I'm about to graduate from college; a few years ago, when I applied, it seemed like I have no other option - everybody in my family went to college, and the same was expected from me. My college is close to home (I made sure I could continue living at home when I made the choice!).
I certainly can't say I learned nothing. I chose a degree in Nutrition and Home Economics, and I acquired lots of valuable knowledge, which will be very useful while running a home. I was exposed to a variety of cooking, baking and canning techniques, learned about planning a menu and food safety, about how to make better food choices and how to be a wiser consumer. I also learned A LOT about medicine, which I already apply to contribute to my family's health and well-being. In addition, I took courses in psychology and sociology, which broadened my general level of education.
But let me tell you this one thing. Everything I mentioned above is only useful to my family because I made CONSTANT EFFORT to see it through the prism of a devoted daughter, of (God willing) future mother and homemaker. Our teachers certainly didn't intend it to be interpreted that way. We were oriented towards career, not family. The knowledge and skills we gained was to be given to anyone but people we care about the most - our family.
Let me tell you something else. Practically everything I learned during my 3 years of college - and certainly the more practical things - could be learned at home, in a cheaper, safer, and more extensive manner. It might have taken longer time, but I would have been so much better off at home. The entire spirit was so ambitious, competitive and self-absorbed. What about modesty? I studied in an almost girls-only class, and I still had to struggle against negative influence almost every day. At times, I felt like shutting my ears so I don't have to listen to stories about immoral behavior; I won't even mention the abysmal "dress code"! And THAT, remember, is what I have been exposed to while living at home. Imagine what must have been going on in the dorms, after classes ended!
Have I been able to grow towards serving my family and towards God's calling? Have I gained important skills during the past 3 years? Yes, but I can truly and wholeheartedly say it happened more despite than thanks to my college education. I didn't have time to really refine my homemaking skills. Only during the past year, I'm learning how to clean satisfactorily and shop frugally, how to do laundry effectively, I'm learning to garden, sew, knit and crochet. Ironically, my mother is very good at all those things, but she has never been married and doesn't believe in feminine calling. So I am being pushed into the workforce, and I'm afraid this is where I'm going to end if I'm not blessed with a godly husband who isn't intimidated by the role of leader and provider in his own family. I pray with all my heart for meeting and marrying such a man.
I would like to encourage all the wonderful families who decide to give their daughters broad, high-quality education while keeping them at home, under the safe, loving protection of their family. Don't believe anyone who says home education cannot produce an intelligent, creative human being. Home is certainly the best possible place to gain the skills necessary for a future keeper at home, a godly wife and mother. An endless variety of interests, hobbies, activities and business options can also be successfully pursued from home. If we have a vision of being home centered, let's live it, and let's show the world what a powerful and glorious vision it is!!