Let’s face it. Homeschooling is often hard work and sometimes discouraging because we’re stuck in the ruts and can’t envision the end results. As we near the halfway mark in the traditional school year (although we all know schooling actually goes on year-round), we at CHEA thought we would encourage our readers with some Focus: Eleven Reasons to Keep Homeschooling in 2015.

Reasons to homeschool vary almost as much as homeschoolers themselves. This is not an all-inclusive list, but we hope it is a reminder to you of why you began this task in the first place and the catalyst to keep at it.

1. You and your children can start every school day with God.
This includes prayer, Bible reading, songs and discussion. Our family is praying through a Voice of the Martyrs prayer calendar every day this year (arranged by country). We spent a few months one year praying specifically for all the homes on our street. We read missionary biographies regularly.

2. You are not in this alone.
God will sustain you in this homeschool journey. If you don’t have a supportive homeschool group, check CHEA’s Homeschool Directory for a group near you. Pray for God to provide you with godly encouragement from like-minded homeschoolers.

3. You don’t have to know everything to love and teach your children.
When you’re overwhelmed with a foreign language or geometry, resources exist to help. Co-ops, community college classes, online courses or curriculum, or a friend who is gifted in that area can help. Check CHEA’s Directory for service providers.

4. Your family will be stronger, and learn conflict resolution and grace.
My children are 6, 11, 15, and 18. If I didn’t homeschool, the kids would likely be scattered across town in different schools with separate lives. God set us in families for a reason. Let’s learn together how to face the world and be prepared for the tasks God will give us.

5. You won’t miss anything.
If the kids are off in different schools, there are a vast number of their daily moments you will miss. A homeschooling veteran friend of mine once said: “They grow up so fast, but I have no regrets. I didn’t miss a single thing.

6. You can reinforce what your children are learning.
When you see a Latin root, you can point it out (my kids’ favorite). When you see an image of a historical figure on TV, you can say, “Look kids – it’s Benjamin Franklin,” because you know what they are studying.

7. You can “do life” with your kids every day.
The kids can learn beside you in so many ways: grocery shopping, buying a used car, learning how to turn off the water when they accidentally break a pipe (the day after Christmas, no less), mowing the lawn, painting the kitchen, helping change the baby’s diaper, balancing a checkbook. I graduated first in my public high school class, but I barely knew how to do laundry and knew next to nothing about car maintenance.

8. You can teach your children Christian worldview in all that you do.
The state doesn’t choose the curriculum, you do. You are free to discuss God’s providence in history, His hand in science and nature, His beauty in music and art. You can ask yourself daily, “Are my children learning to be disciples of Christ?”

9. You can protect your children from negative influences and equip them for the future.
Of course the big, bad world is out there, but why not prepare the kids before sending them out to the wolves? How about teaching them discernment and truth first? Homeschool kids have been shown to be less peer dependent than their contemporaries.

10. Because when your kids need an answer, you are the someone who is there.
Not the feminist. Not the atheist. Not the humanist. Not the media.

11. You can meet your child’s unique needs.
There is no “magic cookie cutter” that produces “educated” children. You know them better than anyone else, so help them find their God-given gifts and guide them through their weak spots..

Thank you to Kristin Murdock, Rebecca Kocsis, and Laura Messina for their contributions to this list.