Friday, May 15, 2015
It's that time of year again, time when our homeschool is wrapping up. It's also time for us to shop for new curriculum and figure out the plan for next year. Next year will be more of a challenge for me, I will be homeschooling TWO children! My oldest will be in Second Grade and my youngest will start Pre-school. So while some of you are looking forward to the kids being home this summer, mine are home ALL the time! This series is about WHY we decided to homeschool our two girls.
"You are homeschooling your kids? Why?" said another mom. It never amazes how many times I get this question and how some people tend to respond to their own question with another question. "Do they not have good schools where you live?", "Don't they have FREE VPK?", "How will or how can you afford it?" and "Doesn't your family qualify for assistance at the local private school?" Say What?! So here is my answer broken down into several parts of the WHY.
First: We homeschool because we want to raise Christian kids, STRONG in the faith. There are plenty of private Christian schools in my area but this is just NOT our ideal situation for our kids. Because it IS expensive and because these schools are also seeing the influx of more non-Christian kids. We want our girls to really learn and know the scriptures. We want to work on their character, their obedience, their daily walk with God and we want to plant the seed of salvation in their hearts. I can't depend on someone else to do that. Afterall, God tell us in SEVERAL verses that WE should train UP our children. They are OUR responsibility. For scriptural reference: "Fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6 (HCSB translation), "Train UP a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22: 6 (NASB translation), and "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV translation). My family has prayed about this decision and God has made it clear to us the most important reason WHY we homeschool.
Now I understand that some of you out there may have your son/daughter being taught by a fellow Christian in a public classroom. And that may seem like it's working, but here is the problem....a young child IS NOT able to WITNESS to another child. At 8 years of age, could you defend your faith? If another child lies about something, will your child be brought into the lie or go along with it? If another child makes fun of someone or bullies them, will your child join in? If your child is just trying to make friends or "fit in" and starts acting like "bad" kids, how can you stop that? If another child brings his iphone to school and shows porn at recess, how can you stop it from happening? YOU CANNOT! While some of you may say...Oh, I'll deal with it when it happens. As a former public school teacher myself, I will admit, a teacher cannot watch EVERYTHING or know what goes on at recess, the cafeteria table, the bus stop, the bus, the hall times, the locker times, the field trips, assemblies and other "free" times when the teacher isn't actually teaching. And as a teacher, usually even kids dont' tell until AFTER an event has occured.
Let me give you some real life examples... The kids in middle school have 15 minutes of free reading time with their own book. I had a student who had a different book jacket on an explicit romance novel she was reading at the time. The student "forgets" and leaves it in her desk between the change of classes. I had hall duty. The next class is fine so I'm making sure things are ok in the hall. I walk back in and realize students are passing around a book. I collect the book and the jacket falls off. (kids were reading it, laughing about it...some where in shock, girls with red faces, I noticed all before I got the book.) Later in the day, i call the parent. The mother told me she is OF AGE and ABLE to read the books! The mother had no problem with sharing her XXX porn novels with her 14 year old daughter!!! I asked the mother if she could have her daughter leave her books at home. Her next statement was against me....Why, she should be able to read ANYTHING during that 15 minutes. (My response was that she should leave it at home because OTHER parents would object to it as her daughter was leaving it in her desk and therefore exposing other students.) The next day I got called out by administration!!!! End result: Student was allowed to bring a porn novel into my class and there was nothing I could do about it!! While this may be an "extreme" example to some, this is happening all over america. Being a Christian teacher means nothing when liberty for all truely means that in a classroom. (I also had other things happen dealing with porn, witchcraft, language and contact between students. - This is REAL and Christian parents who look the other way are kidding themselves.)
Now, can I protect them and shelter them from everything? No. I know that. But I want my child to grow up with a firm foundation with which to build their character on and their future salvation. I want my child to be able to defend her faith BEFORE stepping into the fire. God will do the rest. I homeschool because I know my child is still growing...in understanding, in knowledge and in faith. I am a parent who understands that our children are gifts from a God who also has given PARENTS the job of being a parent and raising them. (I know I'm SO overprotective! LOL)
Second: But this is not the ONLY reason I homeschool. I would like my children to not only appreciate the Bible/Scripture but also great literature, art, hymns, classical works of music, historical figures that have REAL character, creation science, and learn from real books instead of "twaddle" as Charlotte Mason suggests. I want my children to really LEARN and not just memorize dull facts or complete volumes of worksheets. I want them to be able to learn at their own pace, not a school boards "suggested" pace. I want to be able to choose how and what we learn instead of picking a "one size fits all" approach like a school would. My children are completely different in how they learn and how fast they learn. I would rather homeschool to let them learn as much as they are able.
Third: Another reason I homeschool is because of flexibility. With my husband having two corneal transplants in the past year, we have had a LOT of doctors appointments. The doctors office is also 30 minutes in the opposite direction of the local public and private schools. Our appointments have lasted as short as 30 minutes and as long as 6 hours!!! With homeschooling, I have had the flexibility to pack the days lesson and tote everything and everyone along for the ride. If I had a child in school, I would have to ask someone else to either pick them up or rush clear across town to pick them up and then back the other way to pick up my husband! This year, homeschooling got completed whether we were in a doctors office, a dental office, outside, inside, at a museum, at a park or at the grocery store.
Fourth: Oh, did I mention I am raising to little girls? I don't know if some of you noticed, but in most areas of the country, home economics is no longer taught or considered a valuable skill. Gone are the days when most little girls learned to sew a garment, cook a meal, plan a meal or learn how to manage a household. Those are skills that were passed down to me and I want to pass them down to my girls. I want them to at least have the knowledge of sewing a garment, cooking a meal, baking homemade bread, canning, growing a garden and being a helpmate to their future husbands. Maybe that's a little old fashioned for some, but I believe these are "lost arts" that need to be handed down to future generations.
Fifth:The last reason I homeschool is a sentimental one. My girls will only be "little" for so long. It's hard for me to believe that my oldest is already in second grade. That means in only 10 years, she will be a senior!! God gives us a very short time as parents and I want to make all of our minutes together count.
So how about you? Do you homeschool? What are your reasons?
Thanks for reading and as always, come back Sew Hungry For More....
photo credit: Death to stock photos