Friday, March 28, 2008

To Homeschool or Not? THAT is the question....


I had posted about this....a LONG time ago..and here I am at it again. My daughter, M, is in Kindergarten and doing just fine....the school she goes to is in between 2 big school districts so it is known as a small "farm" school. I want to do what God wants us to do as parents...and I am not 100% sure He desires for all Christians to homeschool. And I am also not sure that He doesn't. I have blog friends who do homeschool and I think it is great. I also have blog friends who don't...and that is great. I need your thoughts...and what works for you.

My hubby and I decided we will look into it more. See the costs and requirements etc. I know I can definitely homeschool my kiddos....but part of me thinks they should have the fun, public school experience as well...and as long as I am raising them right when they are home..that it is OK. I don't want pride or selfishness to get in the way of this huge decision.

There are soooooo many blogs/sites online that totally condemn the public schools and rant and rave about stuff and that homeschooling is the "only" way. And then when I mention homeschooling the kids, I have people (christians included) telling me that I will drive myself nuts and the kids need to be away from their parents some and school is good for them etc etc etc. It is driving me nuts with this confusion in my head.

And now, on top of it all...I am so afraid to make a decision based on the wrong thing....
Like, if I decide to homeschool...would it be because I think it is the "christian" thing to do...?? Would I be acting out of pride? Or if I decide to continue letting my kids go to the school in our area....then what? Would I be acting selfishly because I won't take the time and effort to homeschool? AACK! It has me soo confused!

I have to say that right now, my daughter's teacher is a christian and they even sing a prayer before snack time. It's so cute. I am totally NOT worried about things my daughter is learning at the moment. She is doing just fine. It's the older grades I wonder about...and just what I am suppose to do as a christian mother. My husband and I are going to research information and then pray about it and make a decision for next year.

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this...I just can't determine what is the right way to go? I just ask that in your comment to not get too "pushy" one way or the other. I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts and I will discuss them with my husband as well. Ultimately prayer is our biggest companion on this...but I would love to hear thoughts and views from friends! Thank you!!! :)

16 comments:

  1. Boy have I been where you're at...actually I was just thinking about this AGAIN.

    I can't decided either way I think for me the biggest thing is, would I be able to homeschool? Would I have what it takes to do it?

    Then it's the whole school kids and friends thing, would my kids miss out on the social part of it. I don't know.

    I'll wait to see what your readers say LOL

    Hugs,
    Sandra

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  2. Katy, I don't think there is a right or wrong to this. You have to do what feels right in your heart. If you do homeschool, I would encourage outside activities with other kids...so that they get that aspect of socialization. I'm sure you could very successfully homeschool your kids...you just seem like the type that could.

    My kids all go to public schools and they do very well. There were a couple of years that my son may have benefited from me homeschooling him...he's shy and was "blending in" too much, but I got a job at the school as a lunch monitor and everything worked out fine...he's 14 now and still quiet, but fine.

    Anyway, not sure if anyone can really help...just do what you feel in your heart.

    Take care
    Marion

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  3. Here's what we're doing: sending DD to kindergarten at the school at my church. They have an award winning elementary school, and I LOVE the environment there. I went to public schools, and mentioning God wasn't done. At the school DD will attend, even the bulletin boards of science projects made references to God-- it was great. :)

    Personally, I never felt called to homeschool. I am the daughter of two public school teachers, so that may be part of it. I also loved school as a kid... the friends, the challenges, everything about it. I want my kids to experience those same things.

    Don't get me wrong, though, I totally respect those who do homeschool. I think some people really feel called to do this, and I admire that. It's just not the right choice for my family.

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  4. DS goes to public school and DD will start in the fall. I never considered anything else. I guess, because that's what I did...what DH did and most others we know. The school here is decent. There aren't many issues that you would find in the cities or anything because we're in a rural area.

    I know that I, personally, could not homeschool. I know what it's been like somedays just to work with Shane on his homework. I know what it was like trying to get that boy to just practice writing his name and basic skills before going to Kindergarten (my kiddos didn't do preschool...it costs money and I figured I have been a SAHM so I didn't have to pay for a sitter, so I wasn't paying for preschool. Shane adjusted quickly...and his class was the first to attend all day-K here. I know Aften will be just fine because she's so into learning already!). I couldn't do it. I couldn't fight with that kid every day trying to teach him. He enjoys his time at school so much, though! He loves his teachers, his friends...everything. I couldn't take that from him.

    Good luck!

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  5. Like Marion said, there is no right or wrong. Like you said, prayer is your biggest companion. So I'll pray for you and you guys keep praying about it, and God will eventually give you an answer!

