Homeschooling… thoughts?

Yesterday Geric and I went to Calvery Chapel La Habra for an observation assignment he had to do with the School of Ministry.  It was a really cool visit and afterwards they served us a really yummy lunch!  The pastor’s wife sat next to me and we started chit chatting about life, kids, being a pastor’s wife, etc.  She said that she has homeschooled all three of her daughters and that she wouldn’t have it any other way.  It got me thinking about all the benefits that come with homeschooling, and all the pitfalls, and it made me wonder if that is a choice that we should make with our kids.

You would thiink that since I was an elementary school teacher in the public school system that I would be excited about sending my kids to a public school, but have you heard about the new laws that have recently been put into effect?  There’s the neverending controversy of evolution vs. intelligent design that is constantly being debated over in the courts and argued over how it should be taught to our kids.  Then there’s the new law about teaching alternative lifestyles in sex ed starting in the 5th grade.  I have also heard (but I’m not too sure about how this is going to take effect) that schools are going to start doing away with boys and girls bathrooms so that the transgendered kids have somewhere to go potty without confusion.  How you feel on all these topics are not the issue here (so please don’t comment about how you are for or against any of these laws).  The issue is that I hold certain morals and beliefs as truths and I feel like it is my repsonsibilty to pass those morals and beliefs on to my kids, and I really don’t want a teacher that I barely know passing along her morals and beliefs.  I know, they could end up with a really amazing teacher that shares our beliefs, but they could also end up with a really crappy teacher who is against everything we believe in.

While I was talking to this lady yesterday, it sounded really great the way she homeschools her kids.  She obviously teaches math and language arts at their levels, but she teaches science and social studies as unit lessons.  For social studies she started in creation and has worked her way through history chronologically.  You also have the freedom to take you kids out and experience things, instead of sitting in a desk and writing in a workbook.  It’s also nice for me personally, as a pastor’s wife, because it would give us a lot of flexibility to go on trips with Geric.  Also, it sounded like she was really able to key into her kids specific strengths and weaknesses and help them overcome thier weaknesses and play into their strengths.  For example, one of her daughters is really dislexic, but she has a strength of seeing things spacially.  So, she bought her a computer program that helps her design and build houses.  How cool is that?

Now for the down side.  Honestly, the selfish side of me is thinking about how I’ll never have a break for the next 18 years.  Homeschooling is a lot of hard work, if you’re going to do it right.  Also, will my boys even listen and respect me as their teacher?  I have a hard time getting them to listen to me as their mother!  🙂  Another thing, when I think of the typical homeschooled kid, I think “weird kid.”  I know that a lot of homeschool programs offer different classes during the week and social activities and I’m sure my kids will have plenty of friends at church, but I don’t want them to be weird, you know? 

So, I decided to throw this topic out into the blog-o-sphere.  What do you think about homeschooling?

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16 responses

  1. I can’t believe you opened up this can of worms! Let’s see who comments…

    I have the answer to everything (for us Riversidians anyway), charter school! http://www.riverspringscharter.org

    We can send the kids to school 2 days a week and homeschool. Plus the school provides funds for curriculum and additional activities like music lessons, field trips, tutors and just about anything else you can think of. I’ll fill you in the next time we go walking.

  2. Jessica, I was totally thinking about you when I was talking to that lady! I’m thinking you should take the plunge with Liam and let me know what you think, and by the time the little guys are in school, you’ll be a pro!

  3. My initial thought is, don’t be afraid of the “what if’s” in the public school system. Sometimes I think parents who choose to homeschool are sheltering their children from the real world rather than preparing them to function as a Christian in the real world. Staying at home all the time doesn’t really give them a chance to make bad choices. I watched a really cool parenting video recently and the guy encouraged us parents to not fear our children’s bad choices, but to pray for them to make poor choices so that they can learn from the consequence. Children learn best from consequences. It sounds a little scary but I want to enable my kids to be responsible and confident people. My gut is that public schools will be good for them. But I am still open to listen and I definately have no problem wth parents who do home school. Do what is best for you and your children, as for me today, public schools is in their future. 🙂

  4. I am a Christian homeschool mom of two boy’s myself. Here are some of the reasons I do this. It isn’t so much for sheltering as it is foster their love the world and teaching his Word before sending them off to the world. At such a tender age of five(sometimes sooner if you send them to preschool) when you send them off to school for eight hours a day. That is a long time to be immersed in the world for a young child and they are more likely to learn things you may not want them to know just yet or ever for that matter. Homeschooling has provided us a way so we can make their faith strong. We may have to send them to school someday or maybe not but in any case I will feel comfortable knowing their faith is strong and won’t be broken down by the world.

    My boy’s actually do have public school friends and even friends who’s parent’s are non-believers but my husband and I are there if they have questions in that moment. So again it really isn’t about sheltering as it is helping them be prepared.

