David Dawson on Why Homeschooling Rings Our Bell

David Dawson is a communications specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.


NASHVILLE (BP) – It was a tough decision.

For several weeks, my wife and I talked about it at great length. We prayed about it, sweated over it and, occasionally, I will admit, flip-flopped on it.

In the end, though, we made our choice and held firm: We decided that our two boys — Jonah (fourth grade) and Luke (first grade) — would be homeschooled this year.

Thinking about it was scary. Would the boys be able to concentrate at home? Would cabin fever set in? Would the furniture survive six months of elementary school boys at play?

Over and over, we weighed the pros and cons. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in our decision — not just the glaring health concerns, but also the thought that this year’s school schedule could potentially include a continuous series of stops and starts. We didn’t want that for our boys. And we felt that “virtual learning” wasn’t the best option for us.

On the other side of the coin, there are benefits to not homeschooling.

First, we love our small neighborhood public school. In the past, my boys have routinely ridden their bikes to school. My wife was a weekly volunteer, and she formed strong relationships with others at the school. Our principal is one of the good ones, consistently acting with the students’ best interest in mind. And teachers taught our children with fondness, respect and expertise.

But something still kept pulling at us to homeschool.

So, after much deliberation, discussion, research and prayer, we made the call: Homeschool.

It has been a momentous decision, especially for my wife. In the span of about 60 seconds, she took on about 20 new titles and about 200 new assignments. Not only is she the teacher, but she also now fills the roles of school nurse, nutritionist, counselor, librarian and principal. And she does ALL of this without the benefit of a teacher’s lounge. (She does, however, have a great parking spot that any teacher would envy.)

Meanwhile, there have been numerous adjustments for me, too.

On the days that I am working from home, I try to be as involved as I can. I have been given the role of P.E. teacher, and I preside over such vital courses as Nerf Hoop 101, Advanced Freeze Tag, and the always popular game of Let’s Go Get the Mail.

We are now about one full month into our journey as a homeschool family, and we are learning as we go. We have found that homeschool is a good bit like riding a mechanical bull – hang on tight for as long as you can, and try to land as gently and gracefully as possible when you get bucked off.

We have found that one of the major benefits of homeschooling is the quality time, the togetherness and the joys of simply “being there” for the good stuff.

My wife has been able to witness firsthand the classroom successes that have transpired in the past few weeks. She has been able to celebrate, in person, the very moment when Jonah nails a new spelling word or Luke latches onto a new math concept. I have been lucky enough to be there for some of those moments, too. And we’ve been able to give hugs and high fives.

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Source: Baptist Press