Friday, February 1, 2008

Why We Love Homeschooling

There seems to be a big debate among Christians about homeschool vs. public school; why one is better than the other. Honestly, I just don't get it. We have never entertained the idea of sending our kids to a government-run institution for eight hours a day so that their developing brains can be filled with information that contradicts what we are teaching them at home. We are not of the mindset that our children need to be in the public schools as "salt and light" (aka victims). It's just too dangerous a mission field for our little ones. Jesus started his ministry when he was 30 years old, not 6. We want our children to be brought up with a godly education, so the only options for us were Christian school vs. homeschool.
So, taking public school out of the equation, I'd like to share why we decided to homeschool our blessings:

1. I get to choose what and how they learn.
2. They receive a tailor-made education.
3. They learn with lots of individual attention.
4. They are learning the same things that we believe.
5. Consistency: If we move, they don't have to learn a new teacher's/school's rules.
6. If Daddy comes home for lunch, they don't have to miss it.
7. No waking up early and rushing everyone out the door at 7:30 am.
8. No peer pressure.
9. If we want to take a day off and spend it at the Zoo, we don't need anyone's permission to do so, and we trust the Bus Driver with our safety.
10. We get to vacation during off-peak seasons.
11. No uniforms.
12. No bullies.
13. No popularity contests. In homeschool, everyone likes you.
14. If you don't understand, you get an answer immediately, not 3 days later when your homework is returned with an F.
15. The teacher is on your side. Always.
16. Never have to ask permission to go to the bathroom or get a drink.
17. No classism. Third graders don't look down on first graders.
18. Sibling relationships are much stronger among homeschool families. (this relates directly to #17)
19. No humiliation if you wet your pants or spill grape juice on your shirt. Just change clothes.
20. More real-life experience. (Spending time talking to adults at the tire shop, helping take care of babies, and interacting with children of various ages. You're not just with other 8 year olds all day.)

Statistically, homeschool graduates perform better academically, volunteer more hours in their community, score higher on tests of emotional, social, and psychological development, and are more likely to adhere to the Christian beliefs with which they were raised. But I didn't want to make the list too long. I knew you wouldn't read it all!
Bottom line: We love homeschooling for all these reasons and more.

24 comments:

MommaofMany said...

Great post! Was this inspired by a certain Dad we know? I love # 13, but #17 and #14 are just as good! Great! You should submit this to a carnival!

Momma

Shell said...

I have to agree with you Ginger. When I homepreschooled Nate for a year. He had been in a preschool two days a week when he was 4. He was not ready for school and I convinced the dh to let me homepreschool him one on one. He went from preschool material to first grade in 5 months. He was doing first grade math in preschool. I know now he's an advanced learner in math and I would really like to homeschool him again. My husband didn't like the homeschool ciriculum you linked us for. I really like Sonlight and Alpha Omega (I think that's the one) It just costs more than he'd like.
Glad to see your able to do it with success. Good Job!
Shell
www.shellsgang.blogspot.com

Amber said...

Shell, keep praying about this and see what God does. He will give you wisdom. He will show you what to do and how to do it. And I am praying that God will send laborers across your dh's path to encourage him about this too.

My dh says I get a shot at hsing. I just can't make Hannah "weird" and I have to make sure she's getting strong academic instruction. She just turned 5. I am not sure what curriculum we will use, but I know that I will need something to boss me around and give me some structure! Ha! So I am praying about it and teaching her as much as I can (as she can sit still for) right now.

Also, dh has long hours. Another lawyer we know who ispartner at a big Dallas law firm(so he has long hours too) has kids that are home schooled. One of the biggest factors in their decision was "time with daddy". They knew that they could structure the kids' schedules around dad's instead of around a school that didn't take dad's work demands into account. Of course it encourages my Paul that we have such a diverse group of friends who homeschool, not just what the TV would show (denim jumpers and weird hair, not that there's anything wrong with denim jumpers and weird hair).

