I know many of our family and friends have wondered why we decided to homeschool. We had hoped to enroll Nathan and Noelle into a local private Christian School close to us in Toronto but because the Ontario government doesn't support private education at all (unlike Alberta which provides partial funding) the school was unable to negotiate on tuition. With Daniel in school himself we were hoping to come to an agreement with the Christian School but since we couldn't we decided to homeschool. This has been a decision made with a lot of prayer.
Why not a public school? The reasons that usually come to mind first are the potential for bad influence from other students and anti-Christian teaching. However, when we really pondered it we realized that these are not the main concerns. The biggest thing it came down to was worldview. With Christian education (private school or homeschool) children are taught with a biblical worldview rather than a secular worldview.
What do I mean by worldview? The best explanation I have heard is that it is like the glasses you wear to look at and interpret the world and all of your experiences. (i.e. it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it. Wikipedia) Everyone has a worldview - whether it is a secular one, a religious one, or a combination of views - and recognizing this can help us understand others.
So in a secular setting children are taught to look at the world without a reference to God and to His word the Bible. Now, one may argue that this isn't a bad thing and that parents at home and through church can teach this Biblical worldview but I can't say it is a good thing. It is like choosing white bread for my children to eat all the time - it is not necessarily bad (although too much of it would be :) but brown, wholegrain bread is definitely better and will nourish them more. By being able to choose a Christian education for our children we are able to choose what is better, we are able to teach them through Biblical glasses. I know this is not an option for all Christian families and every family needs to decide for themselves, based on the resources (physical, spiritual, monetary etc) God has given them, how they will fulfill the biblical mandate to "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6)
There are definitely aspects of a school setting that we will miss this year but there are other aspects that I am really looking forward to. It has been a blessing that we are able to register with Alberta Education through Northstar Academy to homeschool. Since Daniel is a student and we plan to go back to Alberta in the summer, we can keep our Alberta health care, licence plates, and now school registration. This will entitle us to some homeschool funding as well as support through Northstar.
If you have any questions about homeschooling (or anything else I post :) please ask!