Homeschooling our Teenagers

Originally posted May 2018

We are a blended family, have been married for 10 years and are raising two teen boys together. As a former public school teacher for over 13 years, homeschooling wasn’t on our radar. Currently, I am the Director of Early Childhood Ministries for Grace Point Church, the Director of our non-profit organization, Connect Point Moms….AND, am going to homeschool our teen boys this fall! What-the-What?!

Why Homeschool Now?

First and foremost, we are Christ-Followers and want our children to learn a biblical worldview. We want to explore how everything relates to God. How He is working in us and through us to know Him and make Him known. But, if we’ve been following Him for 12 years, why did we wait until Middle School/High School to do this?

My God-given responsibility was made clear after reading Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World: Leaving a Lasting Legacy. As a Christ-Follower, I am continually challenged and growing in living out my faith in Him. We never considered homeschooling since we assumed what they got at school could be supplemented by us at home. We’ve always understood that the education of our children was OUR responsibility as parents. But we chose to use public school as the tool to achieve that education.

Our family LOVES spending time together – reading, talking, playing games, watching movies.

We actually enjoy being in each other’s presence.

There is a noticeable feeling of loss when one or the other of us is missing.

We are involved in our local church and often join other families for dinners during weeknights.

Homeschooling would allow us to be together during the day, then be preoccupied with hours of homework at night!

What School Teaches Teens

Our children spend most of their time in a “worldly” environment. But, we always thought they could shine God’s Truth and Light to others. And they do. But, when surrounded by those who don’t believe or follow the Bible, kids will likely succumb to peer pressure. Even adults do this! It is difficult to teach the Truth in what they are learning if we don’t know ALL they are learning! It is all taught from a world-view that does NOT support the truth of One True God. How can we possibly supplement that? It’s completely opposite of what our family believes!

We know the truth of how God created our world. And so do our children. However, it seems at every class and interaction, they are met with opposition. Constantly being challenged on that Truth, including having to regurgitate the theory of evolution, takes a toll. In order to pass tests, they had to state that humans were made by “chance”. NOT the fact that we were created in the very image of God.

There is a trend of being exposed to many different subjects. But with time restraints, large class sizes, and behavioral issues, they are not able to learn these subjects deeply. Just enough to do well on the exams. Our boys happen to do very well on exams. They are ‘A’ and ‘B’ students, but we don’t see “life-long learner” characteristics carrying over into daily life.

By teaching them at home with the Classical Conversations Christian Community, learning time will be maximized; peer interactions will happen during weekly Community Days, sports activities, and Church events; topics can be delved into deeper as we learn together; family and sibling relationships will continue to be strengthened; we will have a more flexible schedule to allow for more time to visit with non-custodial parents; and we can teach them how to best use their God-given gifts to prepare them for adulthood!

They have frequently had substitute teachers who lack classroom management or put on a movie. Either way, learning was not happening in any consistent way. Even their regular teachers would put on movies unrelated to curriculum “to relax” standardized testing! THAT attitude and practice does not support learning for life. But instead, “Get it done then forget about it”. Learning should not be seen as a “necessary evil” but as a God-given gift!

Homeschooling our Teens

All of this coalesced into taking a look at the gift of these children God has given us. And ask if we are doing all we can to raise them as God instructed: To love God, know Him, and make Him known. We love spending time together as a family. So having the awesome opportunity to spend days learning together and preparing them for adulthood is going to be amazing!

Homeschooling IS going to be a challenge. But God equips the called and He is calling us to this. We are looking forward to this journey!

UPDATE as of November 2018:

The past three months has been a fun and CHALLENGING journey! It is truly amazing how much closer we’ve grown! When the boys come home from weekly seminar, they share SO MUCH MORE than a day in public school?!

We have gone to the library, to hear a Holocaust survivor, fishing, rock climbing, and to meet with a financial advisor. It is fantastic and REAL LIFE LEARNING! The boys have time with their Dad weekly when they go to the park to play soccer, football, or baseball. And I get to stay home alone and drink coffee in silence!

The boys are learning to take control of their own education by setting their own goals. Then they can choose to meet them in whichever order that works for them that day. They can take snack breaks or rest breaks as needed. And they are constantly astounding us with how MUCH they are learning! For example, they can draw and label the entire Western Hemisphere and Europe from memory, they have memorized over 35 Catechisms (A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers) and 80 Geology Terms (think: archipelago, bayou, crag, divide, elevation, fjord, gulch, headland, isthmus, etc), they know over 100 Latin words and can conjugate entire paragraphs from English to Latin and back again, …. AND they ENJOY it!!!

Best. Decision. Ever.

Kate Fraiser is a Parent Coach with Connect Point Moms helping you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you’re in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them. For quick and helpful parenting videos, find her on InstagramYouTubeTikTokor Facebook.

Some books that have helped us along the way: Teaching from Rest; Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly WorldThe Unhurried HomeschoolerIt Starts at Home