Monday, June 10, 2013

A Subject I've Avoided's a subject that I've hesitated to address on my blog.  Why?  I guess mostly because I've been scared of a backlash.  I don't like to stir up controversy.  I am not an expert on the subject.  I don't have all  the answers, and many people will not agree with our decisions.    

There was a time when I thought I had answers.  I was extremely opinionated.  That was my early days of homeschooling.  Then the days passed, life happened, and I found myself the one searching for answers.

In the next several posts, I thought I would share some questions we have faced or are facing concerning schooling.  I'm not sharing with any agenda in mind or to try to persuade anyone to do what we have done.  Rather, I'm sharing because the schooling of our children is a personal but important decision that each family has to make.  I want to encourage you to pray about the decisions you make concerning your children, and then trust God with the outcome.    

A big question we faced five years ago was what to do about high school?  I was buried in trying to keep up with my six younger students, and the thought of trying to create a high school transcript overwhelmed me.  Although I had primarily handled schooling decisions, my husband decided that we would use a virtual public high school.  I had my reservations.  What about the liberal curriculum?  Were we bringing the devil into our home as some homeschool advocates claimed?  I was nervous.

Photo from

What was the result of our decision?  Last year our oldest son graduated from IQ Academy here in our state.  He was salutatorian of his class.  He gave a God-centered speech to a crowd of several hundred.  He was unashamed of who he was and who he believed in. (Ryan's speech.) 

During his four years of high school, he learned many ideas that were not in line with the Bible.  He often discussed these ideas at great length with us, and he debated them with his teachers and fellow students.  One teacher in particular was an atheist.  He had lengthy e-mail discussions with him, and it did not destroy his faith.  Instead it strengthened it.  He learned to give an answer to those who asked for a reason for the hope that was within him.

There was one aspect of our children's virtual education that I greatly appreciated as a parent.  I had an observer account.  I could read any and all of the curriculum.  I could listen to class sessions.  I could read the correspondence between my children and their teachers.  I was informed.  This is something that is not always easily accessible through the brick and mortar public schools.

We did encounter modern literature that was simply unacceptable for reading.  Honestly, I was horrified at what they called literature.  It was full of sex, foul language, and violence.  However, every time the teachers allowed us to choose other books to read as a substitute.   For instance my children were allowed to read Little Britches and Pride and Prejudice in place of the curriculum choices.

Our daughter will be a senior next year and will have completed all of her high school years at IQ Academy as well.  She has a 4.0 GPA so far.  Due to the flexibility of the online school schedule, she has been able to focus on other activities she loves.  She uses her creativity to do extensive writing and to decorate cakes.  The cake decorating is starting to produce an income for her that will help her attend college.

Overall, our experience with the virtual school has been positive, but we also know that what works for one family doesn't always work for another family.  What works for one child, also does not necessarily work for another child.  Oh, how well we know that, but that's a subject for another post. 


  1. I think that is wonderful. In our home we home schooled our children as well (4 sons). Our first son wanted to graduate frpm school at home, but our second son wanted to attend public high school and be in the band (esp. jazz band where he could play his favorite instrument--lead guitar). Our first son, who stayed home,struggled in his faith in his teen years (though he kept if pretty much a secret)even though he was at HOME..and has eventually concluded that he won't believe in God like his family does....a loving, caring, personal God who can be fully trusted. He is in his third year of college now. Of course, we are devastated by this news and are praying for our oldest.

    Our second son, who attend public school starting in the 10th grade is getting more grounded in his faith and plans to attend a Christian Discipleship school with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and their School of Worship before he decides if he will attend college.

    Our next 2 boys (12 and 15) still have school at home, but most of their social life revolves around youth groups w/mostly all public school kids..and their best friends go to public school. These two seem very firm in their faith, even evangelistic among their peers. Their two best friends are Christians in the public school.

    When I was a young home school mom I felt that surely if I did everything the "right" way and if I sacrificed and followed the Lord with teaching my boys, then all would turn out well and they would all be strong in their faith. It is taking some sorting out to come to terms with this outcome...So many people believe that kids who go the wrong way have somehow been raised by parents who have failed them. I can tell you that we have FAILED in many ways with all of our kids, but have always been a family of faith who loved each other and stayed close to each other. We raised them among other believers and with everything that "good parents" want to give their kids.

    So, all of that to say that from a mom who has home schooled for 16 years now, I encourage everyone to follow God in your decisions and don't be swayed by popular opinion. ...we don't always know what is best for our kids, but our loving Father does. And if one walks away for a time, you will feel much comfort in knowing that you raised them in the way you believed the Lord lead you to, and not just what the voices of the day said to do.

    1. Thank you for your comment. A lot of wisdom wrapped up with experience. I hope others will take the time to read it. I appreciate your taking the time to share.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Natasha. I miss that we are not homeschooling now, but I'm also thankful the kids are in a situation where they have Christian teachers to help sort through the things they are exposed to being staff kids at a residential childcare facility! It has made them think about their faith and how to defend it. I miss the flexibility of finding a teaching style that matches each child's learning style, but we're trying to adapt to more traditional classroom methods. I look forward to future posts on your homeschooling experiences :)