Thursday, August 14, 2014

Asking Permission: Thoughts on Our Quest to Homeschool Perfectly

I've been privileged to introduce some new homeschoolers to a wonderful world of learning and engaging their children on a completely different level than in traditional school. One of the themes I often hear is, "Is it okay to do this or that?" To which I almost always reply, "Well, why not?" I'm not sure why or when those requests for permission to do something began to bug me, but I have meditating on that for the past few days.
When I began homeschooling, I sort of felt like I had a very basic idea of the homeschool laws in our state. I used curricula suggested by friends or just handed down to me for free. I went to training sessions to learn how exactly to count certain classes or activities as school, and I found myself bound by so many least that is what it felt like to me.
At some point in my homeschooling journey, I started learning more and more about unschooling. One of my sons had been tested and the evaluator spouted phrases that began, "This child does know how to..." My poor second oldest was devastated! He knew the things the evaluator was saying he didn't, and worst of all, she was a direct cause of his academic confidence nearly completely tanking. I knew we needed to change how our children learned, so we slowly explored the idea of unschooling...for some classes.
If you are new to homeschooling and you are not sure what you are allowed to do under your state's laws, research them. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a great resource for understanding the laws in laymen's terms. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy:

Just as there is no right version of the Bible that everyone should be reading, there isn't one curriculum that all homeschoolers should use. I encourage you to read, investigate, and just trust the Lord for the path of your homeschooling journey. As HIS permission for what you can and should teach your children, and then be faithful in that teaching.


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