We may have been raised a tad bit different, but today the option of homeschooling is becoming more and more prevalent. We know that everyone has a choice, but these are the three reasons we homeschool.
1. God’s Plan – He has made a way
2. Freedom of Choice – Protecting our children from outside influence
3. Redeeming the Time – They are only this age once.
Jake: 00:51 My wife is back with us to discuss a couple of things and the reason being is because we just kind of want to share some things about our own family because we are about faith family and community and that thing that we’re going to discuss today is why we actually homeschool so why we homeschool and there are a few things that we want to point out. Number one is that it is God’s plan for us. The other thing for us is that it gives us a freedom of choice. And number three is redeeming the time. So good morning Joey how are you doing this morning. Hi honey I’m good. How are you. I’m doing good. I’m doing good so I’m going to actually let you talk a little bit more about that because I don’t actually do the home schooling you know so my beautiful wife does so. Ms. Jo
Joey: 01:36 Yes and you’re our superintendent right. OK. Administration Well yeah we just wanted to talk today a little bit about why we homeschool.
Joey: 01:46 It’s still fairly new for us. We are just in our third year of home schooling and we homeschool our fourth grader and our three year old is just now getting involved with wanting to participate in the school in the classroom. So we will eventually be full time two of our kids being home schooled. But I think the first reason that we homeschool and the biggest reason for us is that we really do believe that it was God’s plan for our family that we would begin homeschooling when we did. It’s something that he placed on my heart even while I was still in the classroom teaching in public school and that was something I really enjoyed I really loved teaching kindergarten.
Joey: 02:32 I did that for nine years I stopped teaching in my tenth year. But it’s something that we felt the Lord placing on our hearts and and first me. I remember mentioning it to you and you thought it was I mean we didn’t know anyone who home schooled really so it seems like that’s kind of weird or like not many people do that. And if you home school you’re kind of like isolating your family so you know to be fair we didn’t have any examples to pull from what I did tell you hey what about homeschooling. But it was at a time when Jackson wasn’t even in school yet and we were just thinking what do we do when he’s when it’s time for him to go to school. So while I was teaching I would find myself online just looking for different little resources to print off for my students.
Joey: 03:24 And I kept coming back to this one blog and she had great stuff that was available for that she made free for anybody who wanted to use it. And I started to read a little bit and I realized that she home schooled her three kids and I thought well that looks kind of fun how she’s doing it. And and then as I would go along I would run into another online resource and I kept coming across homeschooling you know Still it wasn’t something I had any experience with. I
Joey: 03:55 didn’t know anyone who home schooled.
Joey: 03:57 And that’s why I’m you know I’m just able to know and trust that that was just coming from the Lord because there was no reason for me to really think about homeschooling otherwise. And then once I mentioned it to you and you shot it down and shoot it down. We started to meet people that we knew and hadn’t realized at the time oh hey you know so and so they homeschool. And so I think that kind of helped us to be a little more comfortable with the idea of home schooling. So for us in our family I really do believe that it was God’s plan and is God’s plan that we would homeschool these two youngest that we have. OK.
Jake: 04:41 When you say it’s God’s plan and I mean of course I do want you to kind of elaborate on that a little bit for those who you know because maybe other people feel like it’s God’s plan but they’re not able at this time to do that because you know they found themselves working in they can’t really get out of that so easy that you’re kind of tied to that. And
Jake: 05:05 we definitely understand so I just kind of want to just kind of open that up a little bit because in God’s plan for us he gave pretty much an allowance for that. I
Jake: 05:15 mean he actually cleared the way for us in that. So he could kind of share that with them.
Joey: 05:21 Well you know it took us a couple of years honestly from. It wasn’t automatic. Like I got this revelation and we just instantly began the next day. It was gradual where he would show us. Like I said before different people that we knew that had been homeschooling or had started homeschooling. And so it was just it kind of became an option but not our first option because I did keep teaching and then we ended at it.
Joey: 05:54 When Jaxon started school for kindergarden that he came with us with me for kindergarten so and then we were expecting Josiah.
