I’m a Public School Teacher…And a Homeschool Parent

Jan 19, 2020

I’m Not Against Public Education

 I’ve been a teacher for decades. Until now, I’ve only taught in public schools. As I type these words, I’m sitting in a public school classroom subbing for a friend. I grew up in public school, I graduated from public school, my undergraduate degree came from a public university. So, why on earth do my wife and I homeschool our daughters?

Often we hear about the negatives of public schools, and while there are many, there are also positives. Jeff Henderson of Gwinnett Church in Georgia has begun a movement in his church. They want their community to know what they are FOR rather than what they are against. (CLICK HERE to find out more about FOR.) I think the discussion of school choice could use a similar posture much more effectively than using the argument against public school. Rather than telling you what I’m against, I want to tell you the positive aspects of homeschooling and online learning that attracted me and convinced me to part with my past.

I’m FOR the BEST Education

I’m obviously not against public education. For many it is the only choice they have, though I’d like to see that change. I’m FOR education; the BEST education a student can get. I’ve had a wonderful career as a missionary to public schools. However, my ability to speak the gospel openly to every situation is limited in that setting. What I love about homeschool is we can speak life to our daughters openly. We can weave the story of Jesus into every aspect of their learning, from Bible class to sentence diagrams to Algebra. This helps our daughters form a worldview that honors their faith.

Why Did We Choose Homeschool?

Homeschool also affords us the opportunity to tailor the learning experience to our children individually. We get to educate the person instead of teaching answers to a test. Sure, there’s testing involved, and I welcome that accountability. However, accommodating a learning disability, diving deeper into concepts, and making connections across subjects is a huge benefit of homeschooling.

Homeschooling also allows for a variety of experiences, such as online learning, which I am a fan of because online learning saved my graduate degree. I began my graduate studies on campus at a seminary and had to commute while working full time in a church. This was a recipe for disaster. When online learning became an option, it afforded me the opportunity to learn at my own pace. I do wish I’d had live teaching (which we offer here at Excelsior) because I missed the interaction with the professors, but the opportunity to go back and play a section of the lecture again when my ADHD kicked in and the opportunity to interact with the class material in a different way took the disaster at the on-campus school and turned it into a 4.0 GPA at Luther Rice where I received my Masters degree.

public school teacher and homeschool parent

These are just a few of the reasons we chose homeschool and online education. I’ve not even mentioned portability (school goes where we go), more elective options, the teaching of self discipline, and tailored education all mean we can challenge the individual rather than hold them back until the class catches up. My oldest daughter, who used to hate going to school, has learned to love being a learner. Both my daughters thrive in this environment!

Homeschool has evolved in recent years and is no longer the outlier it used to be. Colleges are now looking to homeschools and online academies, like Excelsior, as being ahead of the curve on educational trends. The future is bright for homeschool families. That’s why my family chose to homeschool. We could have sent our daughters as missionaries to the public school system, but we didn’t because we know they will be able to take the education they’ve received and change the world. So yes, I’m a public school teacher…and a homeschool parent.

David Mills is a pastor, teacher, husband, father, and coach. He has a passion for seeing people grow through learning. His education career began in 1998, and he joined Excelsior in 2020. He has a wide range of interests from music, to Bible, to science, technology, and sports. These are reflected in his course offerings here at Excelsior.

David Mills is a pastor, teacher, husband, father, and coach. He has a passion for seeing people grow through learning. His education career began in 1998, and he joined Excelsior in 2020. He has a wide range of interests from music, to Bible, to science, technology, and sports. These are reflected in his course offerings here at Excelsior.