Homeschooling Perspectives

Decisions and Choices Before Birth

by Connie Wickersheim

When I welcomed my children into this world after their birth, the decision to educate them at home was already in the making. I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with friends, to attend a convention, and to research school materials. I felt that motherhood and home education would go hand-in-hand.

Over the years, I have been shocked by the great number of parents who have been discouraged with public education. Some have been compelled to take their young children out of the public school system simply because the curiosity and love of learning disappeared. Others have removed their children to protect them from drugs, crime, and immorality in their neighborhood school district. Yet, others have expressed their sadness by the lack of discipline in the public schools, and they wanted their children to learn in a healthy environment. Whatever the reason, I have felt a heavy heart for these parents. I agreed with them. I felt that my own education in the public school was a constant frustration. I was determined to make a change and influence my children by educating them at home.

My curiosity about homesehooling began when I was in the public school as a teenager. I strived to be an "A" student on every level. I was an honor student and worked diligently to please my parents and teachers. However, I believed that my time at school was wasted by non-essential time blocks. My daily schedule was consumed by waiting for the bus, traveling to school on the bus, waiting in the hail or the lunch line, running back and forth to my locker, sitting through undisciplined classes, waiting for assignments, waiting to get back on the bus, and traveling home on the bus once more! I vividly recall a time in which I was much too ill to be at school but I was well enough to study at home and get extra assignments from a friend. I soon realized that I could read or study beyond my regular assignments, do extra research on my own, and digest the material in a relaxed environment. That brief illness made me realize that I did not need to be at the physical place called "school" for every subject to educate myself'! I truly wanted to learn at home.

The decision to school at home was the direct result of my own life and the life that I wanted for my children. I wanted a safe place to educate my children. I was determined to provide a protected environment from which they could experience the love of learning with gentle, daily discipline. Our school schedules have been consumed by all levels of academic learning along with sports programs, music lessons, summer camps, computer skills, social activities, and assisting us in our family owned business. We have been guided by our belief in God and His written word, the Bible. It is our faith and trust in God, and our willingness to obey Him that has given us the courage to teach our children at home.

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