerdy” activities you get to do along with your children as you re-learn and learn things with your children for the first time. And of course there are the perks are in the freedom of being able to take intentional fun family vacations whenever you want! 😉

9. It’s What Works for Our Family- Enabling Our Family Mission and Individual Missions

Homeschooling is the catalytic vehicle that empowers our family to prepare {every member} our team for the missions God has for each of us in the future.

My husband has always been an entrepreneur and so his work schedule has never been in alignment with school breaks. This isn’t why we homeschool, but one example of how it works for our family. We also highly value having the kids go to work with dad as often as his schedule allows. His influence on the children, teaching them biblical leadership skills, and exposing them to all the different facets of running a business {with a kingdom focused vision} is essential in our mentoring them up into leaders of the next generation.

8. Out of the Box Education- Delight Directed, Diligent, & Independent- Adapted to each child’s unique learning style and core nature

Because I am with my children nearly 24/7 and am intentionally trying to build authentic relationships with our children through spending time just talking about life, I have a pretty good spiritual thermometer on what their gifts are now, where they are spiritually, their learning styles, their hopes and dreams, and what they need to work on.

We believe that every child has been born with a unique purpose. Because of that, we look for the differences in our children and view them as good and special, while being aware of the challenges and trying to deal with those head on. I have never done well with using one type of curriculum for all my children because they are all so different. My goal is to adapt what I am focusing on with each child to stimulate authentic desire for learning.

Combine the invaluable insight from spending the time with the children along with a mama’s love, desire for them to be the best they can be, what makes them tick {what do they want to learn about what interests them}, and opportunities to practice or try them out in an environment where they are afraid of failing… you’ve got a great recipe for success.

Our homeschool won’t look like yours, because we are different to the core and have been called to different family missions. But home schooling enables all of us to pursue those unique callings.

7. It’s Sanctifying, Producing a Rare Fruit- John 15

I really don’t like that phrase, “You must be so much more patient than me, I could never home school.” Why does it bother me? Because I am NOT all that patient. In fact, I think at the beginning of my parenting journey I could have one a contest for the most selfish and impatient parent EVER. BUT, God has refined me and continues to do so daily as I take on this privilege of being my children’s teacher, mother, caregiver, and mentor.

Being a homeschool mom is sanctifying, challenging and produces a good fruit that lasts.

I cannot do it in my power and there are so many times I think about giving up. Sometimes I wonder to myself, why I have to make my life so hard by choosing to homeschool. I really actually don’t like teaching children. I never would have chosen that profession. However, I have a vision for the fruit it will produce in our family, in my children and in my own heart… if we each submit to that pruning.

The good fruit I talk about, is not just about what it produces in the educator. When we decided to home school, it was largely based upon the fruit we saw from public and private schooled children compared to the fruit we saw in a few home schooled children. {no offense to those who have kids there… I’m sure your children are angels} We didn’t know many home schooled children, but those we did know, we more respectful, and seemed to have a confidence about themselves. Those were the first fruits we saw. Still unconvinced, we simply dared to dream. My husband and I are both anti-system. Him more than myself for sure. Isaac has influenced my thinking greatly on this topic. But we have decided that if we want our children to be independent/creative/innovative thinkers, putting them in a boxed system would potentially kill any chance of that.

The Good fruit Jesus talks about in John 15 is fruit of the soul, spiritual fruit. Ultimately, this fruit was not something we witnessed in our education or see as a priority in the education system today. In fact, if anything this fruit is attacked and under-minded more and more every year. Now that we have older children, we are able to truly see the fruit that homeschooling can produce and we are so pleased.

6. Stewardship- Best Use of Time

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that investing in children is the highest calling and best use of ones time on earth.

I took this deeply to heart and it has left a deep impression on my mind for many years. Whenever I am yearning to do more, to serve, to get out and work for the furtherment of the Kingdom of God, when I have that restlessness deep within my soul… I look at my children and see that the greatest use of my time truly is in investing in them. Exponential impact is made through the next generation, if they catch the vision. If they accept the call. If they catch the vision is my responsibility to teach and God’s responsibility to impart. If they accept the call is my responsibility to show by example, and their responsibility to surrender to. But I have to do my part first.

We can be extremely efficient with learning and getting things done when we put our minds to it. This is a skill I want my children to live. Living a life of discipline is hard, especially if you don’t have a track record of it. My goal is to remind my children we have all been given the same thing in this life, an unknown amount of time on earth… and to be wise with what we do with it so as not to live with regrets from the past but to build upon our history. We are all writing our history… and contributing to one another’s. Great source of accountability.

5. Legacy- Leaving a Kingdom Focused Legacy of Impact

This is a topic I speak on quite a lot. This has nothing to do with homeschooling and yet everything for our family. As you know from the tagline of this site, we all leave a legacy, intentionally and unintentionally. We have a responsibility to be aware and live in that reality. But we also need to realize that the legacy we are leaving isn’t about us… it’s God’s legacy. It’s the stories about what He has done in our lives, what He is doing, what He promises to do and Who He is. As Christ followers, we all have a mandate as ambassadors, co-heirs with Christ. That mandate includes passing down His legacy through focusing on advancement of the Kingdom. Advancement in both making disciples and leading disciples.

