Why We Have Chosen to Home Educate Our Children

christian family stewardship home education stewardship of family Nov 27, 2022
Home education for Christian families

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

DEUTERONOMY 11:18-19


 

Introduction

Among Christian families, one of the most hot button topics is education. While most American children (like their parents before them) attend public schools, there is a rapidly growing number of families who are choosing private or home-based education. We have been homeschooling for a couple years, and it has been a true blessing for our family. One of the biggest differences we have noticed is the priority that we are able to make of discipleship. Biblically speaking, education and discipleship are one and the same, and this purposeful focus is incredibly important in our day-to-day lives. Educating our children at home has given us a much greater opportunity to keep Christ at the center of their schooling, not just as we teach, but as we model for our children what we say and do.

Our Own Education

Growing up, we were both educated in a traditional classroom model but did not attend public school for K-12. Derek attended a rural Christian school in Nebraska with multi-age classrooms. He was required to participate in activities in elementary and high school because it was a very small school; he graduated with a class of 18 students. Amy attended a private Christian school in Southeastern Wisconsin. Her school was bigger than Derek’s, with 20-25 students in each grade. Sports and activities were not required, but optional. She later commuted to a separate Christian high school that was thirty minutes away, and had a graduating class of 86 students.

The Original Plan

From the outset, we knew that we wanted our children to receive a Christian education. This was non-negotiable. We assumed that this meant a private school experience, so we greatly considered the private educational options available when we were planning where to move. After we settled in Nebraska, we enrolled our oldest child in preschool. Like many parents, our plan was primarily based on our own experiences because it was what we knew. While we considered various private school options, we had not considered other educational ventures at this point.

The Transition

It didn’t take long for us to see the downside of classroom-based learning. Leah was coming home from school very crabby and tired. Cole was quickly losing his love for learning. Their attitudes about school varied from year to year, depending on the teacher they had; sometimes the experience was good, sometimes it wasn’t. Above all, God was working in our own hearts, placing a deep desire in both of us for something more. It was at this time that we learned about Acton Academy.

Acton Academy is the flagship school of the Acton Model. This method of education uses experiential learning and Socratic dialog in an attempt to help each student discover their gifts and passions. It is heavily self-directed and encourages children to be curious and independent, develop a love for the physical world, the arts, and freedom. It didn’t take us long to know that this was the model we wanted our children to experience in their own education. The benefits seemed promising, attainable, and lifelong.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find other families in our immediate area that were committed to the Acton model, making it hard to start a school. We had a decision to make: Continue to attend our traditional Christian school or go it alone. We realized that we didn’t want the busyness and chaos that other families around us seemed to have in their lives. We wanted a more flexible, purposeful, intentional family life that would thrive alongside a high-quality education.

This is when we realized that home education appeared to provide all the benefits we desired for our children and our family. We removed our children from the traditional Christian school, and transitioned to home education with non-traditional methods, many of which we had learned through Acton Academy.

Weichel Home Education: A Snapshot

Our children’s education has greatly changed since those days at the Christian school. Rather than simply having a Bible class, we have the blessing of teaching a thoroughly biblical worldview throughout the day and in every subject and circumstance. We pray together when there is conflict, reflect on God’s Word, choose Bible-based curriculum in various subjects, practice verse memory, and incorporate devotions. Our evenings are largely free for family dinners and family time.

Like many homeschoolers, we educate year-round. Schoolwork is done five days per week and happens all day long. Our educational model is not purely comprised of book work and includes a lot of experiential opportunities. Our kids work independently at times, and collaboratively at other times. We do a lot of project-based learning, which allows them to be self-paced and master skills in their own time. Because we school year-round, our schedule is very flexible and we are able to travel for educational and worldview expanding purposes. And one more bonus: We never have homework!

Conclusion

We never thought we would be a homeschooling family. Like most parents, we assumed our children would have an educational experience that largely imitated our own. How thankful we are that they are getting something even better! The skills and ideology we have learned through the Acton Model have been invaluable. Our children are becoming stronger students, self-starters, and lovers of the world in which God has placed them. Private school can be a good option, but embarking on this journey has already shown us just how wonderful and rich home education can be. It is challenging, interesting, enjoyable, and biblical, and our family is thriving because of it. If you are considering making the jump into home education, we encourage you to go for it!

Key Points

  • All families should be frequently re-evaluating the educational model they have selected for their children to determine if it is still meeting the needs of the child and the family as a whole
  • Parents should spend time learning about a variety of educational models
  • Look for a model of learning that will not only meet your children’s educational needs, but also the vision and goals for the Christian family as required in Scripture
  • As with all things, we should constantly be looking for ways to improve the Christian educational experience for the children we have been entrusted to raise to the glory of God

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