Back in 1990, Ray and I struggled month after month. We had an important decision to make. We wondered: "Should we homeschool? Are the problems we are seeing in public school bad enough that we should make this radical decision to bring our children home? What should we do?" 

Being such organized people and always planning far ahead and always knowing exactly what we are doing, we decided to homeschool -- in August! We scrambled to get ready. If anyone had asked us why we were doing it, we could have given several answers. 

We didn't like the negative attitudes we saw in some of the teachers our children had in school.

We didn't agree with godless beliefs our children heard sometimes.

We didn't like public schools teaching about things we thought parents should teach at home.

We believed it would be good for our children to advance at their own pace.

We wanted our children to be safe.

We wanted to train our children according to God's Word.

All of our reasons were based on real issues we had experienced. All of our reasons were valid and all were deeply important to us.

For two school years, we homeschooled our children. By the end of that two years, I was burned out and Ray was burned out at watching me be burned out. We gave up. We put them in a Christian school for a year. Then we moved back home to Tennessee and into a school district with many Christian teachers and we gave that a try. By the spring semester, we were back where we had been four years before. Should we homeschool again? 

We decided we would. That summer of 1994, we boiled our purpose down to one simple statement and we wrote it down in black and white. When Ray and I made this statement our only homeschool purpose, we became homeschoolers. We embraced homeschooling with our whole hearts. We homeschooled our children through graduation. Homeschooling can fit like a glove and become a joy when we find our true why. This was our why statement:

We believe that we should spend our lives praying for and pursuing our goal:

That we, our children and their spouses, our grandchildren and their spouses, and every succeeding generation live as Christians on earth and live forever in Heaven with our God and with each other.

We want to live our lives working diligently for the realization of this goal with all the strength He gives us.

Our children graduated in 1997, 1999, and 2001 -- and we still pray for this goal -- for our children, for their spouses, and for our grandchildren and their spouses, and every generation from Ray and me forward. It will be our prayer until our last breath. We trust God with this prayer because we know that He loves every person -- even us -- and we know that it is what He wants, too.

Once we had our why statement, we fine-tuned it into a list of specific objectives. To make these objectives, I simply thought about what kind of adults I wanted our children to be, what kind of impact I wanted them to have in the world, and where I wanted our children and their descendants to spend eternity. Those objectives included academics, but I believe that every academic goal has to have a spiritual why and that every academic goal that is worthy of our children’s time must prepare our children to carry out godly goals. One common fear that homeschooling mamas have is whether they are “covering everything.”

My cutsey answer to that fear is this: “The universe is everything. You can’t cover it, so get over it!” However, I think that some mamas who worry about covering everything are thinking mainly about covering everything in academics. If mamas aren’t careful, in their effort to prepare their children well, they might inadvertently leave out what is most important. 

As Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” And as Proverbs 9:10 says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

The goals that you and I have for our children are simply the answer to the question Jesus asked in Mark 8:36:

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

Wow! Jesus’ question puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it? So what if my child gets an engineering degree from MIT . . . ? So what if my child understands ancient languages and can quote half of the Iliad by heart . . . ? So what if my child lives in the fanciest house on the fanciest estate in North America . . . ? So what if my child finds the cure for cancer if my child doesn’t live for God now and live with Him forever?