Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see – Neil Postman

Can everybody homeschool?

I have been conducting interviews with parents as part of my study (see here, here and here) and a trend is emerging in the interviews about the choice. Participants are saying that, in their opinion, not everyone can homeschool because of the commitment of time, the constant unwavering interaction with the children and the lack of personal space that can come with homeschool. However, they do it because they passionately believe it is in the best interests of their children. Their reasons for homeschooling, among both groups of respondents that is religious and non-religious homeschool families, seems to come from a sense of attachment to their children and a passionate belief that their family is better off because of the decision to homeschool.

I am left wondering, can everyone homeschool? I ask because some bloggers suggest that it’s a ruse to say that not everyone can homeschool.


6 Responses to “Can everybody homeschool?”

  1. sage_brush

    Not everyone can, but Biblically speaking, we are directed to teach our children “diligently,” about the Lord. Nothing is ever mentioned in thousands of years of prophecy and recorded history, about turning them over to a large, sinister entity to be “educated.” We are no longer under Old Testament Law – nevertheless, it is given to us as a “mirror,” Paul said – to bring us closer to Him by revealing our own sinfulness to us, and to understand the standard of perfection.

    Deuteronomy 6:5-9

    King James Version (KJV)

    5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

    6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

    7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

    8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

    9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

    I know of many situations, where the home school situation is pathetic. The mother is slovenly, or the parents are under the influence of a church or home school leader who has created their own special home school doctrine. But who is to say that putting them in the government school is a better option? If neither the home teacher, nor the well pensioned public school teacher can spell, nor construct a coherent sentence -what is the answer?

  2. BeingHappyBuildingFamily

    I think everyone CAN, just as I believe every family CAN have a stay-at-home parent (we live on less than $20k a year), but some aren’t willing to make the sacrifices–either because they don’t see the value or they don’t want to give up certain comforts…like solo bathroom breaks.

    • Rebecca English

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      To play devil’s advocate though, what if the other parent loses their job? I have seen it work where both parents are working, they employ a nanny/teacher/grandparent to help out and that seems to work. That is without losing the security of the second wage, just in case. I’ve also spoken to families that were making it work but, when hubby lost his job, they were really struggling to buy food to feed themselves and their kids.

      I think the problem is cultural and social. Did you know that in New Zealand, they pay home school parents the money that follows the child to school? Doesn’t that sound amazing?

  3. Belinda Letchford

    Simple answer is everyone can homeschool – homeschooling is about parents taking back their responsibility to be accountable for their kids learning (and there are many ways to do that) – but none of us start with a blank slate so we may find ourselves in situations which we need to get out of before we can be the hands on homeschooler that is often inferred. Sickness, debt, commitments may well be things that redefine our ability. But I also believe that many people say they can’t homeschool not because of any ‘condition’ other than a lack of conviction that would motivate them to change their current circumstances.

  4. Jenn

    Personally, being a single mother of two children, conviction of proper education for and adequate time with my kids is not one of my short comings. The only reason I am capable of homeschooling my kids is one, because we are ‘unschoolers’ & therefore are not held to the standards that many children are to be deemed “educated”, and two because I have amazing family that are available to also mentor and guide them into real world knowledge. By avoiding the dreaded 9 to 5 staple & finding alternative ways to make money- creatively or conventionally, like craigslist gigs, I am able to make more time for my family than many working parents.
    However, there are many, many people that can not “find ways” to get their children the real education of homeschooling. The government assistance programs we have are great when they help, but are unfortunately designed for dependence, not gaining independence. Granted, most lower class citizens aren’t concerned with teaching their kids themselves, but even if they were, because of economy and their own lack of education, I don’t believe they could.
    On the other hand, there are those people that can afford it, have it handed to them!, and yet deny the precious opportunity to Love their kids, truly Love them. To be honest, most people, I don’t think, are aware at how potentially damaging and unproductive the public education system is.
    …and I guess I just expounded a little on your comment of the cultural and social differences being the problem!:)
    I’d love to live in New Zealand.


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