    Personally, I was raised in the public schools. I don't remember much about my math classes or geography or history. What I remember is going to church as a family on Sundays, family gatherings where we always prayed before we ate - I remember what I learned from my parents.

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  6. Well Katy,I have three kids.My daughter is the youngest and she will be five in August,and will be going to school with the boys.I would love to homeschool,but I don`t have the organization skills or parenting skills,to get them to pay attention.I think it builds a closeness between a parent and they`re child.I also think teaching your children can be very rewarding.I understand what you mean about socializing though.There are homeschool groups that meet.Also,if you do the cyber school,they are considered part of the public school system and can participate in the sports and stuff.The bottom line is that you need to just pray about it.Take all of your feelings to the Lord and ask Him to guide you!He wont steer you wrong:)

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  7. Good topic-
    I'm a pioneer homeschool mom- this is my 25th yr.(Didn't know a soul doing it when we started back in 1983) I have 5 kids from 32-14.
    * Now hold on folks- don't roll your eyes YET. :)

    The ONLY right way is the way GOD leads your family. The moment someone tells you "THE RIGHT WAY" to educate your kids -back up and smile as you excuse yourself.

    I can tell you from experience that it is a huge commitment and an enormous amount of work-to homeschool- neither should be taken lightly.

    I can also tell you that the rewards ,for our family, have been worth every sacrafice.
    One thing I am absloutely certain of is this- IF God leads you to homeschool your kids- He will also equip you to do it- much like missionary work.

    Many of the social issues folks worry about are non-existant.
    Our experience has been trying to limit all the social activities so that we CAN get the school work done. :)

    Many teachers in public school have been robbed of the opportunity to teach by parents that don't support or equip their kids to learn.

    My biggest concern whether public/private or homeschool is the
    cultural acceptance of many evolutionary ideas that seem so harmless but yet crumble the very foundation of the Word of God.
    THAT to me is more the issue-and the reason I encourage parents to take a good hard look at their worldview and make sure that they give their kids a proper foundation and security in the truth of the biblical account of creation.
    Also the reason for the link on my blog*** ANSWERS in GENESIS

    Enough of my soapbox! God Bless you in the raising of the next generation!

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  8. Katy, the best advice that I can give you, you already know. Pray and seek the Lord together with your husband.

    I will share with you my thoughts about our experience as a homeschooling family. We are preparing to graduate our oldest in May. As I reflect back at the challenges and the time investment, I am so happy that we chose the homeschooling path.

    Let me preface this by saying that all the positives I feel we have experienced from our lifestyle of learning is not saying that those that choose a different path have not received the same benefits. I can only speak for our experience which is all I know.

    I feel blessed that we have had the opportunity to focus our learning experiences on each child's individual gifts. It has allowed us to truly specialize each childs education year to year and allow them to focus on their gifts while taking time to work on their areas of weakness at their pace. The children have benefited immensely from this approach and have learned to LOVE learning. It has lit a fire in them and they know they can learn anything that they truly want to. I feel this is a direct result of this approach in our family.

    One of the very best benefits that we have reaped is the increased time we have been able to share with these precious gifts from the Lord. Looking back at our oldest who will attend college in the fall, we know now how quickly that time has passed. We are so glad that we had the extra time to train him up and love and bond with him.

    Another wonderful benefit is the closeness that these 3 brothers share. Jase is 18, Luke is 13 and Colton 10. In public school, their paths would not have crossed all day because of their age differences. Instead, they have been together daily and the bond in them is so strong. The older brothers have learned to care for the youngers. They are friends and even call each other "best friends". Even when we moved into a new house and Jase had the opportunity to have his own room, he asked that we built it and have the roomed combined so they could remain together. Some family members balked at the idea saying that Jase needed his own space. But Jase clearly told us that he knew what he wanted and it was to share that special time before bedtime laughing with his brothers. Now maybe there are lots of families like that. But we've always felt this special relationship between them is because of the opportunity to school together and not be separated on a daily basis.

    Socialization has never been an issue for us. I happen to believe that multi-level socialization is the best. At our homeschool meeting, it is very common to see a group of boys from ages 18 to 5 out in the field organizing a football game together. The older ones care for the younger and teach them as they have fun together. It is truly an amazing sight to sit and watch. The only segregation is between the boys & girls. Guess that never changes! LOL

    One other educational benefits has been the "trickle down" effect. Colton has learned so much from being included in his older brother's science projects and such. Though he has severe learning issues, he can recite the Preamble and many, many Bible verses because he has joined in recitation time. He can even intelligently discuss The Revolutionary War. Though he does get it confused with the Civil War at times and the story turns out very entertaining. Right now, he discusses politics with everyone we meet because we've been having political debates during school! His doctors get a real kick out of that! But I'm getting off track here ...

