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Monday, September 21, 2009

Homeschooling?

Hey ya'll. I wanted to talk with you all today about Homeschooling. For a while now, I've been wondering if it is something that we should do in our family. Now, before we start this let me tell you that 10 years ago, when I was finishing my student teaching to be a Exceptional Education Teacher, I would have told you that I would NEVER homeschool my children.....for all the stereotypical reasons.....they needed socialization --yada,yada,yada...... While I still believe my kids need to be socialized in order to be able to live in the world, I believe that homeschooling has changed a LOT in 10 years. I believe that there are many many ways to be involved with homeschool organizations so your children get the socialization they need. Plus, let's just get read for a second and admit that my kids? They are with lots of people and other kids all the time -- I mean, the hubs is a pastor -- we are at church twice a week. (if not more.)

You might wonder what has made me even think about homeschooling. Well, I would love for my kids to learn history (as well as everything else) from a christian perspective for one thing. And while I would love to send them to a christian school -- that isn't an option for me. I cannot afford it.
Secondly, it has really struck me lately how much time my kid are away from me during the day, with teachers that I don't know if they are Christians or not. Being from the south, I can guess they probably are -- but I just don't know for sure. And then when the girls do come home from school, I feel like all I do is bark orders....Homework!Homework!Homework!, Supper!Supper!Supper!, Bath!Bath!Bath!, Bed!Bed!Bed!.....I feel like I rarely get to have real conversations with them, because mornings are the same thing filled with words of rushing around for school time.
Thirdly, I love the thought of being able to go on a trip with my family whenever we choose and no on the school systems calendar.....lame but true.
Fourth, I feel like my oldest child isn't being challenged enough in her class. And as a former teacher, I know her teacher doesn't have time to give her the extra stuff she needs. I feel like she could work faster and be ahead of her classmates in some areas.... I know that sounds conceited in some ways, but really A comes home with 100's on everything and I just don't that she is being challenged enough if she can make 100 on everything--just my opinion.

God does keep bringing this issue up in my heart. I am not sure that this IS what he is calling me to do but it just keeps coming up. My husband, however, isn't really in agreement with me. And I do believe that if God wanted us to homeschool, he'd make my husband be in agreement with me.....don't' you?

There are arguments against doing it too......
One - I'd have no time for myself any more.....
Two - I have anxiety/stress issues and wouldn't this just make it worse?
among other small things like this.......

SO -- I'm still praying about this and I am asking that you'll pray for us, too in making this decision. But, I'm also looking into it at the same time.

So - here is what I need to know.....If we decide that we are going to homeschool, how do we go about getting started? How does it work? How do I prove that my child is making progress? AND do I have curriculum goals for each year as the state sets for each grade level each year? For example -- My daughter is in 2nd grade -- is there going to be list of things that she is going to have to know by the end of the year in order for her to pass on to 3rd grade -- per se?

You can tell I have NO idea what the deal is -- so can ya'll help me out?
Give me some advice -- lead me in the right direction?

in other words, HELP!!!!

have a great Monday --- I have 6 (yes 6) dr. appts this week between the 4 kids and myself, soccer, dance, meetings, and a zillion and one other things to do. Not to mention that my laundry pile is insurmountable right now......I'm gonna try and make it back asap, but it might take a while.

Talk to ya'll soon and can't wait to hear the great advice I know you'll have for me!!
in HIM -

3 comments:

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

We're kind of in the same boat. I'd love to homeschool. However I have come under a lot of criticism because I'm supposedly harming my child by the lack of socialization (this criticism coming from Christian sisters). Mine's only 3, so I have a few more years to think. I'd love to hear what advice/suggestions you get!

Wendy said...

I just read this post and I have so much to say about it that maybe I'll just send you an e-mail. But in short, I too, was the number one critic of homeschooling. Mainly because of socialization. But can you tell me that every single kid that goes to public/private school (or that you went to school with) is perfect in the socialization field??? No.
The main reason I decided to keep Drennan at home is b/c I couldn't imagine only being with him about 3 hours each day while someone else got to spend 7-8 hours with him. For everything else, I'll e-mail you.

Anonymous said...

I always love to read your posts and I have never made a comment before but I feel like now is the time. I know that it is very hard to find quality time with your children when you have four and only 4 hours (if that) at home with them during the week. I just want you to think about some of the things I will tell you I have observed from my experience and in my profession (I am a public school teacher so I am sure my opinion is a little bit one-sided)
First, If you decide to homeschool you must realize that while your kids will benefit from the extra "together time" they need to be taught most of everything that they would get in public school. I teach high school and I am amazed at what the children in elementary school are learning now (across all subject areas) I believe that this is a very difficult task given that you would be teaching three children now and four in a few years. The curriculum is quite expansive and I believe it would be a major undertaking to stay ahead and on top of what they need to master. that said, I know you are very organzied and could probably do it.
Second, the amount of socialization and contact with other adults is a major factor. Many homeschooled children lack the socialization skills to make it if they return to school later on in high school or in college. I have a wonderful friend who is homeschooling her children and has thought about placing them back in public school. However, her second child is terrified about the prospect of being away from home and sent to such a scary place.
Third, many parents who homeschool get tired of having their kids with them all day, all week. Your alone time would be cut drastically and this may negatively affect your relationships with your children and your husband. (I'm just thinking of the crankiness factor that I experience during summer break) in addition, many homeschooler parents forget how much time should be spent in school (it should def be more than one or two hours a day)and how much of their personal time will be gone.
Finally, I have observed many home-schooled children return to school in the 9th grade because the parents realize that they cannot teach them what they need to know (math, science, history) gets too difficult or in depth for them. From my experience, none of the kids that have been homeschooled and returned to my school in 9th grade were on grade level (even the ones who have very intelligent parents). They have all been behind when they were placed in 9th grade. I am certain that your children are all very smart and will do wonderfully with you as a teacher but these are things to think about.
There is lots more information online before you make your decision. I'm sure whatever decision you make, you will do what is right for you and your family. Good luck!