Skip to main content

Homeschooling part 1

I thought I would take a few posts in the coming days and explain about our family. Most folks that know us know that I am the pastor of a small-town Baptist church (empirically small), and that I am married with three kids who take after their mother in all the good ways. We choose that our kids do their education, right now Kindergarten, 3rd grade, and 5th grade, here at home instead of going down the road to the county school system.

I wanted to give a little bit of perspective on reasons that we made the decision to do it this way. Some of these are fact-based reasons, some faith-based, and some emotion-based. And since none of the rest of you are the Hibbards, you've got to make your own choices anyway, but in case you're pondering what to do, here's part of how we made our decision.

First, let's hit some basics:

1. Homeschooling can be done very, very badly. In some cases, parents use homeschooling as cover for educational neglect and let their kids do nothing all the time. Some parents use it for social neglect and never let their kids interact with anybody ever.

We strive not to be that type of family. It is true that our kids don't have huge peer groups to interact with. They do, however, interact with a diverse range of people. Is it as diverse as it should be? No. We're working on that.

2. Most homeschoolers are well aware of the need to put positive effort into helping their kids overcome the drawbacks in homeschooling. That's why we get a little exasperated the fiftieth time we're asked by someone about our children's needs for "socialization." Because the question is often being asked by someone at a social event, where our children are interacting with people of a variety of ages and backgrounds, and doing so quite well. Then, we get asked "How will they learn to interact with people?" Really? Why do you think we bring them out in public at all hours of the day?

Trust me, most of us know our shortcomings and don't need your help seeing them.

3.Homeschooling should never be used to fake academic achievement. That's one problem I have with some of these "equal-access" pushes to allow homeschool participation in school extra-curricular activities. I know what my kids have done, but I don't know quite how it grades. Would they get a good enough GPA to be eligible? Well, they ought to, but is it fair?

Our version of homeschooling does have requirements and prescribed assignments and subjects. Not everyone homeschools that way, but we do.

4. This is also not about pure religious indoctrination. Yes, we blend Bible and our Christian faith into our schoolwork. It's not impossible, though, to teach your faith to your children without taking them out of school.

Homeschooling is not about building a wall that keeps the world out or blocking all alternative views. It does allow for blending more aspects into education: no one is going to sue us for our kids singing Christmas songs about Jesus in school. That has happened in public schools, and it's sad, because that's putting up a wall and blocking alternative views.

5. Most homeschoolers are not in it for the money. Truth is, we spend as little as possible but as much as necessary, and it runs about $1000 a year so far for books and materials. We could spend less if we wanted to go the library every week and more if we wanted to blow cash on more fun things. That's a cost we're wiling to pay. Most of us wouldn't mind if we got to count our education expenses as a tax deduction like college expenses are, but we can live with what we've got.

And, no, it doesn't bother me that "we pay for a school system we don't use." My parents pay taxes for the Ouachita Parish School System in Louisiana, and they don't use it. Lots of taxpayers pay for schools because of the societal benefit from them, not because of personal use. Now, am I concerned that greater dollar amounts go into schools now than did 20 years ago but we have worse results? Everybody should be concerned with that, and the solution is more complex than adjusting the dollar amount (up or down). But I don't think we're entitled to a refund just because our kids don't use the local school. (But, an income tax deduction would be nice. At the state level, since that's where most of my state income taxes go.)

That's just a few random thoughts on this. More to come later.


  1. Well said :D

    It always cracks me up how some (*ahem* liberal) parents accuse Christian homeschoolers of indoctrinating their children into their beliefs.

    Duh. That's our job.

    And they're doing the exact same thing.

    Looking forward to future posts,



Post a Comment

To deal with SPAM comments, all comments are moderated. I'm typically willing to post contrary views...but I also only check the list once a day, so if you posted within the last 24 hours, I may not be to it yet.

Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…