    For our family, it has been nothing but a positive experience. One that I am so glad we chose all those years ago. We still have another 10 years to go and I don't begrudge one minute! I'm loving it!

    Katy, just push aside everyone elses opinions, seek the Lord with your husband, listen to your heart and follow His lead. You can't go wrong with that approach whatever it is!

    Blessings,
    Lea

    P.S. A few more paragraphs and I could have this published as a novel! LOL

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  9. My 2 older children go to public schools and I homeschool my youngest, who is in 2nd grade. (My 2 older are from my 1st marriage, and their father doesn't agree with homeschooling)

    I'm just now starting to have problems with public schools. We have pretty decent schools in the area, but my 11 year old told me yesterday that a boy was suspended from her class for "sexual harassment" and this same boy has been talking to HER. Grade-wise, she gets all A's and I think she should be more challenged.

    My 9 year old is in the 4th grade and he is having issues this year with his teacher. His grades are falling and it's due to his learning style. He had all As until this year, now he's struggling in a couple of subjects. I'm irritated that his teacher is so uncaring and that she really doesn't see him as a person.

    My daughter is 8 and homeschooled. Our decision to homeschool was somewhat based on dh's job schedule. He doesn't drive and needs me to drive him to and from work. This interfered with the time Emme would get out of school. Not to mention that the city WE live in has terrible, terrible schools. (My older 2 go to school in their father's district a few miles away) My decision to homeschool her has been wonderful. She is much more independent than her siblings, she can take care of herself better than they can, she is very resilient. I know she could take care of any situation. We have done co-ops where she was with other children, plus she has been in ballet, she goes to all of her brother's soccer games, and she is in church groups. She is the first to make a friend at the park out of my 3 children -- so I think her socialization skills are just fine.

    It's a decision that you really have to pray about. Now that we've begun homeschooling, we love it. I homeschool all three during the summer. God will lead your heart, just listen!

    Sherry

    here is my homeschooling blog: http://educatingemme.blogspot.com

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  10. You might look into charter schools also if there is any in your area..sometimes you can get the best of both worlds that way...just a thought...they often have home school choices.

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  11. kati,
    I homeschooled our daughter from 3-12th grade and we would do it all over again....she is now 4th year college student and doing wonderful...i sub at a christian school...it is a big decision but there is a lot of support out there

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  12. Katy,

    I feel your confusion over this. My DD is not even two and this is on my mind alot.

    I went to public school, but school has changed so much since I attended.

    I think there is a need for Christian children to attend public school. Your child may be the only example of a Christian life that another child has. How awesome it would be for that example to lead a child to accept Christ!

    I know it is hard when you are praying and wanting a clear answer now. Hang in there!

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  13. i didn't read all of the comments... but i did read the last one... and it was pretty much what i was going to say. you definitely need to pray and follow where God leads... but you never know what kind of example your children will set for those around them in a public school setting. assuming that they don't become influenced by the crazy, immoral kids around them (sorry if thats harsh to say). there are benefits both ways. you know that i homeschooled those last two years... and i would do it again. but there was part of me that was hiding and running away from all of the commotion of public school and the crap there. that probably wasn't the best idea for me in the sense that i was being anti-social... however i am glad i did it. i read WHOLE text books.. as opposed to skipping through chapters. you could maybe give it a try with M and if it doesn't work out... you know you can always send her back! plus, it might be good to try it before X is old enough to go to school--that way you will be able to see if it will be something he can maybe handle also. (and see if YOU can handle it--you don't want to go crazy yourself!) you never know, if M is having "school time" and X and J can't be running around and interrupting her... it might give you a chance to start them in learning some too. Include them in learning some basic things....
    I'm always here if you need to talk/vent about it!!!

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  14. Hi Katy!
    First, you do know that it's not just Christians that homeschool, right?

    My husband and I both graduated from a private school and never attended public school.

    I have to admit that I never even considered sending my children to a public school. There is a multitude of reasons for that...

    Lord willing, I will be starting to homeschool in the fall. I'm scared to death if I think about it a lot - until I pray.

    You are so right about the number of blogs about homeschool - there is a lot! Here's a lady that encouraged me: http://dailyprovision.wordpress.com
    /homeschooling/

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  15. I'm going through all of these thoughts right now too - I'm not convinced yet what is best for us and our little ones. I trust God will make the way clear to you!

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  16. Hi Katy,
    Thanks for stopping by our blog in Canberra - I of course then had to find yours. It's great - I would love to know where you get all your blog decorating from.
    This question is also a biggie for us at the moment as our oldest is to start preschool next year. I am a teacher, so I am loathe to have him miss out on that fun school experience, yet I see that there is SOOO much to be gained from school at home, in every area. Oh to be decisive!

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy