I was never against homeschooling, but I was certainly not an advocate either. I was raised in public school as were my parents, grandparents and all of my cousins growing up, with the exception of one set of them. While my cousins were normal (if there is such a thing), the rest of the kids in their homeschooling group were, well if I’m blunt, WEIRD!
We’ve all heard it said before in one fashion or another, “Those homeschooled kids are weird!” Unfortunately, that statement is an accurate one. Maybe weird isn’t the nicest way of putting it, but the fact is, those kids are different. Different is not always a bad thing. I was never mean about it, but I used to say that I didn’t want my kids to be homeschooled, for the obvious reason of them looking “weird” to other people.
Sometimes it’s hard to put ourselves in other people’s shoes without having been in a similar situation and for me, my thoughts about homeschooled children being weird is a prime example. Now that my religious beliefs are different from the mainstream, I know exactly how it feels. Not to be a weird homeschooled kid, but to be “One of those weird messianic people.” Even though I don’t see myself as weird, I do recognize that I’m different and for many people that might look weird to them.
This walk has not only radically changed my religious views, but it’s also opened my eyes to the importance of homeschooling. Even though most public schools are not pushing religion, there are still things going on that I would rather have my daughter avoid. I realize that not all families are in a position to homeschool, and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s just not possible and in those cases, we have to do the best we can with the circumstances at hand.
For those parents, grandparents, or aunts and uncles who do homeschool, I’d like to tell you all about a fantastic homeschooling curriculum for Torah observant families (or Non-Torah observant ones too). Homeschooling Torah was started by Anne and Kraig Elliott. Kraig is a former Baptist pastor and was also a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the public school system. Kraig is currently the leader of Solel Sabbath Fellowship in Perry and Dansville, MI. Together with his wife, Anne, they write Torah based homeschool curriculums.
Once they started homeschooling, they found that there was not a complete curriculum that fit all of their wants and needs. As a result, they had to pull in resources from multiple places as well as write their own curriculum, but their dream was to have a curriculum where the Bible was used as one of the primary textbooks. That was in 2002 and after years of work writing their own homeschool curriculum for their own kids and then their friend’s kids, they have put together all of their work and resources and made it available to everyone on their website HomeschoolingTorah.com.
If you are looking for a curriculum for the whole family that is centered on Torah and biblical concepts, then you really need to check their site out. They do charge a small membership fee to access all of the information they have put together, but it is well worth it for all of the resources you get in return. Don’t just take my word for it, though. You can visit their site and see free samples of their curriculum before you decide if you want to invest in all the resources they have available. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
In addition to this, my friend Tyler Dawn Rosenquist from The Ancient Bridge, author of The Bridge and King, Kingdom, Citizen is also working on Context For Kids – A New Homeschooling Supplementary Curriculum for Bible/History that would integrate perfectly with the resources from Homeschooling Torah.
Here are some additional resources from Sarah Hawkes Valente that may be of interest also:
With these two tools, we can equip our kids to know not only their ABC’s and 123’s but also the proper historical context surrounding the Bible. This alone will give them a huge advantage over those of us who have had to learn the hard way how to defend our faith in a world that views us as “weird” for wanting to follow the whole word of YHWH.
I hope that these resources are a blessing to you and your family.