Joey: 06:05 And even when that came up I still didn’t we didn’t instantly go into OK well the plan will be we will finish this and then begin home schooling like a lot of other things were involved because I was going to have to quit teaching which like I said before I really enjoyed it.
Joey: 06:24 And so I didn’t I wasn’t fully on board with the idea of home schooling. It was just a nice idea. I think initially until I came home until I officially left my job as a public school teacher and came home first to take care of our newborn Josiah and Jackson finished out his first grade year which he loved and he’s super social and he actually loves being in school so he had a great first grade year and we let him finish in his public school. And then it just seemed to make sense and I think before he finished first grade we already realized that he wasn’t going to go back to school for second grade and it was time to start and really give home school a try.
Jake: 07:15 OK. So you know even in this when we’re talking about God’s plan this part of it anyway.
Jake: 07:22 What would you tell somebody who’s thinking about homeschooling but maybe they haven’t you know gone all the way over to doing that so far as clearing out the way. I
Jake: 07:34 mean we don’t tell anyone just hey go quit your job come home and you know start teaching your own kids and stuff like that. So definitely what are some of the things that you would tell them to consider and take into account as they go and you know just look this thing over.
Joey: 07:50 Well I think first and foremost that we have to realize that it is a big decision and it’s something that we ought to pray about. We need to seek God’s counsel in that and and know if this is the right thing. You know I I wouldn’t say you know make a blanket statement that this is for every Christian family. I just think that you’ve got to be able to pray about it first and trust Him to lead you in the right direction. Like I said we didn’t pray specifically for options even it’s just something that he brought to me and I felt like it kept coming up and it kept coming up to the point where I couldn’t ignore it and I couldn’t dismiss it like I realized he’s bringing this to my attention and I need to take notice.
Joey: 08:35 Right. But the other thing is is just to realize that you know if you’re in Texas. Texas is really home school friendly.
Joey: 08:44 And so we have a great advantage being here because of all the flexibility that homeschool families are allowed here in our state that there’s very little oversight or government regulation when it comes to homeschooling. So you’re free to make choices when it comes to curriculum and schedule and keeping track of hours in there. It’s different for every state. But like I said I’m familiar with Texas so just having that freedom of choice which is our second point to why we home school we are able to choose the curriculum that we want for our kids. There are Christian homeschoolers of course that’s the largest group but there are also secular homeschoolers as well. So there’s lots of choice that we have. We’re able to set our own schedule. We’re not regulated to have so many school hours in a day or school days in a year. So
Joey: 09:50 it’s nice to have that schedule and where we have a big family and when things come up you know we had some unexpected things to deal with in our own family the first year that we homeschooled. And it was a blessing honestly that we were homeschooling Jackson because he would have missed a lot of he would have had a lot of absences that would have counted against him in school. So
Joey: 10:15 definitely curriculum and schedule and even just being able to to be able to teach my little boys the way that works best for them. I can already see as much as I know Jackson loves the typical school environment. Sit down let me have my assignments Where’s my workbook. He still likes for me to grade his work. He likes stamps and stickers on his work. Josiah I can see is a little bit different. He’s a lot more hands on. And so I appreciate that rather than having any kind of concerns for him at this point of how’s he ever going to sit still at carpet time or are the teachers going to be calling me all the time because he’s trying to do his own thing. I will be able to teach him the way that he learns best. And so I appreciate that flexibility that we have.
Jake: 11:11 Yeah. OK. So let me ask you something though the curriculum.
Jake: 11:16 Yes. Now when we first started I remember you signed us up for some kind of convention. Yes. Which I thought was very. But anyway I mean I’m not familiar with any of that stuff but there was a convention here in Dallas. Right.
Jake: 11:32 Now what what great was that the first convention that you and I went to.
Joey: 11:38 We went together and it was that teach them diligently convention and it’s not always in Texas but that particular year it was.
