By Cristina Eklund
The reasons my husband and I decided to homeschool our two children are many. However, let me first start out with those things that were not our reasons to homeschool:
- Because we fear the public education system, though it is clearly failing.
- Because we think Christian education ensures our children’s future status of becoming Christians and remaining on a straight and narrow path, though it is our prayer.
- Because we think all Christians should homeschool.
- Because I love being home with the kids morning, noon and night — on the contrary, I actually love working outside the home, though I have felt called by God in the past two years to stay at home.
- Because I think I can do a much better job of educating my kids than a private school.
Now that I got that out of the way, I will share some of the thoughts that did lead to our decision to homeschool. Both my husband and I were homeschooled: My husband until the 3rd grade and myself from 6th grade through high school. We can both look back at our own homeschooled years and in retrospect, examine the pros and cons with sober minds. One thing we can’t shake is that we — and even more, I — know my son and daughter better than anyone else in the world. At this point, I’ve spent the most time with them, and I know what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, and what touches their little hearts. We as parents, more than anyone, want all the most beautiful and blessed things for our children. That means environment, experiences, and memories.
As a result, one of the biggest factors that concerned us was the social side of school. Though I can trust another system or adult with educating my kids in the driest sense of the word, I don’t trust where my children will fall in the rankings of cliches and social prejudices among their peers. Yes, one day they will face the ugly reality of peers and peer pressure, but I want to do all I can to prepare them for it and develop their sense of self to stand firm when faced with such challenges. Whether we decide to put them in school in fourth grade or in college, I want the most formative years of their lives to be spent learning who they are in God’s eyes, experiencing the small wonders of life in purity and being able to express themselves freely as they discover it all.
Having said all this, I haven’t mentioned the call in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 that weighs heavy on our hearts daily: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Ultimately we realize that it is our prayer and living a pure Christan life that will most influence our children toward becoming and walking as believers themselves. But may every moment we are able to share with them – and teach them — provide them with a storehouse of spiritual wealth they will utilize for the rest of their lives.
— Cristina Eklund is wife to Jeremy Eklund (who was also homeschooled) and mother of son Elijah (5) and daughter Arielle (3). She was homeschooled from 6th grade through high school and has been homeschooling her children since 2010. After living in Nicaragua for two years to do missionary work, the Eklunds now reside in Concord, Calif.