So Shell, I hope you are encouraged. Rest in God's wisdom. I am as convinced as Ginger that homeschooling is best. I love her reasons. We all talk about this all the time. I am equally as convinced that it's right for everyone else, including you! But then it's not up to me. Is it? Ha! So I will pray that God will make a way and that you won't have to worry or nag or convince, but that God will make it plain to your dh that this is what should be done, that your dh will be supportive and happy about it, not waiting for you to fail, but looking to see success!! God loves you. God is with your dc right now and He will work the whole thing out to His glory!

Ginger said...

Gee, Momma, I don't know what you're talking about.

Ginger said...

Amber, you're always so encouraging! I appreiciate your thoughtful words on my blog:)

TeamBettendorf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lisa said...

Very good points!! I really didn't understand all the hoo-haa over at the "Teams" blog. I wanted to comment there but was too intimidated, although I do absolutely agree that homeschooling is better. I have had kids in a "Christian" (not) school for years and it was the worst thing I ever did in my years of parenting. I underestimated the influence of the other kids on mine and I really regret it. My younger kids are home with me now and I can't imagine EVER sending them back to any school for all of the reasons you listed, and more.

Well put post!!

Jamie said...

#18 is my favorite reason. I've heard so many times, "I just wish my children would get along. Just for ONE day." So sad.

Shell, Ambleside Online is VERY hard to grasp if you have the traditional school mentality. I would highly recommend reading For the Children's Sake and A Charlotte Mason Companion to help you and your dh get a better understanding of the curriculum. My dh and I were both against it a few years ago, but have completely changed our minds now. We're now in our 2nd year of AO and loving it. You might even consider using it for most of your subjects and supplementing with Sonlight or Alpha Omega. That would save you a little anyway.
Hope it all works out for you. I will be praying for you and your family.

Amber's DH said...

It seems likely that homeschooling will make children more like the parents. Why is it a foregone conclusion for you that that is a good thing?

Amber said...

Is there another Amber reading this? Is her cynical dh reading this blog too? Hmm, what are the odds?

The Herd said...

I think that whatever we choose to do as a family, we do not need to judge others' decisions, especially if they are different than what we have chosen. We need to be careful of how we come across b/c we were all once in a boat of being non-informed or even just un-aware of things(whatever they might have been), and then we made our change.

As a homeschooling mom, I am very happy with our decision, but I am not in a position where I can mandate it for anyone--I do not have that authority or understanding of walking in their shoes.

Just know that whatever you choose to do, you need to be confident that you are following what the Lord has for your family. For some, that might be being a light in a dark school--you might have older children too--you might even have a different perspective on public school. God does use all kinds of people in this world and He has different people do different things for various reasons. As long as a certain type of schooling is not mandated in the Bible, I think it is safe to say, Seek the Lord for your family, your life, your kids, your school-type.

Former Public School Teacher
Current Home school Mom

Jeff said...

The Herd,

I hope you don't take this the wrong way... but, you kind of sound like a politician. You typed 3 paragraphs but you really haven't said anything. Maybe it is just me. You know I am one of those crazy people that have convictions and feel strongly about them.

Regarding your comment about following what the Lord wants for your family... It is very clear in the bible what he wants for your family.

Eph 5:11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.

Becky said...

Jeff,
I'm curious if you attended public school yourself, and if you were a believer at the time?

I did attend public school as a Christian, and although not easy, I am grateful for the many opportunities I had to be a light in my school. Ginger mentioned that asking our kids to be salt and light in their schools is equivalent to being victims. Sorry Ginger, I have to disagree.

I had parents who lived their faith constantly and who talked with us about what we were learning. At dinner, we talked about what lined up with our faith, and what didn't. I had countless opportunities to witness to teachers, to friends, to start a weekly prayer group at school, and I was blessed with a wonderful support group of other believing kids. Instead of being sheltered from attacks on my faith, I learned that I did not have to be afraid of criticism of my faith, because what I believed was TRUTH and it was strong enough to withstand attack. My faith grew in this environment.

When I later grew up and attended a Christian college, I was shocked to see how Christian kids crumbled under any kind of criticism. They didn't know how to defend their faith, because they had never had to do it before.

