Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why we'd like to homeschool

I decided to edit this post because late last night, I was convicted that my previous post on homeschooling was too clamorous. I've been studying Proverbs and came across two verses that apply here: Chapter 9 Verse 13 states that a foolish woman is clamorous, while Chapter 11 Verse 16 states that a gracious woman retains honor. I want to be a gracious woman, so I was convicted last night to edit my clamorous post against public education and replace it with a gracious post answering questions I've received positively concerning homeschooling.

1. Why are you looking into homeschooling?
Hubby and I are both products of the public school system and we both feel that there is a lot lacking there. We feel the education children receive there is not the best we can give our children. We feel good teachers in the public school system often have their hands tied, and bad teachers are hard to get rid of. Also, more and more, the public school system is becoming flawed. Students are no longer educated, but taught to pass state mandated tests. The whole year is dedicated to passing each test. Unfortunately, locally the schools are becoming severely dangerous with undisciplined students and badly behaving teachers. We had two sex scandals last year alone between students and teachers, and this year, there have been numerous fights that include weapons. It's sadly not a place I as a loving parent would want to send my children.

2. You think you can teach your children better than a teacher with a university degree?
I sure can! I may not have a degree, but I was born to teach. My guidance counselor and many of my teachers thought I should have gotten into teaching. I have taught many private classes and I continue to teach private classes. I did some tutoring. Also, the homeschool groups out there have GREAT resources for teaching children all sorts of subjects. I'm also not afraid to learn as I go. If I do get stuck on a particular subject, I can seek help through other homeschoolers, private tutors, the public school system, and even a local college. Additionally, I believe part of homeschooling is teaching children to teach themselves to a certain degree. Self-education is a great way to improve oneself.

3. What about socialization? Won't your children be missing out on being with their peers?
What my children will miss out on are things I'm glad they'll miss out on. What they won't miss out on is socializing with friends and a mixed group of people. I certainly intend to involve my children in activities outside our home. There are large homeschooling groups and many homeschooling parents nearby with children my own can befriend. We have a friendly neighborhood, a large extended family, and we re-enact thus meeting MANY people from many walks of life. We also attend church. Not only will my children be socialized, but they will be socialized with many more different kinds of people than if they were stuck in school with the same peers year after year.

4. What if your child wants to play organized sports?
The homeschool groups in our state are starting some organized sports teams. There are also many city and town leagues, church leagues, summer leagues, etc. I'm still debating as to whether or not I'll allow my children to attend public school so they can play a school sport. To me, that's just not a good enough reason to go, but I also don't want to stifle my child's talents and ambitions.

5. Aren't your religious beliefs going to stifle what your children learn, say in science and sex ed?
I'm assuming you're reffering to evolution and birth control. Aren't the public school systems' politically correct beliefs stifling what children learn by not teaching "intelligent design" and glossing over abstinence education? (Ooops, I said I wasn't going to be clamorous). I DO intend to educate my children on the Theory of Evolution, but unlike the PSS, I'm teaching it as a theory many people and scientists believe rather than fact (which is how I was taught in the PSS). As for sex ed, I think it's important to teach each child separately when the child is ready, rather than in a co-ed group at a certain age when everyone is at a different maturity level). I will educate my child based on my religious beliefs concerning sex (that's my perogative), but I also think it's important to let them know about what's out there, and that includes birth control, what it does and it's positive and negative effects.

As a side note, I want to teach my children to think wisely for themselves. I don't want to feed them indoctrination and make them my little robots.

6. Can you maintain the hours it takes to educate your children?
My state mandates an equivalent of 180 school days and 900 hours (grades k-6) or 960 hours (grades 7-12) per year. I actually intend to exceed that as education will be put forth nearly every day and summers can be filled with extra-curricular classes.

7. I think most homeschoolers skimp on physical education in favor of piano lessons.
I do not intend to skimp on PE. I personally feel that letting my child ride his bike for half an hour while I take a nap or wash dishes is not true PE. I intend for my young children to learn games and activites similar to when I was in the PSS, and for my older children to learn different sports. I also intend to impart on them the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

8. Won't the home environment be distracting?
I don't believe it'll be any more distracting than the classrooms I sat through in the PSS. I remember getting in trouble because I would study in the hallways at school. When asked why I disobeyed school rules by sitting the hallways during class time, I explained that the hallways were the quietest, least disruptive areas of school. Even the library was a noisy, disruptive chaos. I like to be organized and I do intend to teach my children in an organized environment. Later, when we add on to our house, I'd like to turn the extra bedroom into a classroom.

9. What about time for yourself?
How kind of you to think of me! Thanks! I had 25 years of me-time. And during that time I yearned to clean hour and raise and teach my children. Now that I have that opportunity, I consider it doing what I want, same as someone who wants to grow up to be an acress and makes the big time. However, I do understand that personal time is important. It'll get scheduled in (in pencil). It just might take a few years. Frankly, I can't think of better me-time than gazing at my nursing baby.

10. What if your child wants to get into drama club, key club, yearbook, or something along those lines?
I intend to allow my child to expand in ways beyond what the PSS can. There are MANY community drama groups in the area. I intend for my children to adopt a charity a year. Homeschool groups also offer extra activities such as sewing classes, voice lessons, musical instrument lessons, photography, writing, etc. I'm quite sure my children will be well-rounded.


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