“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.
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