I taught in the public school system, and my parents still do. The three of us have talked about the children who truly are salt and light, and they are not destroyed by their experiences in school, instead they are strengthened. I also saw kids that were harmed by being in public school. It was not the right environment for them and it hurt me to see. I wished that their parents would remove them from school and homeschool them.

I admire your convictions. I have been writing back and forth with Ginger, picking her brain about her choice to homeschool. I am open to the Lord leading us in that direction at any time.

But just as God gives different churches different ministries, He also asks individual families to make individual choices for their individual children.

I love that He has specific purposes planned for my kids. I pray daily that He will develop those purposes for His glory and for His Kingdom. My husband and I spent three years praying over our educational options. The one we finally chose for our two oldest, was the one I truly believe He told us to do. We will continue to seek Him about whether or not He intends for us to continue in this route. We will be Spirit-led in what we choose for our kids.

I agree that you have very valid reasons and support in favor of homeschooling, but you are proposing that there is a one-size-fits all approach to parenting and education, and are insinuating that parents who make an alternate decision are delusional or not led by Jesus in those decisions. I humbly disagree.

Ginger, sorry for this long rambling post. I just had to join in the debate. : )

Becky

Jeff said...

Becky,

Yes, I was a Christian when I attended public school.

I do agree with Ginger that it is not a kid's place to be salt and light to the world at age 6. And I would even go as far as to say MOST highschoolers are not mature enough in their faith to salt and light either.

I do not believe that the Lord would lead a family to go against his word.

Eph 5:11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.

A child is not equipped to go into the darkness to rebuke and expose it, nor should he be expected to.

Ginger said...

Becky,

I had a similar experience in my Christian high school. I had multiple opportunities to be salt and light there. (Not being facetious.) And I learned to be a bold witness at my secular colleges, but I'm really only thinking of my school age kids (6-9) who are not grounded enough in their faith to be salt & light. I say that sending kids as missionaries is sending them as victims solely because of the violence and etc that they will experience there. Read the "government-run institution" link to see what I'm referring to.
I do want my homeschoolers to be salt and light in this world when they're mature enough to defend their faith wisely.
My post was not intended as my side of a debate, altho I see how you could interpret it that way, esp given the title. ;) I only wanted to share all the great things we love about homeschooling.

Donna Barber said...

HI
Wow- big topic. First of all- just because my kids attend public school does not make me dilusional! I am VERY involved in my kids education including homeschooling my 14 yr old.
I love the idea of homeschooling but it is not for everyone. I for one do not have the patience to school 10 kids at home and am not afraid to say that is not my strong suite. I would pay someone first. haha! (which we have done in the past) My husband always says that we dont home school our kids because we want them smarter than us. ha! Anyway I love homeschooling my second choice is a Christian school ( not an option in our area) so we are left with Public school. So I stay very involved with what they are learning that way. It is great for talking to your kids about why a teacher might believe one way and we another for example.I agree with Becky 100 % and no I dont expect my kids to witness while they are in school- only if God lays it on their hearts. And to say they are not capable is not correct. That would be like saying that we should not have them accept Jesus into their hearts at an early age as they are incapable of that as well. If they can understand the light they can understand the darkness. We adults dont understand it all either but we try.
I agree with Ginger that most home schoolers tend to be better at grades and etc.. However it has been our experience in our area that most of the home school kids are not bright at all, very naive, easily taken advantage, in capable of thinking for themselves, rarely graduate, and many times hold low paying jobs. And yes I have relatives and friends that home school and I encourage them. They dont judge my choice and I dont judge theirs. Great discussion Ginger! Thanks.

Sally said...

"Don't have the patience" is my single biggest pet peeve remark when I tell people I homeschool. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, not something that falls on you if you are lucky.

I respect you as a mother of 10. You have lots on your plate. I am not diminishing your contribution or devotion to your dcs lives. But I don't accept "not having patience" as a legimate reason to deprive dcs of the blessing of homeschooling. I am not "judging" you, I don't think I am better than you. I am rebutting this particular point of your comment.

The Herd said...

I love the change to the title:)
Lots of love!