4. Indoctrination

The truth is that education, wherever it is given, whatever the topic, is indoctrination. The government understands this better than any of us and so did the founding fathers of our country and the patriarchs of our faith. The bottom line is that, if all children are indoctrinated, I don’t want my children indoctrinated with beliefs that contradict our faith or that will inhibit them from fulfilling their purpose for which God created them. My personal belief is that the current curriculums in public schools do not equip children with critical thinking, value creativity, or inspire ingenuity. I firmly believe what they produce are grown children who have learned how to regurgitate the information the system desires and who lack inspiration and innovation for building a future.  Thomas Edison said to his mother upon quitting school, “Mother, school simply gets in the way of my education.” Mothers of Famous Men {Lamplighter books}

3. Home Discipleship

This is an essential part of why we homeschool. Home Discipleship alone is worthy of being more than enough of a reason for homeschooling. If we could spend all of our education focused on biblical mentoring, teaching, discipling, and practicing I would be in heaven. Home discipleship includes everything from the devotions and family worship we enjoy together, to the bible curriculums, and even the hard 15-45 minute conversations required when character traits are being compromised or simply taught. When a child has a bad attitude about doing something as simple as dishes, we have an opportunity for discipleship. When we have a temper tantrum we as parents need to view as an opportunity for training in righteousness. Good fruit doesn’t just grow, it requires hours of pruning, weeding, vinedressing, watering, and care before you can harvest. It is the same with discipleship.

The gift of purpose in this life is the best gift you can give a child, and purpose is only found in our Creator, Savior, and Counselor.

2. Socialization/Relationships

This is often one of the first things people ask you when you begin the homeschooling journey. What about Socialization?

Honestly, this is one of the main reasons why we do homeschool! Peers have a massive impact and influence on who children become, their self-esteem, and what they believe. I grew up in the education system and would be naive to think that it has gotten better since I was there.

I know what you are thinking, “oh she is one of those who had a hard time in school, maybe a nerd; that’s why she homeschools.” Well, I am sorry to burst your bubble but, I was actually pretty average. I was friends with almost everybody… not really a part of clichés… maybe from time to time. Long enough to find out they hurt people. I was a great student, I got enough scholarships and worked hard enough to put myself almost all the way through University with almost no debt. But I saw the truth about what was going on in school. I saw kids being mean to kids, and yes at times I was a victim of it as well, because I was the nice girl who cared what people thought. But most of the time I sneaked under that radar. I wasn’t a strong leader, but had seasons of popularity. The truth is though, that most of my time was consumed with caring about the social aspects of school drama. What a waste.

The bottom line is that, I want to like my kids when they are older. Socialization impacts who a child becomes. The truth is that Isaac and I are abnormal, weird, extreme, think out of the box kind of people. And we want to give that gift to our kids. :) So we are socializing them to us and each other. It is also deeply important to use that our children are best friends with each other. Family will always be in your life. Learning to value the gift that siblings can be is something our culture doesn’t usually teach. We want that deep, rich support for each of them. Building relationships takes time and I only have around 17-20 years per child to help them develop those bonds that should last a lifetime.

1. Calling/ Mission

Whatever education choice, lifestyle choice, occupation choice, or mission you are on needs to be in alignment with your other missions and calling in life.

Every year we evaluate, for each child, is this the right choice for them, for us, for our family. We give homeschooling back to God over and over again. Sometimes even crying out to Him asking Him to take this cup from me. JK But when He calls you to do something it becomes a matter of obedience. For our family, for me, this year… and for every year in the past decade that we homeschooled I felt that call. One year, I didn’t trust what God was calling me to. I don’t regret having put Kelsey in school. But it was me doubting, and it was a miserable year on many levels… I guess sanctifying would better describe it. It was miserable though, from the perspective that I really didn’t listen to my gut, to what God was rising in me. I doubted myself… and what He could do through me. I was scared of the unknown and feared the opposition from the culture and community we were a part of.

I mentioned before how homeschooling can be hard, and because of that… you need to know WHY you homeschool. You need to have VISION. And you need to be on a MISSION. Nothing is more life fulfilling than living out your calling and being on mission.Homeschooling is a calling, for some. It isn’t right for everyone. But it is what God has called our family to.

So I encourage you to hold your personal convictions open-handed, always in submission to the Lord. This life is a journey, an exciting adventure that sometimes has unexpected turns and curves… but it is best enjoyed when in alignment to our calling.

Much love to you all! I have listed a few thoughts and favorite verses which I blog about here often below. I think you can figure out where my heart is with these ones.

These verses I share here are some of the many inspiring and equipping verses in scriptures that have impressed upon my heart God’s mission for parenthood, and teaching my children.   As a mom I am passionate about leaving a generational legacy with my children.  For our family, that pursuit has led us to the decision to home educate our children.  The Lord has been faithful to us in this area as well and we so enjoy our time with our blessings.

It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it.

“Now this is the commandment, the statues and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may DO them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son(s) and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I commanded you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Duet. 6:1-8

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart...Keep your heart with vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  Put away crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Ponder the path at your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” Proverbs 4:20-26

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

Join me on FB or on Twitter @Angietolpin!

Join me on FB or on Twitter @Angietolpin!

May Greatly Increase Your Mission and Bless Your Ministry within Your Home!

Your Sister~ Angie Tolpin

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