My family were pioneers in the homeschool world. Back in the early 80's, it wasn't exactly illegal to homeschool, but it wasn't exactly legal either. I remember times when my mom would drag us all to the county courthouse to made a stand in the fight for homeschooling rights. She wrote congressmen, made phone calls, and was ready to take aim when confronted on the anti-homeschool battleground.
I am grateful to her. And many others, who paved the way for my children's homeschool freedoms. Freedoms I do not take lightly.
There were many stories of truancy officers showing up and demanding your children be placed in school. Threatening to report your family, or forcibly removing your children from the home. Although it was never the state's right to do so, the threats were acted upon at times. In order to avoid any issues, we just remained inside until school was out for the day.
We eventually moved to Texas, the homeschool friendly state, where all of our homeschooling troubles were at an end. We were introduced to a larger (but still very small) homeschool group, and my mother had access to a homeschool store, and a yearly convention. We could go outside whenever we wanted. No one cared.
When I reached high school age, my parents were worried that they wouldn't be able to keep up with me in my education, and they wanted me to have advantages entering into college. So, their decision was to enroll me in public high school.
Without any disrespect to my parents, it was a mistake.
Almost immediately, I learned to hate my siblings, rebel against my parents, and became infatuated with boys and dating. I suddenly cared more about what I wore and how to be among the popular group, rather than the more important things like......my education, my character, being a witness......
"The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them." Proverbs 12:26
My priorities were elsewhere. They were tied up in the cares of the world and my family came in far down on my list. I fought with my parents, disrespected them, couldn't stand to be around my sister and brother, and wanted only to hang out with my friends. I was so altered, it wasn't even funny.
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." Proverbs 13:20
I never did anything wrong, by the world's standards. To them, I was still a goody-goody. I didn't get involved in anything immoral and I didn't even have a boyfriend until after I graduated high school. I did save myself for my husband. All by the grace of God and a good, godly upbringing, despite what the school taught me to be. I still held true to my parents morals.
The schoolwork was easy for me. Except for my math classes and a couple of science classes, all of my other studies didn't provide me with any more knowledge than what I had already learned in my years of homeschool. I got lazy, because the As were easy to come by.
When I became a parent, there was no doubt that I wanted to homeschool......all the way. My husband was always in total agreement. I knew the troubles of a child confronted by worldly ideals and immoral desires. I knew I wanted to keep my children's hearts and raise them up under the influence of my husband and myself. Why spend so much time and prayer trying to train them in the goodness and knowledge of the Lord, raising them with godly, moral character, only to have said character demoralized by 9 hours a day spent in the world and all of its influences.
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17
Too often have I seen a good, godly young person, brought down by his worldly companions. It's too hard to compete. Even I, who had a solid, Christian upbringing, struggled with the influences around me. Truth be told, my companions were Christians and friends from my local youth group! The draw is strong, and Satan is always on the pursuit of our weak flesh.
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4
Yes, I will admit to the fact that I intend to shelter my children from the evils of this world. For a time. But why expose them to the fear of bullies, immorality, foul speech, tolerance-based teaching, ungodly curriculum, pagan theology, and prejudices, at such a young age.
Instead, I would rather my children learn to love their siblings, respect their parents, serve their elders, and study the Word. I can provide them with a faith-based curriculum, where not only are their basic subjects taught, but also subjects on moral character, holiness, righteousness, loving others, caring for those who suffer, meeting needs, missions mindedness, and preparing them to be a godly influence on the world. I would rather focus on raising godly men and women who will stand up under the trials of being a true Christian and "be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
That will never happen in a public school room.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
As a disclaimer, please know that I do not judge those who choose not to homeschool. I do believe it is the best option for my family and I am grateful and blessed for the freedom to do so, and I also realize that every family is at a different season and stage in their lives. I pray the Lord lead and guide you in your decision.