In the past, I have addressed a few myths commonly believed about homeschooling, myths such as:
Homeschooling takes money out of the public schools - false.
Homeschoolers are naturally smarter than their public-school peers - wrong.
A parent must have a college degree to homeschool - nope.
Today, I want to look at a myth commonly believed by homeschoolers themselves. It goes something like this...
"If I homeschool my kids, they won't buy into the humanistic philosophy of today's culture."
"If we homeschool, our kids won't do drugs or have premarital sex."
"If I homeschool, my kids won't be the victims of bullying and they will not bully others."
"If I homeschool, my child will get a full scholarship to college, earn a degree, and have a fabulous career."
"If I homeschool, my kids will become mature, responsible, productive, godly adults."
In other words, we believe that if we homeschool, our kids will be protected from whatever horrible thing we want to save them from, that they will adopt our faith and worldview, and that they will become beautiful people living beautiful lives.
That is an awful lot to deliver.
Research indicates that, yes, homeschoolers generally are better educated, they perform better in college, and they end up with higher-paying jobs as adults than their public-schooled peers. Homeschoolers usually grow up to be more socially and morally conservative, and they also tend to be more religiously and politically active and more involved in their churches and communities.
But homeschooling is not a magic bullet that guarantees "happily ever after" to us and to our children.
I know godly, dedicated homeschool parents who have grieved to see a son trapped in drug addiction, a daughter running away to become a night-club dancer, or a child renouncing his faith as an adult. There is the young woman who moved in with her boyfriend, and the young man unable to find or keep steady employment.
We live in a fallen world where sin touches every single aspect of our lives. That is a reality that even homeschoolers must face.
So what are we to do?
First, for you homeschool parents out there who are also Christians, I encourage you to remember that it is Jesus - not homeschooling - who saves sinners. sinners such as us and our children. Remembering that Jesus is sufficient, able, and willing to save our kids should give us great hope, even as we witness them struggling with sin or disappointment in their adult lives.
Second, I exhort you to be persistent in prayer. I once heard faith defined as "a conscious dependence upon God" - and parenting, whether you homeschool or not, requires a lot of dependence upon God! The challenges we face as parents should keep us mindful of our need for God as we raise our children and should move us to continually seek Him in prayer.
Third, persevere. This calling - parenting, and homeschooling - is not easy, but it is a good work. Let us not tire of doing good, but rather let us press on with endurance, hope, and joy.