A while ago, I clarified for myself a very short, generalized answer to one of the questions home-educating parents regularly hear: "So, why do you homeschool?"
I could actually write a book detailing my many reasons - and maybe one day I will! - but I had to come up with something short - yet also clear and engaging - for a panel discussion in which I participated. So I said:
My motivation comes from a deep conviction that it's my parental responsibility to take direct, personal responsibility for the upbringing of my children in all facets of life. Though most parents these days outsource their children's academic learning, I know I'm called to take direct responsibility for every area of my children's upbringing, so I don't see any legitimate reason to outsource. In fact, homeschooling is honestly just an extension of parenting - parents choosing to take on the academic element of their children's lives in addition to all their other, natural parental responsibilities.I could expand on this statement, phrase by phrase, depending on my audience and purposes. For example, my particular conviction is largely faith-based, and it's rooted in clear, biblical precepts upon which I can expound. But I can simply talk about conviction in a general sense for a secular audience, as I did during the panel discussion. Similarly, I could go into great depth about the history of children's education - about how it was home-based in all cultures until very recent times and about why the move toward institutionalization was not actually done with children's best interests in mind. And I can outline why it's true that every committed, diligent parent is, indeed, more than capable of providing for her children's academic education along with all the rest of their needs without any involvement from schools or other governmental entities.
But I think it's important to have one clear, succinct statement that can stand on its own, and this idea of a conviction to take total responsibility struck me as "just right" when it came to me. After all, can anyone (legitimately) argue against a parent's heartfelt conviction to do whatever it takes to maximize his or her children's complete and holistic growth and development?
Photo Credit: Harry