Why do I home school?

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Why do I home school?

Sometimes, I get a really good question or comment that I think is worthy of chatting about here at Comin' Home. When I answer, these I label them "From the Heart". These are personal opinions of my own which you are, of course, free to ignore..isn't that true of anyone's opinions? But, it is my blog, so I do get the unction to occasionally 'wax eloquent' on a topic of my choice. :o)

Today, I'd like to answer the question...Why do you homeschool?

First of all, let me make it clear, that I have no desire to deride or condemn those whose children attend public school, or teach in a public school. I applaud the men and women who do their very best to encourage and educate their students and the dedicated parents who work diligently to help their children get educated while attending public school...

Hi Donna, 

We've got red dirt here in GA too and back home (where our heart is) in Oklahoma. I didn't know TX had it too! Gotta love it staining the side of the house and the attraction it has to light colored carpet. 

My home school stereotype isn't a bad one, it's just not a well-rounded one. Growing up, my mother taught severely handicapped adults and kids, life skills and basic speech/motor skills. Because of that, I learned how to teach on different levels, but I also only met home schooled kids who where taught at home because they couldn't function in a real classroom setting. They had serious behavior issues, physical issues or just weren't accepted in public schools by others.

I've also never met a home schooled person who went on to college so although I know it's possible I don't know how if or how well prepared they were after being taught at home until that point.

I'm very "type A" so naturally I have a million questions about how grade advancement works, how to decided what to teach, what not to teach...all kinds of "how and what if" questions. I've already posted printables of the ABC's, numbers, shapes..basic things all colorful and friendly around the house for him. He already knows his ABC's, can count to 20 (1-10 in Spanish), shapes, colors (most of the time), can semi dress himself...and a million other little motor skill things.

What made you decided to home school?

Hi Friend,

To answer one of your questions, most of my friends' kids, do go to college. I don't personally remember one who doesn't. My oldest son is a Russian translator in the Marines, the next two are going to college, one is starting dual credit this summer and one is too young to do any of the above. Regrettably, there are people who use homeschooling as a last resort and honestly, that is a legitimate option for dealing with learning disabilities and even behavioral issues..but those are minority situations. The majority of us are geared towards college and spend a good deal of time helping our kids study for tests, filling out scholarship applications, and researching what schools we want them to go to.

The main reason I started homeschooling though, was because of spiritual issues. My goal is such a funny one, but the Texan way to put it would be that I didn't want to spend 18 years raising my children..only to have to raise my grandchildren too! That pretty wells sums it up. I wanted to raise healthy, normal adults who could handle life responsibly. In our country, we have a rapidly growing segment of society that simply can't handle the responsibility of living. Hence, grandparents, by huge numbers, are now raising their grandchildren. It seems our teens don't really like being adults and go to great lengths to avoid 'growing up'.

Frankly, my momma raised me better and yours did too I'm sure! Of course she didn't home school us per se...but she made sure that we could handle adult life and she supervised our education. She made sure we got from school, what we needed to succeed. She was also a great room mother! The public school environment supported her values. Home schooling wasn't really necessary in terms of faith or common sense every day sort of values .

There are many reasons why we are having these problems in our society, and having our children at home with us more, allows us to circumvent many of those problems by a establishing a better relationship with them and promoting values that we feel better prepare them for responsible adult life.

Passing on our faith as a reason to home school, may very well be an appropriate stereotype. Most of us are Christian, but secular home schoolers are growing in number too. What I'm most thrilled about ..beyond words.. is that minorities have joined the movement in record numbers! They love the results you get from home schooling as much as we do.Who can blame them?

Why am I thrilled that people home school? Because I want them to have all the benefits that come with it--most importantly, a better relationship with their parents and the chance to be a child while they are still children—to have more parental support and less peer pressure in their early years.

We have a culture where teens' lives get devastated due to intense peer pressureand the prevailing religion in our culture, "Secular Humanism". Many people in today's world believe and teach that there is no God, there are no common sense values, you can't know right from wrong, and basically anything goes. (I know this is generalizing...there are exceptions and GREAT TEACHERS!) The good thing is that they encourage acceptance of those different from ourselves. That is truly legitimate and I applaud it. Sadly, it sometimes seems that different includes anything and everything except Christians. But I'm not holding a pity party..being 3.I love people regardless of their perspective on homeschooling, public schooling, Christianity, or any other issue.