Joey: 11:48 There’s also the Texas home school coalition. They hold a convention every year in the woodlands and also here in Arlington. And you know I that whenever I do talk to people about home schooling or when they’re interested in homeschooling You know I recommend going to those conventions when you get started. Because for me honestly I like being in the vendor hall that’s where all of the vendors are set up and you get to see the curriculum in person. Most of them have Web sites. But to be able to thumb through the pages and really get an idea of what their stuff looks like in person is a big help. And of course conventions you can always get good deals free shipping. Whenever you purchase there and they usually offer convention discounts which is a help you know especially when you’ve got a family where you’re having to buy you know three or four different grade levels. Sure
Jake: 12:45 . So we’re talking about freedom of choice for flexibility so far as time schedule and curriculum.
Jake: 12:52 Now I know there’s a whole bunch of different curriculum that they may have there at that convention. I do remember that there were so many different vendors and so many different things going on. I enjoyed that. To be able to go in and listen to some of the other guys that were there I believe that’s where he met all of those guys the band of brothers yeah the Benham brothers were there. So we met them over there at that convention that was that was pretty interesting. And there’s also some other speakers that were there and I didn’t know at the time that home schooling was such a big thing. So it’s a big community that we learned about there. Well what would you say to somebody who is you know maybe they’ve never done this before. I know that you yourself didn’t.
Jake: 13:34 So I know there’s good. There’s a there’s a benefit to have a flexibility in your schedule. But what about the discipline of scheduling so let’s just say somebody who’s not used to it maybe they’re used to having their kids get up go to school you know because they go into public school public school system or even a private school. But now that they’re going to be home schooled. How different is that for them when it comes to scheduling.
Joey: 14:04 Well again you get to choose your schedule so we don’t have to be up and get started at 7:00 a.m. and we don’t work till 3:00 p.m. We don’t have typical school hours.
Joey: 14:19 And I know that there are families who home school and you know actually parents who work during the day and they home school their kids in the evening. So it’s not I think that’s something that is kind of hard to get used to because you think that home school would mean that you’re doing school at home and so you would try to emulate what is happening in the public schools you’re trying to model that schedule those content areas you know. And that’s not necessary. And so it takes a little while. You know some longer than others to really get comfortable with having the freedom to choose how you want to teach your kids.
Joey: 15:05 And you know when you think about it we we all teach our kids. I know some people feel like they’re not qualified because they don’t have a teaching certification or or they’ve never worked around kids except for their own. But we we all teach our kids before they ever go to school. We’re the ones that teach them to recognize their name and how to get dressed and how to hold a spoon in colors and numbers and you know we do all of those things before they ever step foot in a classroom. So
Joey: 15:39 I think everyone can just needs to remember that you have the ability and especially when it’s something that God’s calling you to do he equips us to do what he’s called us to do.
Jake: 15:50 So sure yeah. I mean OK I understand what you’re saying.
Jake: 15:55 I do but for some I’m thinking about somebody who has you know never even considered themselves to be a teacher. And I know what you’re saying. We do teach our kids these things anyway. We probably don’t even recognize so many of the different things that we do but it can be quite intimidating for someone who’s you know who’s trying to do this who’s going to try or are just starting up and home schooling and everything. So I know it can be quite intimidating and quite maybe there’s a lot of confusion as what they’re supposed to do. Like you just you just hit on that. You said that whenever you know it’s not like the public school where you’re getting that regular contact your schedule of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. So some people feel like they’re not doing enough at home schooling. So what gives them that set of criteria to go after what are they. What are they supposed to have. I mean is there something that you’re supposed to meet a certain standard or has it work.
Joey: 16:54 Well you know again being here in Texas we have a lot of freedom and flexibility with that.
Joey: 17:01 We don’t have to start keeping official transcripts until they get to high school. We don’t have two key portfolios for every grade level. Some states require that some states require that you register under what they call an umbrella school. So you’re still linked to a brick and mortar school. That’s not the case here in Texas so having been a teacher.
Joey: 17:27 I I do go back and look at the Texas guidelines to kind of make sure that I’m staying on track with what are they learning for third grade what are they learning for fourth grade so I can use that. But a lot of people also are able just to buy a boxed curriculum where you go with for example a publisher also mega publishing. You can buy fourth grade in a box and it’s going to take care of every everything that you need and then it builds from one grade level to the next. There are co-ops that you can join and some are there classical conversations is all over the country and you can go get involved with them and you meet once a week and then for the rest of that week at home you have assignments that you work on and then you come back together the following week and go over them and talk about them and share.
Joey: 18:21 And so there are so many different ways to find out what it is that works best for you and your family. And I mean there’s something different for everyone. We’re not involved in a co-op. Sure. Jaxon gets to go and do tennis right now which he loves but that’s his P.E. and he enjoys doing that so.
Jake: 18:43 Sure. And when we talk about the freedom of choice we’re talking about the curriculum and the scheduling but also that we don’t have to be influenced by what goes on in the public school system so some of the things that I know that I’m always concerned about are some of the things that teachers would be able to use that platform for. And in the public school system so I didn’t ever like the fact that and I’m not saying this about all teachers by the way in the public school system we have great school teachers out there in the public school system but there are some teachers who take the liberty of using that platform that classroom to say things derogatory about the faith Christian faith about God period. They
Jake: 19:30 you know in opposition of our use that that opportunity to discourage our very own kids out here in the public school system so one of the things that I like about the home schooling is that I don’t have to really be concerned about that anymore because that’s not going to be influence in our house. So with that we have the influence of we get to use the curriculum that we want which is based off of the Bible. All
Joey: 19:58 right well an AP You mentioned that earlier when you talked about going to the conventions and that you didn’t realize how big a deal homeschooling is and I think that’s why it continues to see growth every year.
Joey: 20:12 Parents want to have more say in what their kids are learning whether it be controversial topics in health class or you know disagreement over history books there are just so many things that continue to come up within our public school system that parents are just recognizing that they do have options. You know it’s just natural all of us for the most part we went to public school we grew up in school and so we just keep doing what we know and it just seems the next logical choice when we have kids.
Joey: 20:47 But more and more people are starting to realize that homeschooling is an option and that it is feasible that there are ways to make it work for your household for your schedule for your lifestyle it’s not just for super athletes and just for those training to be actors or singers which I think was kind of who we thought before was that’s who got the personal tutors and stuff but it is a lot more accessible to us now.
Joey: 21:22 And and for those reasons like you’re talking about just parents want to have more control over what their children learn and when they learn it. And I think that’s something that is important that you know sometimes we just we have to take responsibility for that when it comes to our kids and realize who’s involved when it comes to making decisions for school districts for the state even you know lots of parents see their kids every year get so anxious when it comes to state testing that they just feel like I can’t keep doing this to my kids and you know summer just not test takers. And it turns them off to school. Sure. So it squashes their love for learning because they associate it with tests that they can’t pass. So a lot of parents look for alternatives because they don’t want their kids to have to go through that.
Joey: 22:20 And I think Jaxon would have done just fine. But I am thankful that he doesn’t have to have so much time school time wasted on preparing for a test. Sure. So you know lots of things whether it’s seeing a more liberal view worldview being taught to our kids you know just some it’s hard. Do you have kids still in public school and so we still know what goes on and what they hear and you know that the things that they are introduced to the influences around them. You know of course we all live in this world and we are teaching our kids how to deal with those situations. Sure. But I know that it is a comfort that we are able to teach our children how to write and we’re teaching grammar and we’re teaching math that we’re able to incorporate the Bible which is something that they’re just not allowed to do in a public school. Right.
Jake: 23:22 OK. Well we are talking about faith family and community and that’s one of the most important is how we deal with our family and where we have our family in the different places. And definitely it’s it’s probably the strongest part that we get is this time when they’re when they’re young like this. It’s probably the you know the most tender part. The most influential part. It’s where you do all of the the building you know basic fundamentals for these guys for the little ones so and that’s the third the actual third point we have here is just redeeming the time. In other words spending the most time we can most valuable time that we get is with the kiddos right now. So if you think about that from that standpoint what comes to mind the most is it just time spent or influence that you get to put in with the kiddos or what would it be for you.
Joey: 24:15 Well when I think of you know just redeeming the time it makes me think of our older kids.
