Why I don’t want to talk about home schooling any more

I used to love talking about home schooling. I used to tell everyone what a great idea it was and why everyone should be doing it. But I’ve changed my mind.

Why? Because when we use the term ‘home schooling’, it implies that what we are doing is bringing the school system into our homes. It implies that we are little schools operating from home, having the same values and believing the same lies as the schools.

For years now, I’ve been trying to follow the good example of my friends who have taken care to say ‘home education’. But even that doesn’t really sit right. It still implies that there is something odd, something different, something that calls for comment, in the most ordinary thing in the world – parents bringing up their own children in the natural environment of the home.

Then it hit me: Normal education.

What could be more normal, more simply human, than learning? God created us with an innate desire to seek knowledge. Our brain cells actively hunt for new information. Adults and children who are alright, who are loved and whose lives are not devastated for some reason, spend their lives learning. New knowledge, new skills, new ideas – these things are our lifeblood. If we want our children to learn, all we need to do is give them love and security, and as much as we can, make our home an educational environment, filled with books and interesting things, and perhaps also a place where interesting people will be invited.

Of course there is far more that could be said about specific things that need to be learned, how and why, and who should decide what is important. (Yes – there’s a lot that could be said about that!) But none of this would be possible without our fundamental, God-given thirst for knowledge. It is a fallacy of the first order to treat children as little animals who must be forced to learn everything by systems of reward and punishment.

So if you’re educating yourself and your children, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re ‘alternative’. We’re not an experiment. We’re the control group. We were here first. We are normal.

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39 thoughts on “Why I don’t want to talk about home schooling any more

  1. I see this little fish swimming in the opposite direction of all the other fish, but wait, he’s not totally alone. There are a few going against the flow. Jesus said, ” The way to life is narrow & few find it but the way to destruction is wide.” I needed this radical reminder as things are tough today. Thank you for being God’s reminder to me to be radical! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  2. Hi! Visiting via Thrive at Home.
    I love this post. You’ve made an excellent point. Raising our children in the home is Not ‘alternative’, it’s NORMAL!!
    I’m passing this on!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

  3. But it’s not an exclusive matter. God designed us as social beings and we learn from our society. Although parents have the primary responsibility until children leave home, learning takes place, by God’s design, through others: neighbours, friends, relatives, Christian brothers and sisters, experts in various fields of endeavour, even the world wide web!

  4. wow, a wonderful blog post, and i fully agree with every word! thank you for making it very clear that normal education is what God intended for you as a parent, and every other parent in the world to raise up their children in a secure, Bible foundational Character-training ground such as the very place where you can learn and discover, and communicate with the most – your home. you are absolutely right – educational, Bible-based training at home is the most normal, natural, and ordinary thing you could possibly do with your children! All that the Public Schools are teaching the world, and the children in the world is a pack of lies! They claim to educate these children, yet all they are doing is teaching them that we are just about as clever as a monkey! They are slowing our children down, dumbing them down, making them work in the level everyone else does, instead of letting advance at their own pace and level, and be challenged by their work, and grow in knowledge and Character. Thank you again, Mrs. Newton for this great blog post. I hope you have a good weekend.
    Lots of Love,

  5. All I can say, this post is awesome! I love especially how you ended with, “We were here first.” I shrunk back from the online homeschool community. I don’t share the books we choose or use and I don’t share advice or opinions on the matter. I’m happy just living it. Blessings to you and normal educators everywhere!

  6. We homeschool our children – not as an alternative – as the only choice. We took over the education of our children because that is what needs to be done – plain and simple. Our children have never gone to public schools.

    You know, Unschooling Mama and I are creating a homeschool blogging carnival (will ask for submissions early next week). I would love for you to participate. I think you could bring so much to a place of learning and celebrating home school students and their parents!

  7. WOW! Thank you for sharing this! As a retired public (and burned out) school teacher and public library’s children’s librarian, “homeschooling” has been something I would have wanted to do had I had children of my own. I have always thought it to be far superior to the way school is in the classroom. Your words make so much sense though and I can clearly see the normalcy of it versus public education. Thank you for we are each and all in God’s classroom and learning from Him each and every day.

  8. Amen!! So true. We had normal school for 21 years. When people would ask me ‘why do you homeschool your kids?’ I would ask them, ‘Why do you send your kids away for the government to educate them?’

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  10. Beautifully stated, and I couldn’t agree more. We pulled our children out of public school, last school year, and it was the best decision we could have made. Thank you for posting!

  11. It’s heart warming to be in a community of homeschooling families and know that that’s normal. I have a wonderful friend who is trying to talk me out of homeschooling because her girls attend public school. But we agree to disagree. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Home Educator Mom. Thanks for linking up!

  12. We have always avoided the word “home schooling” and used “home education” instead, for the same reason as you stated. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  13. I really like this perspective. Homeschooling was at one time definitely “normal” education. I live in a part of the country where home schooling means almost anything. From intentionally educating your kids who wind up at Harvard (two of my childhood friends received scholarships to Harvard!) to taking your kids out of school for absolutely no reason and doing absolutely nothing to enhance their education or promote learning.

    I was educated at home, and I love that my parent’s primary goal was to teach me how to learn. It was not important for me to know everything about everything, or even something about most things. It was important for me to know how to learn. To know how to collect information, processes and evaluate it, and be able to apply the information I’ve learned. I think that’s one of the best things my parents did for me!

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  16. Very interesting read of all the previous comments and the blog. Very encouraging! Thanks! P.S. The advert pictures do not reflect well.

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