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Parent-Directed Education vs Homeschooling

Homeschooling is for the birds.

This is coming from someone who is teaching or has taught our 5 children from home. So why would I say that?


Parent-Directed Education vs Homeschooling MMC

Over the years, I’ve seen the concept of homeschooling grow and change; I’ve seen how it’s displayed everywhere from magazine covers to friends’ kitchen tables to speakers’ descriptions. I’ve mentored and been mentored, read, studied and experimented (so to speak!) on my own kids and in co-op situations.

Before we began home educating, I had idyllic visions of our kids all dressed in coordinating outfits, each playing a different instrument (exceptionally well!) and getting along ever-so-sweetly. I’d imagined sitting around the kitchen table engaged in an intelligent, age-appropriate debate for a respectable amount of time, before moving on to the next subject.

There’s much more to this dreamscape, but I don’t want to bore you…

Having lived through many different formats and methods of teaching, necessitated by changing family circumstances, I now believe I’ve come to a balanced approach to homeschooling, and it no longer revolves around my kitchen table. But let me explain…

While I respect and admire those who feel educating at home requires or is defined by one or both parents filling the sole role of teacher, I’ve understood over the course of time that I may not be the best source of, say, a chemistry or high school geometry lesson.  I’ve also realized the value of a monitored group setting where healthy discussion and exchange of opinion takes place.

As a parent, under the authority of both Scripture and the State government, I understand and take seriously the responsibility my husband and I have to ensure that our children are educated.

And this is the basis for parent-directed education…but  it doesn’t stop there!

Parent-directed education:

  • builds upon whatever images or ideas or dreams about homeschooling you may have or have had in the past,
  • expands both the form and breadth and depth of education you can cover,  and most importantly,
  • it allows and encourages all parents to embrace their God-given authority and responsibility to educate their own.

 it allows and encourages all parents to embrace their God-given authority and responsibility to educate their own.

What Defines this Concept?

  • Parents take the ultimate responsibility for their child’s learning:
    • Understand their learning styles
    • Discover their gifts and talents and interests
    • Provide opportunities, inside and outside of the classroom, to develop the same
  • Parents decide and delegate the task of teaching, wherever and however it is most appropriate:
    • Inside a classroom
    • Around the kitchen table
    • At a co-op class, under the watchful eye of a mentor, or as an apprentice
  • Parents follow up on whatever course of action is in place, and make changes when necessary

See the difference?

I know that this may not be “news” to some homeschooling families: many have taken this approach to heart without ever considering that it’s anything different than “regular” homeschooling.

I also know that for non-homeschooling families, how this plays out may be tremendously challenging, given the way our education system is set up.

But it’s crucial in this day and age for ALL parents to consider this paradigm.


We’re living in an age where our culture has moved beyond the slippery slope into secularism and is in free-fall mode.  In a time of political correctness, diversity training and “it’s all good” thinking, our children are learning NOT to think…to just go with the flow, wherever it takes them…to cast aside their ability to develop discernment and ignore the necessity of using that skill in their lives.  They are learning to ignore or subjugate their skills and talents to pursue the almighty dollar.  They are being taught to fit into the mold and be “good boys and girls”, at all costs.  And this will prove to be a very costly lesson…

If we don’t take responsibility to direct their education, SOMEone has to – and will!

Forgive the soap-box, but yes, it’s THAT important!

Now I don’t think this is going to be a far stretch for loving, committed parents. But I do understand this change will not be something that can happen overnight, and it starts with you.

Are you ready to take the bull by the horns and embrace parent-directed education?  As we enter into the back-to-school season, what is one thing you can do in your family to start down the path of parent-directed education?

Parent-Directed Education VS Homeschooling

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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2 Responses to Parent-Directed Education vs Homeschooling

  1. Elizabeth Ours July 24, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    This is an excellent post! Love the paradigm shift — as you say, this educaitonaly style is “doable” for all parents! Whether we feel capable or “called” to homeschool — it is time to prayerfully consider whether our children belong in the government schools being indoctrinated by the current “politically correct” but biblically incorrect mandates. The stakes just got higher. Is it really worth gambling with the lives of our children? i hope this post will cause some to rethink their options! 🙂

    • Pat July 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Thanks, Elizabeth! Really, this is such an important concept, and I think it goes way beyond homeschooling anymore!! No matter how we are educating our kids, we have to be so very intentional with everything these days! I, too, hope the same; feel free to share this where you think it may help to do just that 🙂

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