As a parent who may be new to homeschooling due to the lockdowns that have drastically changed life since 2020, you may be wondering who the main decision-maker should be when it comes to switching to homeschooling.
This post will unpack your role in this decision, along with space for your child’s input.
This post is adapted from the first episode of the On The Marc Homeschooling podcast — click here to listen and follow!
Hi, I’m Marc Ries, MD of Love2Learn curriculum and host of On the Marc Homeschooling Podcast. I’ve been in homeschooling for over 20 years and am the dad of two girls who were homeschooled throughout by my wife, Ivana. They never attended a mainstream school for a day in their lives. They went on to complete their Cambridge AS-Levels and both are now, by God’s grace, happily married and following different career paths.
I also lead an amazing team of people at Love2Learn, a modular curriculum with a broad, rich, and varied subject offering. Our curriculum supplies photo-rich, full-colour, living books that cater for auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic learning styles. Click here to check it out.
In this podcast series, I look at some of the common challenges homeschooling moms face and share some solutions to these challenges.
Whose idea is it to homeschool?
This might seem like an obvious question, but it may surprise you to know that the first one to sow the seed in both arenas is quite often the child!
Having been intimately involved in home education for more than 2 decades both as a homeschooling parent and as a developer and provider of Love2Learn curriculum, I regularly interact with parents who are seeking advice on how to start homeschooling. Others wonder if they should stop. In these interactions, I have become aware of a growing “pressure” – both in terms of starting and stopping – coming from the child.
Assuming they are old enough, we need to include our children in the discussion and afford them the chance to be heard. That said, I firmly believe that the decision to start, stop, or continue homeschooling must ultimately rest fairly and squarely with us as parents.
The 3 main reasons PARENTS should decide on homeschooling
1. Children have a limited perspective on life.
Some may argue that teenagers have more perspective when compared with a primary school child, but they still have nowhere close to the perspective that we have as adults, and more importantly, as their parents.
2. As parents, we are accountable for how we raise our children.
This includes what we allow and don’t allow them to do. While they are young, it’s our responsibility to protect them from physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. That means making decisions that do not put them in harm’s way or leave them exposed and vulnerable to outside influences that will negatively impact them, such as harmful people, media, social media, situations, and environments, etc.
3. Parents decide on all other important aspects of a child’s life
Be it their safety, nutrition, health or whatever, parents make the call; therefore, how much more when it comes to starting, or stopping homeschooling? Just a note of warning: once you’ve made the decision – be aware that whichever way the decision falls, there’s no guarantee that it will be met with eager acceptance by your child!
Assuming that we as parents are committed to acting in the best interests of our children, there is a clear scriptural directive in Ephesians 6:1-3 that applies:
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 “Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
They may not agree with or like your decision and that’s OK, but they do need to trust you and obey you in it, recognising that you have more perspective and are a better judge of what is for their greater good.
Dear parent, the decision to homeschool is ultimately YOURS
I hope this will help you separate off the distractions, deceptions, and divisions and allow you to properly prioritise your thinking in your decision making. Remember, in making the decision to start, stop, or continue homeschooling – your child has a say, but YOU make the final decision!
We at Love2Learn are passionate about bringing life to learning, seeing families restored and generations impacted. You can reach us by email with a question of your own, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or download our Free “Homeschooling Handbook” by visiting www.love2learn.co.za