Homeschool vs. The Classroom

So why did we choose homeschooling over a Christian or other private school?  The root of the answer lies in my last post.  Since our primary goal for our children is not academics but rather godly character, (here is my post on academics) we believe the best place to accomplish this is in our home where we set the goals and pray every day for wisdom to accomplish them, rather than in an institution dedicated primarily to academic instruction and not as well suited to developing character.

The classroom is a one size fits all for both academic and character instruction. Because teachers have a limited amount of time to cover the academic lessons that are necessary for the year, they are unable to deal with all the various and diverse character issues that may arise. So just as a classroom setting can be difficult for the child who struggles with learning as well as for the child who grasps concepts quickly, it can also be ineffective for both the child who is being diligently trained at home as well as the child who receives no moral guidance.  No matter how skilled and caring a teacher is, he or she can not possibly know each child, their strengths and their weaknesses, like the parents can.  The deficiency is in the institution not in the teachers.

At home we have the luxury of private tutoring combined with the advantage of a loving parent-child relationship.  We are able to give to our children exactly what they need, whether it is more intense reading work, practice in speaking kindly, drilling in hard, diligent physical labor or an exhortation to die to self and serve others as Christ served.  Character training and academics are an integral part of our daily lives.  Whether we are aware of it or not, every minute a child lives they are developing their character.  We prefer to be aware of this fact and to self-consciously train godly character every opportunity that we are given, rather than allow teachers and other children to unwittingly mold and shape our children.

Whereas we believe that biblically Christian parents should not have their children in the government or public school system, we do believe that Christian schools can be a biblical option for parents.  However, we believe that homeschooling more closely resembles the pattern laid out for us in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 of parents teaching their children when they rise up, lie down, sit in their house and walk by the way.  We also believe that homeschooling is the best way for us to accomplish the goals that we have for our family.  Different families have different goals and different callings, praise the Lord that we are not all exactly the same.

Comments are welcome as always, but  if you haven’t read Disagreeing with Love please read that first.

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13 Responses to Homeschool vs. The Classroom
  1. Nikki
    May 27, 2009 | 10:57 am

    Great post. I’m so glad to be back online again. I would love to hear more details, unless of course you’ve already done this in a previous post, about teaching various ages, and what kind of ideas for order or home classroom organization you have. I’ll look over your other posts first. 😉

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    Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Nikki and Stephanie.
    I am planning on some more practical posts on homeschooling, how we multi-grade, schedule, and work learning into our everyday life, in addition to how we have our house/school organized, curriculum choices we have made and the activities that we are NOT involved in.

    I haven’t posted those… yet. I’m trying to lay some ground work as to why we have chosen to homeschool and our goals for our children because those things effect all of our other decisions. We have chosen to homeschool differently than almost every other homeschooling family that we know. So rather than dive in with the what and the how, I’m trying to explain the why so everyone knows where we are coming from and if they even want to listen to how we do things or not. 🙂

    I realize that I’m going very slowly on this series, (I do have other responsibilities besides blogging 🙂 ) but bear with me. I’m working on it.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

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  2. Stephanie
    May 27, 2009 | 1:52 pm

    I am really liking your blog and specifically this series 🙂

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  3. Mary
    May 28, 2009 | 4:25 am

    It’s great to see your website, Kimberly!! Your children are beautiful! What a blessing!!

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  4. Sheila
    May 29, 2009 | 11:12 pm

    I’ve thoroughly been enjoying your blog, Kimberly. And, particularly the homeschooling posts. I look forward to more.
    What really has piqued my interest: “We have chosen to homeschool differently than almost every other homeschooling family that we know.” Because we, too, homeschool, and I love hearing about how others go about it!
    Thanks!

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    Raising Olives Reply:

    Sheila,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad that you are interested in how we homeschool, now I just hope that I don’t disappoint :).

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

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  5. Kari
    June 15, 2009 | 3:34 pm

    Hello. I stumbled across your blog from McMama’s blog on Not Me Monday’s! I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, and thank you for not “bashing” the teacher’s of public schools. I am a teacher and before I had children taught in the public school system and prided myself in doing EVERYTHING I could for EACH child in my classroom.

    “No matter how skilled and caring a teacher is, he or she can not possibly know each child, their strengths and their weaknesses, like the parents can. The deficiency is in the institution not in the teachers.”

    I specifically liked the quote above! Teaching completely opened my eyes to how many children are out there with parents who simply DO NOT care about them…and that is a SAD, SAD truth!

    Again, thanks for approaching this homeschool matter in such a nice way! I’ve read many offending blogs, which will identify themselves as Christian, but bash and talk so very ugly about public school teachers.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Kari,

    I’m so thankful that this came across as kind, that was my prayer and intent. I believe that many public school teachers are there because they love and care about the children. Thank you for letting me know that you read this in the way that it was intended.

    The people who are ultimately responsible for the failure of children in the educational system are the children’s parents. “The buck stops here.” We as parents can’t blame the teachers, system, lack of funding or anyone or anything else. Our children are our responsibility! God gave them to us and He will equip us as we turn to Him.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

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    JennyB Reply:

    I realize I am coming in late to the conversation, but I just found your site about a month ago and have been trying to take it all in. I am a public school teacher who got married last year. My kids are 14, 12, and 9, and my step kids are 17 and 14. I have begun to be quite interested in homeschooling lately. I am not sure if it’s because it seems to be the latest “it” thing or if it is God laying it on my heart. I am in the research phase–trying to see if this is where God is leading me and trying to find out more about how homeschool could work for us. I’d love any advice you could give! I’d like to know what kind of curriculum you use and how you came to that decision (you may have posted this info somewhere else and I just haven’t come across it yet), and any websites you could recommend for my research. Thanks so much, and thanks for your blog! I am learning tons from you and other blogs you have linked to!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Jenny.

    My posts on homeschooling are organized on the homeschool page. I have posted a good bit about curriculum and posts are organized into categories so I hope that you will be able to find what you are looking for.

    I really like Ambleside Online and Simply Charlotte Mason for book recommendations. I would also consider My Father’s World curriculum or possibly Sonlight curriculum.

    Enjoy the journey.

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    Rachael Reply:

    I totally agree with you, Kimberly. We have lost the understanding of parental responsibility as a nation. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to spend everyday with my children and to have the blessing of teaching my children! My mother is a public school teacher and uses her day job as a ministry to spread the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to those who so desperately need it. I know for a fact that she has some students who would not see the love of Jesus shown if people like her were not present at that school. She herself is the first one to admit that unless a parent takes the time to show up at her school (and VERY FEW do), there is no way for her to know what’s going on at home – she has 250 students in her classes at the middle school.

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  6. Jami
    August 6, 2009 | 9:20 pm

    We have 4 boys: 10, 5, 3 and 1. I homeschooled our oldest until 2nd grade and then he spent a year in a Christian school until we moved. Then he went to public school for 3rd and 4th grade. We have decided to homeschool again. I resisted God’s nudge at first (I am not the most organized person and tend to always feel overwhelmed). After lots of prayer and encouragement from friends and family I am really looking forward to it. I am also sooo glad to have been introduced to this site! What a ministry…thank you!

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  7. Kandra B.
    July 21, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing.This my first time on your site. I am a 41 year old christian married woman with 8 children!I home school 5 right now. My children have never been in the public school system. we live in Baltimore, Md.
    The Lord has used you to bring encouragement to my heart as far as having a full quiver, homeschooling multiple grades, and having more children, miscarriage (I’ve had two as well). thank you so much! God bless you and your family richly!!!

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