Donna Barber said...

Since when have you Perfected the fruits of the spirit. I understand we dont become perfect until we are in Heaven. In the mean time we work with what we have. I may do better at one gift than another. And the same for you. And Homeschooling is not a blessing it is a choice that can be a blessing. Just like having money is not a blessing but can be used as a blessing in your life or others. You make home schooling look bad by your judgemental comments which is why people get so angry about discussing it to begin with. I dont need to defend my choice of education for my kids to anyone. They are turning out great so far. I believe it has more to do with my parenting and God's interventions then where they went to school.

Ginger said...

Donna, she never said she was perfect. I believe her point was that patience is something we develop by the help of the Holy Spirit. I can't just say: I'm not compassionate, therefore I can't adopt. God gives me compassion and I can have that fruit of the Spirit when I'm dependent on him.
Sally specifically said that she's not judging you and doesn't think she is better than you. If you don't feel you need to defend yourself, why do you keep doing it?
I am not a patient person. It is my biggest character flaw. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, I could never have the patience to homeschool my blessings. Fortunately, God gives me what I need. He is faithful to provide.
If you don't feel called to homeschool, why feel judged? Who cares what other people think? ;)

Sally said...

Donna Barber said...
"Since when have you Perfected the fruits of the spirit. I understand we dont become perfect until we are in Heaven. In the mean time we work with what we have. I may do better at one gift than another. And the same for you."

Sally's response:
I apologize if I came across as though I feel that I am somehow perfect. I do not feel that I am.

Donna Barber said... "And Homeschooling is not a blessing it is a choice that can be a blessing. Just like having money is not a blessing but can be used as a blessing in your life or others."

Sally's response:
I agree that those things can be used to bless. Homeschooling could be a drudgery or a blessing. I believe that it is up to us to MAKE it a blessing. The choice is ours. Having an impatient personality is not a legitimate reason to avoid homeschooling just as having an unforgiving personality is not a legitimate reason to choose not to follow Christ. So, I don't believe that lack of patience is a valid Biblical factor. You might have dozens of other factors that went into your decision. You chose to share that one and I chose to rebut that point.

I am not slamming you, but I do want to address that excuse that I hear all the time.

Donna said... "You make home schooling look bad by your judgemental comments which is why people get so angry about discussing it to begin with."

Sally's response: I don't think I made homeschooling look bad. My only intention was to debunk the invalid excuse of "lack of patience," not to make ANYONE look bad.

Patience isn't a gift or a personality trait, it's a command that can only be fulfilled with God's help:

Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

1Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone

Notice that we are to be patient with everyone, including our own children.

Ginger said...

Well said, Sally. Have you been trained in debating? You're quite good!
I appreciate your scripture references. It wasn't until I learned that I can't do it in my own power, that I learned that I really can do it! I'm an impatient sinner, but with the help of the Holy Spirit I'm a patient homeschool mom. To God be the glory! I love everything about homeschooling. :)

The Herd said...

I have to agree--Sally, you make your points well and very camly stated:) I appreciate the point by point. I think it helps the calm but strong response:) Patience is something we all need to have, with the Lord's grace and strength--I thought about your points yesterday--it helped me not get too unpatient with my children:).

Sally said...

Thanks Herd. That's really what I was after. My intention was to challenge believers' tolerance of impatience in their own lives.

Let's say someone is out there contemplating what to do about educating their dcs who are almost school age. Let's say this person reads the "I don't have the patience" remark and stops there to contemplate their "own" patience practices (it's really not our patience, but God's). Let's say that at that instant her dcs write on the wall or pull the curtains down and this dear sister gives in to the temptation to yell or act out of impatience. Then let's say that the enemy jumps all over that and starts accusing this dear sister and telling her she doesn't have the patience to homeschool and she's a loser for yelling etc...

So then if this "I don't have the patience" attitude (about anything really, not just homeschooling) is left unchallenged, this dear sister takes that attitude up for herself and chalks her mistakes up to not being a patient person.

So that's what I meant to challenge, the mindset that patience is either possessed or not possessed instead of practiced or not practiced.