    Now, even though I say these things I also know that homeschooling isn’t for everyone. It does take a measure of patients (all though I can’t say I am the most patient person either LOL) and time to find the right lessons and curriculum. It’s not as hard as you think though. Also a lot of times you will find your children are independent learners and don’t need you to be in front of them teaching all the time (maybe not so much Kindergarten but first grade and on they can do a lot more independent work) and you may notice your children get a long better because 1) they are occupied with learning 2) they aren’t separated like they would be in school and learn to deal with each other and love being together. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be an eight hour thing. You don’t have the same interruptions as a typical school does. My boy’s are done with their book work in a couple of hours and then they are free to learn more hands on things or just enjoy other things.

    My boy’s are not eight and six and are pretty independent children. They play with each other most of the time and I get to enjoy other things as they do things together. So I do get lots of time to myself if I wanted to. That and my husband is very supportive so if I wanted to go out with some friends he has no problem with hanging out with the boy’s :D.

    As for being weird that is most of the time is a stereo-type. Sure there maybe some out there that end up unsocialized or “weird” but there is so much out there now for homeschoolers. There is so much out there for support and activities for homeschoolers then there was just ten years ago. You would be amazed on just what’s out there for those of us who are Christian homeschoolers.

    With whatever you decide it will be what’s right for your family. Homeschooling doesn’t make you a better parent and sending them to public/private school doesn’t make a bad parent . You do what is right for you and your family.

  5. Before i start, I would like to say I try not to judge other peoples choices. I know that as soon as I think someone else is making a bad parenting decision, my child is going to do the same thing and I will be put in the same sitiuatiion. I try to really encourage moms to be who they are, and for some that includes homeschooling. For Kyle and I we have always felt called to have our girls in public schools. There is amazing chances for outreach. For them and for me. I feel like I want my kids faith to be big enough to hear things that are untrue and know that. I think that your childs heart will lead them to God or not. It doesn’t matter where they go to school. Your home is their biggest influence. I also would fear a day when there were no christians in public schools. My children are called to the same things as I am. To live their faith daily. My girls have been able to invite their school friends to church, and I have meet moms through my girls relationships with their kids. I would never have had that opportunity unless my kids were in public schools. I will say that I don’t know what the furture holds and all kids are different. Each parent has to make the best choice for their children, and that might be homeschooling. But for now we feel very confident in our choice, and our children truly are a light to their school. I’m very proud of them.

  6. For the same reasons I choose to teach public school instead of private, I will choose public school over private too. I am not a fan of the idea of home schooling. for myself. I already can’t imagine helping with math homework come fourth grade (what I taught for 5 years), I surely don’t want to be the one teaching the lesson.

    I also have found it offensive at times that parents think they are qualified to teach k-12 when I had to go to college and get an advanced degree and I am only qualified to teach k-6, or Language Arts k-8. That’s my pride speaking of course,

    Anyway, if I come at a crossroad with public education, my first instinct would be to get hired at a Christian School and have my kids attend there, my last resort would be homeschooling. Hopefully people don’t hate me after this 🙂

    • I wanted to comment on the choice of chooising Christian school over public. My oldest started in Christian School in the 4th grade, he loved it but the number one reason behind sending him to that school was to keep him around positive infuences. This is was probably the biggest lie, since I found that the kids at the private school were not only bad and spoiled but extremely worldly. He actually started misbehaving as soon as he hit the 6th grade. Finally he was pulled out and sent to a smaller Christian School where he sat alone at lunch, was mistreated by his peers constantly and hated it so much he was depressed. It makes me sad but the truth is although the core subjects and education is Godly based, sometimes the thought that a Christian School will give your child a better environment, in regards to peers, can be false. I am now homeschooling a boy who was popular and happy at one time. Im doing it to get him back to who he was before he hit adolecense the hardest years ever. MY younger two boys stayed in public school and have never had one problem. Yes the influences there are bad as well but my kids have made the choice to find good kids to hang out with. I regret pulling my oldest out of public school but cant help to think maybe God had a different plan. Either way I think homeschooling moms are awesome. I am just finding my way with Homeschooling and it is scary to start in the 8th grade. Yet I feel an enormous amount of peace with my 14 yr old home and he is super happy like a load of adolocent pressure was lifted.

  7. Ah, I love a good debate! I really like the idea of homeschooling, specifically the classical method that is detailed in The Well Trained Mind. But I also like K-6 school, middle school is where the public school system terrifies me. When I was in 7th grade I was grabbed by boys, exposed to porn, drugs, fights, gangs, and called a slut when I had no idea what that even was (some girl’s boyfriend thought I was cute, which made her mad). If anyone can tell me why I would want my children to experience any of those things, I will give them a medal. I have spoken to 4 Inland Empire middle school teacher’s recently who all told me stories of kids doing drugs on campus, having SEX in the bathrooms and on and on.