Joey: 24:24 You know I think about being a young mom and having my kids taking a quick maternity leave and then they go to daycare and I went back to work.
Joey: 24:37 So they were at home sitters they were in daycares and then they until you know we basically celebrated who they can go to preschool pre-K now so they don’t have to be in daycare anymore now they get to go to school and they’re excited they get to hop on a bus. And like like I said earlier that’s what we knew that’s what we would do. And so you know I sure don’t want to make anybody feel like they are any less of a parent if they’re not able to homeschool. Sure. This is just we are sharing this because this is the story for our family but it is so important to me because we have our kids kind of spread out and we’ve got you know high school graduates and almost high school graduates and college graduates and I just know how quickly the time goes by.
Joey: 25:29 And so I’m so thankful that we have been allowed to home school them. I’m thankful that I get to stay home to spend this time with them because I know how quickly it goes by because I am able to see. I didn’t realize it at the time but I’m able to see what I missed being at work every day. And that’s something that was kind of hard for me. You know just the reality of it because you think being a schoolteacher. Well I have the same hours as my kids. I didn’t teach in their school so I had. They were getting up and getting ready and you did all that with them and you were home when they got home from school. And then I got home a little while later and you know it was time for them to start getting ready for the next day and have dinner and and get ready.
Joey: 26:15 So like I said I think maybe it gives me a different perspective because once we had them great we had high school graduates and I just thought wow that’s it. That’s it. These are done. And that was a little bit hard to deal with. And then I just thought you know I want to make them most of this time with our two youngest. I want to make sure that it doesn’t fly by as quickly as it did for our big kids. Sure
Jake: 26:45 . OK. Well I just remember talking not long ago with our big kids by the way who say that you know they wish they could have been homeschooled. However when they elaborate little bit they say no they wouldn’t have wanted to be homeschool so. So because they liked that they enjoyed I should say public school up to a point now I’m sure there a time they would have wished there they wish they would have been home schooled. But I mean definitely is something new I think for. I mean definitely for us but for a lot of people. And as we all go into this thing we’re definitely hoping and praying that people would seek that and see if that is something that they want to do. And it is something to consider. But there’s a lot of work. Right
Joey: 27:30 . It is. It is. You know it’s you know I think like most things that are that are worth it. It
Joey: 27:37 involves a sacrifice and it has to be something that you realize and accept.
Jake: 27:44 So I mean I know there’s got to be a lot to consider. But as we continue to push forward and I mean I do know there’s a lot of adjustments there’s a lot things that you can do it just takes a little bit of getting used to. I mean you know I used to carry little Jaxon around on a what do you call that little thing that little baby carrier baby carrier when we would you know me and my brother would flip the houses so all the guys would do the the work with us. And
Jake: 28:13 I tell people this all time they remember old Jaxon when he was in the baby carrier. So all these things can be done you just got make adjustments you know and continue to go along the way. So
Jake: 28:24 we’re just hoping and praying and wishing that for anyone who is looking are considering homeschooling. We would definitely pray about it and see God in it and see what he would have to say about it. That we definitely would be praying for you along the way if it’s something that you are considering. But Jo if somebody is considering that what would be the last final words of encouragement that you would offer them towards that if they were to seek a home schooling their kids.
Joey: 28:53 I would say that it’s worth it. It’s worth it it’s hard. Like I said there are sacrifices to be made especially when it comes to maybe you are looking at cutting down from a two family two income family to single. You know if it means having to rearrange your work schedule or having to do overnight. There are so many so many adjustments that have to be made. But it’s worth it I think is the biggest. Going back to you again redeeming the time. You know these are precious moments that I get to spend with our little boys. And I’m I’m grateful you know that if something were to happen and we weren’t able to do it through high school I still have these moments with them and I still have this time with them that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So and just to know that you know to be encouraged that if like I said earlier this is something that God has placed on your heart that this is something that he has brought to your attention you feel like he wants you to take a second look at this at home schooling just know that there are so many resources that you can do it that he has prepared you for this and he will continue to see you through it.
Joey: 30:09 We do have to trust in Him in all of it. You know this is not a trial. I don’t think homeschooling is a trial. But I still have to give each state to him and I want to do the best for my kids because I know that it means something. Absolutely.
