Should we homeschool?

June 2nd, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 1 comment

Question:

“How do you feel about home schooling? My wife and I are thinking of doing this to finish educating our two daughters who are now in 4th and 6th grades.”

∼ Heath N.

Answer:

Dear Heath,

This question is like telling the late Steve Jobs that you are thinking of switching from Microsoft to Apple and asking what he thinks about that. In total, we homeschooled for about sixteen years. One of our children was home for only one year, most spent some time in high school and for some, college was their first entry into the organized educational system.

The conclusion you can draw from the above is that we loved homeschooling and feel that it provided the best academic, social, religious and moral education as well as strengthening our family structure. However, we were always open to analyzing what was best for each child and the family each year.

As you probably know, there is no ‘way to homeschool.’ One of the benefits we derived from homeschooling was meeting families from so many different backgrounds and who educated in so many different ways. We would urge you to read, attend homeschooling conventions and speak to many people to expand your knowledge base about homeschooling. In our experience, homeschooling for positive reasons is better than for negative ones. In other words, even if what is making you consider homeschooling is poor schools in your neighborhood or a specific problem, we think you will be more successful if you look towards the positives rather than running away from negatives. And we found very many positives.

Homeschooling is a commitment. So is having children, but as a society we have become dependent on outside experts and outsourcing so much or our children’s care. We love the idea of parents reclaiming their unique obligation to educate their children, but it is a big undertaking. Go into it with your eyes and hearts open.

Enjoy the adventure. Even if you choose not to homeschool, you will learn a tremendous amount by exploring it including the idea that learning is life-long and you will be educating your daughters forever.

Forced into homeschool retirement by our children growing up,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

 

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One comment

Tara says:

In your answer you said, “as a society we have become dependent on outside experts and outsourcing so much of our children’s care”. What a statement! There is so much truth and consequence to that reality. If we truly want to teach and train our children to know God (as best as our finite minds can) and His ways we need to take the responsibility of being a parent seriously. We too love homeschooling and have no plans to stop. That being said, I know it’s not an easy discussion to make. I would encourage Heath and his wife to look at the fruit you see in the families that you know already homeschool. Are those children reflecting the qualities, characteristics, values and beliefs you desire for your girls? My children are 12, 9, and 6. Each day there are moments of struggle and moments that I wish I had the copacity to remember forever. Homeschooling is so much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic! The bond we develop with our children and the bond they develop with each other is beyond words. Clearly I’m biased towards homeschooling 🙂 All the best in whatever desision you made!

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