    With all that being said, or typed, I KNOW I am not a teacher and I don’t feel completely qualified to teach my kids. However I am intelligent enough to find others who are. There are so many options now, Charter Schools, Tutors and parent co-op’s are a few that come to mind. The thing to remember is that every family is different and has different needs. For us Homeschooling would be a great option because my husband is on call for work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are times when he is gone for two days, comes home when the boys are in school, sleeps and then heads back off to work shortly after he wakes up. It can be pretty hard on the kids. We live for spring/winter vacations and the summer. My oldest is in 5th grade right now, and I am going to take this summer to explore all of our options so we can make the best decision for our family. 🙂

    • Junior High is very hard.., so many hormonal changes! Me and my friends have this saying that teens are abducted by aliens, since over night you wont know them and then they eventually they come back to you normal…lol
      YOU ARE SO RIGHT, I WAS SAD PULLING MY 8TH GRADER OUT THINKING HE WOULD MISS OUT ON FRIENDS BUT REALLY HIS JHIGH EXPERIENCE SO FAR HAS BEEN SUCH A ROLLER COASTER…WHY TORTURE HIM ANY FURTHER… :0 He’s home and safe and not at all sheltered!

  8. That is so funny you asked this question… my aunt will be answering her thoughts about this topic at mops this thursday 🙂 She homeschooled all three of her boys and they are some of the most intellegent kids I know…. is that homeschooling??? who knows… but I have gone back and forth with this idea for a few years now…. I just dont want to put my kids in school and then pull them out,…. put them back in, then pull them out…. then put them back in…. I would also like to see my kids learn from other adults… so if I was to homeschool, I would like to team up with parents and share the planning load… ie… I teach the math and give the other parent a break and then one day she could teach spelling 🙂 and I can take a break…. BUT… I am still all rambly with my thoughts…. for now, the public school system is where we are at! Sorry for rambling… hope I made some sense… it is late and I am tired…. NIGHT

  9. Jessica, You sound like you’ve done your research and I am sure you will make the best decision for your family as possible. I didn’t intend to say ALL homeschooling moms feel they are highly qualified or better teachers, I have just had a few conversations through a Community Bible Study that rubbed me the wrong way. I do think that junior high is a scary age, and I may feel differently as my kids approach it. Luckily, that is a long way off. I also think the Charter School 2 days a week is an interesting alternative and worth exploring.

  10. Okay, I’m ready to weigh back in on this conversation. I was thinking about the whole sheltering thing. What’s wrong with sheltering your kids anyway? I mean, I can see the extreme in it, but I don’t want to go there. I just don’t want them to be exposed to things until I am ready to expose them, not when the schools tell me they should learn about it. I can see that a lot of moms do use homeschooling to shelter their kids, and while I would be doing the same thing to a degree, I was also thinking that it’s a much more enriching learning environment that the regular classroom. Imagine if your teacher was more one on one to you and could design lessons specifically for you. Imagine if your learning experience was more hands on and you could actually experience things and not just read and write about it? How much more successful of a learner would you have been?

    The other thing I wanted to address was being a light in the community. I’m not sure my kids have to be in public school to be a light to the community. It’s not like they’re going to stay confined to the four walls of our house 24/7. I imagine they’ll be involved in sports and boy scouts and the neighborhood kids. So, i think there’s plenty of opportuniy to share their faith without being endoctrinated by the school for 6 or 7 hours a day.

    Am I sounding mean or offensive? Not meaning to. I mean, I was a public school teacher for 5 years (and I taught everything from 1st to 6th, which makes me awfully qualified, right Rachel… hee hee!) I’m not saying that the public schools are all bad, I’m just wondering if there is a better way for my family .

    • I wanted to add one last thought..lol since Ive already over shared..lol. 🙂
      Every child is so different, some can flourish in a not so great environment and be a pillar and not waiver at all. Then theres those kids who are tossed with the wind and although they are all good kids they handle pressures differently. I would consider this as well when figuring out what works best for each kid 🙂
      Well I’ll be praying for you & your family and hope God gives you a clear answer on what will be best for you and your family 🙂
      ok well I hope I was helpful…nice blog I have one too, please check it out Transparentbutterflies.blogspot.com

  11. Well everyone has some good opinions… but may I speak as someone who was homeschooled?? My mom is a certified teacher, so she felt somewhat qualified… but she didn’t reley on herself entirely. We were part of a homeschool group, which was great. We had lots of friends and organized field trips and sports. I grew-up playing soccor, basketball, and vollyball. I loved it.

    When it came to highschool.. my parents decided to put me back into the public schooliong system for several reasons, 1)economically my mom had to go back to work, and 2) she didn’t feel confident teaching at a highschool level. I still talk with all my old homeschooling friends, and I wouldn’t say that I am better off for going to public school. I did fine, I adjusted and made friends and passed all my classes and graduated with a 3.75 GPA with 36 extra credits… no I’m not bragging… however, I think I would have had a better experiance finishing homeschooling. I loved it. The relationships I have with my old friends, and with my mom and sisters is amazing, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was glad to be homeschooled.

    I plan on sending my kids to school for the first couple of years, and then homeschooling, I feel that it will help me if they understand the structure of school first. So when they only have school work for 3 hours a day they apreciate it! 🙂 But seriously, everyone has to do what is right for them… and who knows what God has planned for your childrens futures. Seek God and ask for peace in a decision.

  12. Just because your last two posts were really long doesn’t mean your audience isn’t expecting something new! Isn’t Jacob turning 1 soon?

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