I believe that the problem with this view on life, is that it leads to despair, addictive tendencies, zoning out on TV, relationship difficulties, lack of self esteem, and lack of motivation to strive to be your best. If we have no God, no moral values, and no consequences...all we have left is the typical teenage lifestyle or generation X as some people call today's teens. That doesn't lead into a healthy adult lifestyle either. That's really why we home school.

There are other benefits..like getting to study at your own pace, being able to start college earlier, time to pursue your gifts and talents, or as you described the freedom to adjust to legitimate learning disabilities. Truly, many famous artists, athletes, actors, missionaries, leaders, and politicians throughout history, chose this option because they wanted to make sure they could spend quality and quantity time with their kids and that their kids had time to pursue their giftings and callings. A formal classroom setting doesn't allow for a time-consuming serious pursuit of art, athletics, science, or political position. It's just never been that well known publicly that some people opted out. (That's changing now and for those of you whose children are in public school, I'm so glad that they have schools that allow for this kind of focus!)

There is so much help for those who want to home school. There are excellent curriculum providers, outside classes you can sign up for, organized sports organizations, and academically challenging clubs and activities. Whatever high school or public school has to offer, after 30 years of home schooling, we have it too. That was not the case so much when I started. But my husband and I knew, from the very beginning, when we first heard of home schooling, that we were going to do it. And we simply trusted that the Lord would direct us. It was a step out in faith in 1987 for us. Now, we know we did the right thing.

We each have to do what we feel is right for our families and this was what we felt was right for ours. We wanted to a pass on our faith and we felt VERY responsible to make sure that we not only did not hold back our children academically...but that we would help them do better than what they could have in public school.

There is so much more I could say. It's a hard road, a big responsibility, and sometimes exhausting. But so is putting your children in public school and then wishing you could help them with their learning and social difficulties..and not being able to. I have lots of friends in that situation...and I rather deal with home school's ups and downs than the other way around.

I hope that this answers your questions about homeschooling and that I don't sound preachy. This is just my perspective and I accept everyone else's perspective too. Thanks for visiting me. I'm really enjoying our email chat. Do check out my article on Homeschooling Basics if you are interested in getting started.

Have a great day!



Mrs. Stam said...

Great post! Love it!!!

Anonymous said...

so what method do you use?

Breathing In Grace said...

Oh, Ms. Donna...this is WONDERFUL. Our daughter has her Masters in elementary education. She taught in the public school system for 3-5 years before our grandsons came along, now she's a SAHM, working PT at their Christian Mother's Day Out. She wants her boys to either be homeschooled...or go to a private Christian school...not be put in public school. This is something I wished we could have afforded when she was young. You've made such valid points....and I appreciate that your choice was based on your faith!!!

Donna said...

Hi, Well.. the answer to what I use for school would required an even longer post-Ha! Here are some of the things I use.. Bob Jones Univ. Press Reading, Grammar and History, Saxon Math, Apologia Science, The Harvard Classics, Writing Road to Reading, The Bible, dual credit courses, used college textbooks, NCFCA Speech and Debate..etc.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful post Donna. Thank you so much for sharing. I do hope that I can accomplish the saem with Wednesday. We are hoping that come this time in 2011 we can afford for her to stay home with me (or vice versa really). I am not so much a type A as you, but I do love to learn new things and I can't wait to make that journey with Wednesday!

Hills N Valleys said...

Great response to the QUESTION we/I get asked so often as homeschoolers.

Dana Leeds said...

First of all, I'm glad you visited my blog and are enjoying it. And, I'm thrilled that I have had the opporunity to travel so much. I find it is a wonderful way to make memories with my daughter AND with our extended family. And, it is a great way to learn and experience new places!

I love your post about why you homeschool. Whenever I get asked that question (and I've only been homeschooling 5 years, not over 20!), I have trouble putting it into words. Your response is beautiful!

I've enjoyed browsing your blog some this morning. And, I look forward to reading/seeing more!


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