Featured Column: Homeschooling







Homeschooling



Homeschooling


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Just Like That,
Everyone Is Homeschooling

By Diana Dow

Synopsis: This month, we welcome Diana Dow to our team of regular
contributors. The current situation has caused parents to consider what
their child’s education should look like. In future articles, Diana will
share her insights in this area.

Introduction

And just like that, everyone is homeschooling. Whether they want to
or not, parents of school-aged children have been forced to consider
homeschooling. They have had to think about what education for their
child looks like, should look like, and will look like in the
future.

The Covid virus has disrupted our everyday lives to the very core.
From gathering essentials to greeting each other on the street, every
aspect of our routines has been turned upside down. Our means of travel,
worship assemblies, and children’s education have all undergone
questioning, analysis, and experimentation to find the best way to live
in our new environment.

This is good. Sometimes our complacency and willingness to do what is
expected need to be challenged. We need to know why we do what we do. We
need to consider other ways of doing things. Perhaps we will find a
better way to go about our daily lives, or we may be reassured that what
we have always done is still best.

Public worship is one area that has been tested. We have come face to
face with traditions passed down from previous generations and have seen
them for what they are. We have had to consider what it means to gather
together. How can we contain a physical virus and still support each
other as we fight a spiritual virus? Every Christian has now had to give
some thought to what God expects (Heb. 10:23-25; 13:15-16).

The way we educate our children has also come under scrutiny. Most
schools in this country have completely shut down at certain points,
while many have only been partially functioning for over a year. No more
is it just assumed that students go to school, sit in a classroom with a
live teacher, and accomplish expected academic goals. Every aspect of
our education system has come into question. Do children learn as well
on a computer as they do with face-to-face instruction? Can a child
learn in isolation from others? More importantly, how is my child’s
education going? Is it something I should leave up to the public
schools? Can I do an equivalent or even a better job of educating my
child myself? What is a teacher’s responsibility to my child? What is my
responsibility to my child?

These are valid questions. Sending a child to school without
wondering if there might be a better way is no longer an option. 2020
turned our educational system upside down, and it is time for parents to
take a long hard look at how that affects their child.

Homeschooling has stepped out of the shadows of the 1990s. Those were
the days when I insisted my young son stay indoors during school hours
for fear of being noticed by others. When asked why my seven-year-old
was not in school, we would get puzzled looks, and I would get questions
about my credentials. Now, nearly thirty years later, my youngest is a
high school senior who freely goes where he needs to during a school day
without any thought to whether or not he should be “in school.”
Homeschooling has gained respect and has proven to be successful.

For many towns, the local school is the center of activity that
brings a sense of community and belonging. When someone chooses to
educate their child at home, it can be insulting to those who work, send
their kids, and possibly attended the school themselves. It can be
puzzling why someone would think differently about educating their
children. When brethren hold these two opposing philosophies in the same
congregation, it can cause a divide.

Conclusion

Understanding comes through respectful and informative dialogue. I
plan to write a series of articles about homeschooling that will help
open the dialogue and bridge the divide. I hope that, through
understanding, we will build our bond of brotherly love based on an
appreciation of the choices each has made and not on what school our
children attend (Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9-12; Heb. 13:1).