Jake: 30:26 OK. Well wonderful. We appreciate that. And for those of you who are considering it. Yes by all means do pray about it before you go and continue to go do seek God and all that you do. But for us we do consider it as faith family and community family being of one of the most important elements we have out here so definitely spend all your time that you can with your family with the little ones and for all that you can into it. We greatly appreciate you coming out and for those of you who are listening to the podcast. If you enjoy these episodes of the podcast please do us a favor and just share it with a friend or share it with the family member. We always love to hear from you. Questions and or concerns you may have about home schooling or anything else when it comes to faith family and community please stop by and see a set press and reach dotcom. And for the show notes for this episode it will be Preston reached dot com forward slash PR 14.
We don’t come from a background of homeschooling. Honestly, we thought it was for other families who wanted to be set far apart from the “typical” schools. But, a few years ago, God began to place the idea of homeschooling in front of me (Joey). I found myself drawn to educational blogs that were run by homeschooling moms and would read about their different styles and resources and how they made it work. Although we both hesitated initially, the Lord reassured us that He was the one pointing us toward homeschooling, as we began discovering people we already knew who were teaching their kids. I left my job as a public school teacher in December of 2014, after the birth of our youngest child. We took the leap of faith and I began homeschooling our then-2nd grader in September 2015.
There’s a lot to love about homeschooling. We can choose the curriculum that best fits our family’s needs. We prefer to use curriculum that is Bible-based. Early on, we went to the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention that was held in Dallas. We attended workshops and heard keynote speakers who were sharing what they’d learned in their homeschooling journey, and encouraged us that this was real and that there is a large like-minded community out there. Christian Light Education and Alpha Omega Publications are currently being used for our fourth grader. I also get to teach him D’nealian handwriting and cursive penmanship (both hard to find in public schools these days). We slowed down and backed up a level in math, to make sure that his foundation was solid and we didn’t rush through anything. We also don’t have to deal with the high-pressure environments created by standardized state testing. Texas is such a fantastic state for homeschooling. We aren’t held to a set number of hours in a day in which to school, nor are we required to school for a certain number of days each year. This freedom allows us to be flexible in our scheduling. It takes a little time to figure out that homeschooling does not have to look like traditional school. We don’t have to work from 7am until 3pm, Monday through Friday. We can do our work on Saturdays if we need to, or in the evenings. We don’t need 8 hours a day to cover elementary-level subjects. We can take a weekday off for field trips (and we do!). We still have older kids in public high school, so we’re also familiar with the flip-side. We know that, while there are amazing and dedicated teachers showing up everyday, there are also some who take advantage of their positions to share their personal views (which are often very liberal and have even spoken against Christianity). Being aware of the influences around our children is necessary. Whether it’s their peers, teachers, the media, or even district-approved textbooks – any of these can be more worldly-minded than our kids are able to deal with in these formative years. We remember that, as believers, we are to be in the world but not of it.
Our kids are a little spread out in ages. We have a college graduate, a couple of high school graduates, high schoolers, and then our little boys. This gives me a unique perspective, because I look at our “Big Kids” and know how quickly the time passes. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been able to reflect on just how much I missed by being at work for those nine years. I don’t get that time back. What I can do, though, is make the most of this time I have right now. This time is precious, and it is invaluable. Choosing to spend every day at home, with your kids, is not always an easy decision. No matter how hard it gets, I know it’s worth it, because they are only this age once.
We don’t attempt to say that everyone should be doing this. Again, this is what God has chosen for OUR family. If you are considering homeschooling, pray about it and trust that the Lord will lead you to the right decision for you and your family. We seek His guidance to begin, but we also have to stay close to Him throughout the homeschooling journey. There are lots of resources available to support homeschoolers, but also remember that if He calls you to this, He will equip you for it. The Lord continues to be our source of strength DAILY. Yes, there are probably sacrifices and adjustments to be made, but it is worth it! No matter what the future brings, we have made memories in these first two years of homeschooling that I wouldn’t trade for anything.