(I have thought long and prayed much about this series of posts. Most of what I will say here is very unpopular, even among my own friends. I ask that you consider that I am sharing our family's convictions on this topic, not our judgment of others. My hope in sharing this is that some of my readers will be freed from the fear and trepidation of the high school years, and realize that there are always alternatives.)
My oldest child will be a “senior” this year. For most
homeschooling families, this is the time to be finalizing the high school
transcript, taking (or preparing for) the SAT, and visiting colleges.
But since we do everything different than the mainstream,
high school and college are no different. You see, my daughter will not attend
college, and we do not keep a transcript. In fact, we have encouraged her to
“think outside” the college education. The last two years have been spent
considering the future, her interests, and seeking God’s plan for her. The
resulting decision: prepare to be a homemaker and use her talents to earn
income on her own time.
Everywhere she goes (orthodontist, family visit, funeral)
she gets the question: so where are you going to college? Her answer is very
unpopular, and she routinely gets a long speech about why that is a terrible
decision and she won’t make it in the world.
I think what these well-meaning people don’t understand is
that when they attack her decision, they are also attacking her parent’ssupport of that decision. She is choosing a lifestyle that is very
similar to me, her mom.
I have encouraged her to form an answer that she can give to
Her reason: she is not choosing a profession or lifestyle
that requires advanced learning. She wants to get married and raise a family,
while pursuing her hobbies of sewing, decorating, and cooking. She is already
earning money from home as a quilter and seamstress.
Claudia makes a new quilt for her bed with a little help from Chloe.
Her choices and decisions have, however, been shaped by our
family’s worldview, which includes our thoughts on higher education.
We do not place the same value on a college education as some.
There are two reasons for this:
ways of the world change throughout history. At this very point in time, a
college degree is touted as the only way to be successful. But history and
statistics prove differently. Additionally, a private office and a hefty
paycheck are not necessarily measures of success in our eyes.
·We want our children to know their purpose in
this world. “The chief end of man is to
glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster
greater joy than to know that my children walk in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)
These are the standards by which
we teach our children to measure their purpose and their success. I am not as
interested in my children’s cars, homes, social status or clothes as I am in
eyes, the negatives far outweigh the positives.
·It’s no secret that in most universities, God,
Christianity, the Bible, and the family are belittled. Professors are extremely
liberal in morals.
·Feminism, Marxism, socialism, and even communism
are praised, while Christianity, capitalism, the Ten Commandments, creation,
and Biblical marriage and family principles are dismissed.
and undefiled before God and the
Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to
keep himself unspotted from the world.” In today’s society, it is
virtually impossible not to be affected by the college atmosphere.
It’s clear that our society worships sin and belittles
faith; worships science and belittles God and His creation; worships temporary
“relationships” and belittles Biblical marriage. The world’s (and even many
parts of the Christian community’s) version of modesty are very different than
our family’s; the world’s idea of family values are very different than our
We could not, in good conscience, spend thousands of dollars
(or allow our children to go into debt for thousands of dollars) to sit under
professors who will undermine what we have spent their lifetimes teaching. When
I have purposely trained my children from infancy, I cannot uproot them and
send them into a much more secularized version of public school because
“everyone should go to college.”
These reasons are also why we will not enroll in the local
community college for dual credit courses. If we do not want to send our 18-22
year old children to college, you can believe that we won’t send our 16 year
olds, either. After I began writing this post, a friend of mine shared this
article on Facebook: The Community
Our reasons for homeschooling include raising our children
in the safest and best environment that we can provide. If the public school
system wasn’t good enough for my children, why is the local community college,
or the public university? Not only are the same students populating the classrooms,
but the professors in college have much more freedom with their curriculum,
language, and presentation.
The college atmosphere, including dorm life and after classes, is one that we wish to avoid for our children as well. You don't need me to tell you what happens in a college student's free time. The college years are a time for "experimentation" for many, many young adults. They are exposed to, and even encouraged to try things that would have been more easily avoided when they lived at home and were accountable to their family and home church.
I am a college graduate. I attended a school with an accelerated Bachelor's program, attending school year round and earning my degree in just under 3 years. It was intense; I was at school for many hours, and I had an apartment of my own. I also worked a part-time job with my grandparents. As a homeschooled student, and with some ideal conditions, I should have been able to sail through this experience unscathed. But that is not the case.
No student is immune to the worldly influences around them. I was not. I stayed out of trouble for the most part, but I still made several important life-decisions that I regret. Because of this, both my husband and I want to make the wisest decision possible for our children.
So, if college is not in the picture, what does high school
look like in our house?
I will answer this question in Part 2, and address some common arguments in Part 3.