By Durenda Wilson
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. —Proverbs 22:6
Most kids have a subject or two that aren’t their favorite, but the disconnect so many kids experience between their lives and their learning has become increasingly common, not to mention troubling. Is 12 years of drudgery really the best we can hope for when it comes to educating our kids?
I’m guessing this may be a question you’ve asked yourself. Perhaps you are frustrated and/or disillusioned with your child’s current school system. Maybe your child is burned out, discouraged, has little to no interest in learning, or is struggling to learn but doesn’t seem to be getting the help he or she needs. You may be concerned for your children’s safety and well-being, and you long to protect and care for them but aren’t sure how to do that. On the other hand, your kids may not yet even be school age, but you are beginning to be concerned about their educational options, uncertain if the current system will be the best choice. Maybe you can’t imagine how kids can get a decent education in just four hours a day. How can that possibly work?
Many parents are beginning to question the status quo, and with good reason. There has been a steady increase in overcrowded classrooms, bullying, teachers feeling pressured to focus on testing instead of nurturing a love of learning, a lack of classroom discipline, a lack of respect for teachers, rising suicide rates among school-age children, and growing drug use among students.
The winds of change are blowing, and the tide is turning when it comes to education. I’m here to tell you there is hope! As a home educator of 25 years with eight kids, to say I’ve learned a lot is an understatement. One of the most important things I discovered along the way is that our children can have a rich, full education—an education they love—in a lot less time than we might think. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that home education allows us to customize our kids’ learning to fit their needs, so it’s quite simply more efficient.
I know there are a lot of concerns about home education, and I had many of the same concerns myself. Here are the three I hear most often from parents.
I Don’t Feel Qualified
Whether parents struggled in school or have a PhD, they all tell me they don’t feel qualified! But no one knows your kids better or loves them more than you do, and no one is more invested in their lives and futures. It just makes sense that you are the person best equipped to find the resources your kids need in countless areas, including their education.
I am a parent just like you. I have no special training, certifications, or degrees, but I know the power of a mother’s love. I also know how God has equipped us as moms and dads to be remarkably creative and resourceful, and our fierce love for our kids will motivate us to do what we feel in our hearts is best for them. This is what qualifies us to be the best facilitators of our kids’ education.
My Kids Might Not Get a Decent Education
There are endless resources available to homeschooling families today. It’s one reason more families than ever are choosing to homeschool. But probably the best reason your kids will get a good education is because you are helping them get it. The deep love you have for your children and your instincts as a parent are both powerful forces that will help you overcome whatever obstacles you face.
If I can do this, you can do this. So much of education has become a list of hoops for our kids to jump through in order to be deemed “successful.” But in an attempt to help our kids by planning every minute of their days, we may unintentionally be sending them the message that they are not capable of being successful without our constant supervision. Homeschooling isn’t about creating an environment in which we helicopter parent. It’s about creating an environment that allows our kids to grow at their own pace, to become independent thinkers, and to live out their unique purposes unfettered.
My Kids Won’t Have Adequate Socialization to Become Healthy Adults
Outside the traditional school setting, how many times in our lives are we in the same room with people our own age for seven to eight hours a day? Not many. So how does a traditional classroom setting prepare our kids for real-life socializing? Socialization and socializing aren’t the same thing. Socialization tends to lend itself to conformity. Socializing is about being able to comfortably talk to people in any and every age group. As the ones facilitating our kids’ education, we can make sure they learn the latter.
Homeschoolers have long been stereotyped, but the face of the homeschooling community has changed dramatically in recent years and is continuing to change all the time. In the past, most parents who homeschooled chose to do so for religious reasons, but today, more families than ever are homeschooling for a wide variety of reasons and in many different situations. The number of homeschooling families with a dual income, single parents, an only child, struggling learners, and other unique circumstances is growing exponentially.
One must ask why. I believe it’s because homeschooling is flexible. Education doesn’t have to look like public school—including the long hours—in order to be a rich and full experience. We can educate our kids well and in a way that lends itself to our unique circumstances and lifestyle.
Adapted from The Four-Hour School Day: How You and Your Kids Can Thrive in the Homeschool Life by Durenda Wilson. Click here to learn more about this book.
Giving your child a quality education experience for a life of happiness and purpose is possible—and it only takes four hours a day or less!
We want our kids to have the best education, but less-than-ideal school environments and concern about our kids’ specific needs have parents uncertain about traditional schooling. Trusted homeschool expert with 25 years of experience homeschooling her own eight children, Durenda Wilson offers a better way and promises that you already have what it takes to give your child a healthy, successful future.
In The Four-Hour School Day, she unpacks the lifelong advantages of home education, both for the health of your family and your child’s future. With inspiring stories about parents just like you, she demystifies homeschooling and addresses common fears like, what if I’m not qualified, how can I homeschool as a single parent, and what if I don’t have enough time? Packed with encouragement and practical advice, this resource equips you with all the information you need to create a sustainable homeschooling plan customized to your child’s needs.
Wilson will help you to:
- Work with your child’s interests and passions for an enjoyable learning experience
- Cultivate independent learning in your child so you have more time and your child develops more curiosity
- Navigate the different schooling stages your child will go through
- Find an engaged community so that you can start this adventure with all the support you need.
Explore the rich and wonderful world of homeschooling because it’s not only more doable than you think, but far more beneficial than you can imagine.
Durenda Wilson is a trusted voice and resource at homeschooling conventions and on The Durenda Wilson Podcast with more than twenty-five years of home education experience. Durenda and her husband, Darryl, have eight kids and six grandbabies. As an author and speaker, her greatest joy is helping moms discover God’s grace—and with it the courage to put their full trust in him, moving forward in faith and confidence. Connect with her at durendawilson.com.