Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homeschooling Questions Addressed

I have recently had a several people ask me WHY we choose to homeschool. Another lady asked if we will homeschool her children. Someone wanted to know what we do about certain situations, how it practically works, how we do it financially, how I find time for me....etc....

I have ONE homeschooler! Haha. I feel flattered and humbled that anyone would ask me for advice or help- but for whatever reason, God sent them my way-
I've responded to them all and recently a girl said to me "You need to post that on your blog or somewhere public, people need to hear that - especially around here with the schools the way they are." So here I am- pasting my message to her into my blog. (I've mulled over whether or not to blog it for some time now).

Here is the message:

Hey girl! ok- here goes....this is going to be long-

I personally think it's really sweet that you are considering keeping your kids home with you. I would not trade all those sweet moments with my children, all those firsts, all those tears and laughs to another person. Personally, I just couldn't do it.

I do understand some people have to work and they have no choice and I don't think it is a right or wrong choice. I don't think you're sinning for having kids in school. I am just very thankful that is not where God has us for now. We have made sacrifices so I can be home, and sometimes extra income would be very nice.....but at the same time God has graciously provided a way financially for us to do it. So, of course, my opinion is, if there is a way financially - I think it's what is best for the child in most cases. And for the most part, I think families can sacrifice to the point that one parent can be home or work part time.

We homeschool for several reasons. I think first and foremost, we choose to homeschool because we believe the spiritual condition of our kids is THE most important thing. We see and know how vulnerable our kids are, how receptive they are at these young ages and right now is the most important time to teach them about who God is. It's so important that they hear the gospel told to them over and over and over through very real, in their face, practical living and discipline at home. If they are in school or day care, we cannot control that for the majority of the day - so essentially, we cannot disciple our kids or discipline them effectively if we aren't with them.

Many people say "Well, my child is a light in a lost and dying school/classroom/world.....they are a missionary." I say no- I cannot expect my unstable, unsaved child to be a light in their school. That isn't their job. Not yet anyway. I will pray for salvation, teach, discipline, and watch for fruit that tells me they are prepared to go into a lost and dying world. After all, don't grown, adult missionaries go through months and sometimes years of training before they are let loose in their mission fields?? And they are grown, saved, fruit making, aware of their calling.....ADULTS who have been tried and tested and stood strong!!!

Second, I believe educationally, no one can know my own children and their learning quirks better than me. I know them intimately - I am their momma. In homeschooling, we can tailor school to our kids. Reagan is soaring to third grade levels in reading and struggling in basic subtraction in first grade math. So we spend much more time on that than anything else - and we are one on one, and later when the littles are in school we will be one on 3 or 4 or 5 (not sure how many kids we will have)....but my point is, that is better than one teacher on 25 students that all have different learning needs. So if my kids are brilliant or "special", they'll have more of a tailored exactly-what-they-need education with me and Shaun. To me, that's better than an A in reading and an F in math because there just wasn't enough one on one time with a teacher. (I also love that during snack, we practice math. During nap time for the littles we count, add and subtract while we do dishes and laundry. All day long- whether sitting down with a book or a test or learning to keep a home - we are one on one.....LEARNING.)

I think that second decision (educationally) would be harder for me if there was a cheap, christian, Bible teaching, really well taught, local school that was an option for me. A place where the spiritual condition of my children was just as important to the staff as it is to Shaun and I. I would have enrolled Reagan 20 times by now. Haha. (believe me, there are days I want to drive her to a school, take out a loan, and leave. I would love time to go to a gym or grocery shop alone or get a manicure). But that (above) option just isn't there around here and that makes it a little more of a no brainer for me. So we homeschool and I look out of shape, dated and homely. :)). It's a small sacrifice to make. My vanity or desire to be alone is silly and not founded in scripture anyway. And there will be plenty of years of alone when they all leave the nest.

****Let me say though, that I was raised in the public school system, I loved school! I'm educated, I made it through high school and college without too much of an issue and I wasn't bullied terribly or abused. I don't ever find myself regretting that I grew up in that system. I was exposed to things, though, that I would rather my children not be exposed to. There were physically and sexually abused kids when I was in school and a teacher was fired because of it. The Lord just protected me. And I am thankful. And I believe parents with kids in school must daily lean on The Lord in a special way for the protection and preservation of the innocence of their sweet children. Not that homeschooling parents don't rely on The Lord, believe me- we do. I just find great comfort in knowing that Shaun and I can and will, to an extent, control when our kids are thrown to the world and expected to decipher good and evil.

I sound old saying this, but times are even more different now than they were then, and I think the schools have changed a lot. Also, there were great amounts of temptation for me when I was in school. And I wasn't perfect. I have regrets from those years. And I know kids aren't nearly as well-taught at home or morally aware and obedient as they were even then. And that would terrify me if I had a student in the schools today.

Third, the sheer amount of time invested in school makes homeschooling appealing to me. My friend Sara had two boys in school at Marion last year, they came home from the after school program when Sara got off work around 5. They'd have at least 2 hours of homework to do every night before bed- so 8 hours at school and then so much homework, it's insane! Not to mention ball practices and church....they were run to death and had no family time! Now, she's homeschooling and done by noon every day. Some days she says they go until 2 but never later than that unless its by choice. They are junior high and elementary aged.

I'm all about redeeming the time in these few short years we have with our kids. I don't want to spend it shuffling kids around to school and back and doing homework. I don't want to be at the mercy of the school year schedules and breaks. I love that we are mobile and free. Homeschooling is not bondage. It is freedom!!!

The social aspect you mentioned is never a concern for me. Never! I'm not sure I want Reagan's peers to be her primary source of socialization anyway. I love that she wants to be like ME and her daddy and not a little girl from school. We have her heart (right now anyway) and I love that. We attend a homeschool co-op with science fairs, show and tell, recitation, choir, art, etc..... and a gymnastics class where she is around kids whose parents share the same values as Shaun and I. She also is in the Wednesday Night Live program at church where she interacts greatly (not awkwardly) with loads of all kinds of kids. Right now, everything is filtered through us first....and for now, I prefer that....while she's so impressionable- that's important.

I know we can't control her every moment forever. But I think God will give us wisdom to know when the time has come to, little by little, let her be responsible for making some of her decisions. We aren't going to lock her up-though we'd love to- 😊. Hopefully she will be saved and produce fruit that can impact others one day- now is not that time. So we protect her. For now. And we pray.

Anyway, I'm including these links to Joanna's blog (Shaun's sister) - she has 5 kiddos. One of them started school at Christian Brothers High School this year. The other 4 they have at home for now- so she's got some good things to say about timing and perspectives from every angle.

I don't think you're silly for thinking about this- I think it's smart and wise to plan and talk with your husband about a plan. Of course, it could always change. So many people told me, take it one year at a time- and now I understand that. Your family will change, needs change, circumstances change. So, one year at a time. 😊.
This is how I feel God wants us to do school for now. That could change. God could show us something new and different. We aren't closed minded and hard hearted about it. We just want to be sensitive to where God has us and we want to be obedient stewards of what God has blessed us with!

Here are the links.

Hilltop House: What I've Learned in Ten Years of
Homeschooling - Part 1

Hilltop House: What I've Learned in Ten Years of Homeschooling - Part 2

Praying for you.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

No comments: