Friday, August 22, 2008

Homeschooling 101 Part 1

As I have more moms tell me they're reading my blog for info & advice on homeschooling, I tend to think about what I'd tell them if we were sitting down for coffee & a good chat.

What's heaviest on my heart right now is a topic I don't hear much about in homeschool circles: our relationship with the public school world. A public school (ps) mom and I were talking the other day after leaving a PS prayer rally. We were discussing whether it was weird or not that a homeschool (hs) mom would show up to the rally to pray for ps families. I felt honored to be welcomed there. When you consider that the children in those schools will grow up to be my dentist, my insurance broker, or my mail carrier, why shouldn't I be interested in praying for them? I want them to succeed too! These aren't just faceless children going to ps, they are my children's closest pals-why should my prayers be reserved only for those in the hs camp?

I wonder if many of those on the ps side feel threatened by hs-ers. My friend thinks many teachers automatically do since by default we're sending the message that they aren't good enough to teach our children.

I can only speak for myself, but the teacher's character and credentials were not a concern of mine when I decided to homeschool. Actually, I have the utmost respect for teachers and think they are the most underpaid, under appreciated, hardest workers in our society.

My reasons to hs are many, but teachers don't even factor into my list. Here's what I said in an old post about homeschooling:

We have always felt that in order to train our children with purity, with sound doctrine, and with high educational standards and a love for learning, we'd need to homeschool. I'm not against the public schools, per se, I'm really just very for homeschooling!

By being "very for" homeschooling, you could deduce that I am "very against" public schools.

But I'm not. Well, not specific schools, and for sure not teachers. I am against the system. It's a faulty system with too many chances for students to fall through the cracks and it's being saturated with liberal ideas that choke out traditional values.

There's also the fact that tutoring (essentially what hs is) is a superior learning format to classroom learning. It's not the system's fault, it's just the way it is.

Can families overcome these issues? Absolutely. I have several friends putting their children in K this year. I have no doubt their children will succeed. Not because of the schools, but because these parents are involved, loving parents who will make sure their children succeed.

Yet for us, we know homeschooling is what God has called us to do. We feel our job is to prepare our children for whatever God will call them to do. In order to fulfill this mandate, we need all the hours in the day we can get. Homeschooling allows us to heavily sprinkle our worldview on all parts of our children's lives each day.

To sum up, this post has 2 points:
1. Please don't alienate those who make different educational choices or the actors involved (teachers in ps). Especially if we're all believers, there's no reason to add more tension when we have the power (and command through the scriptures) to be peacemakers. If God gives you an opening to defend your brother or sister on the "other side" of this educational divide, step up to the plate!
2. Know why you are homeschooling. You'll need to have the assurance that you are called to do this or when the going gets tough, you'll have nothing to fall back on.


Luke said...

Excellent points!


Supermom2JakeAndEmmy said...

You know you're the reason I want to homeschool, right? I only wish I had the resources and support that you have.