Friday, September 12, 2008

Homeschooling......good idea, or bad choice?

OK, if anyone reads this and home schools, I am not trying to attack anyone who does, or say they are a bad parent. I have thought about blogging about this subject, but a great friend of mine home schools, and I was afraid I would offend her. We recently had an exchange of ideas on the subject though, and it went well. :-) I am extremely anti-homeschooling, except in cases where there is no other option, or a very good reason to not send to the local Christian School.

My parents didn't become Christians until I was almost 12, and was in 6th grade. With a little persuasion from my mom's stepmother and my dad's mother, they sent me, and later, my sisters to the Christian school, even though they were not Christians until halfway through my schooling. I gained an appreciation for Christian education, especially in a school setting, and for their sacrifice. A friend of mine expressed surprise that I am not all for homeschooling considering the fact that I was picked on and bullied for so much of my school years. As I was telling my sister, if I could go back and change anything about the situation, I wouldn't pick homeschooling, I would pick that I would fight back and not let myself be a target.

If anyone is considering homeschooling, I hope they run into this blog and it causes them to reconsider. If you home school, and you aren't doing it right, and are determined not to send your kids to a Christian school, I hope it causes you to examine your methods.

One of my main concerns with homeschooling is the fact that it is slowly whittling away at our Christian schools. Every year, they get smaller, and smaller, and largely in part, due to homeschooling. Should this trend or craze continue, the day will come when no one can afford to run one. It has happened in the past. My one brother-in-law went to a Christian school in Alliance, Ohio, but it got to the point that "parents were deciding they could do a better job teaching their kids than the school did" (his words, not mine). And the school did end up closing, due mainly to homeschooling.

Another concern is too many do not do it right. A family in my church home schools, and their oldest daughter brags that she is done with her homework by noon. Most days. My niece Stephanie, 7th grade, and younger than this girl, has homework almost every night. What kind of discipline and structure does this other girl have if she is done with her work by noon and the rest of the day is play time? No wonder we see the mother and kids out shopping all the time. How fair is that?

My sister Vicki got in a discussion about homeschooling with one of the librarians at Salem library. This women is against it also, and says her daughter-in-law does it, but does it right. The kids are in school 8 hours. They get 2 hours of homework (2 hours seems a bit much, but hey, its homework!)

Along this line, I don't think there is enough accountability among home school moms. I think they should have to be accountable to someone about how much time their kids are actually being schooled, and if they are done at noon, should be brought to task for it. I don't wish homeschooling to be abolished, for some people do need it, when they have no good Christian school around, but I do wish for more accountability with the education system and homeschooling.

Authority. If kids only have mom all the time, when are they going to learn they have to obey other authorities? A friend told me the parents need to train the kids thus - true, but telling them, and the kids actually having to do it are two different things. I think homeschooling would be detrimental to my nephew at this point. That is the main reason he doesn't like school - they make him mind, and he is only used to his parents in that role.

I have seen too many home schoolers that are clingy with mom and babish way past the time they should be. The same family in my church comes to mind, though I have seen others. Kids need to be away from their parents! Otherwise, the apron strings will be chains by the time they are adults. :-)

My sister Vicki said she could never home school. As much as she loves her girls, it is nice to get them out of the house sometimes. She said summer was so tough - the girls never wanted to go grocery shopping, and would gripe and complain about it, and it so nice to do it while they are in school. If she home schooled, when on earth could she do that?

I don't know why any mother would want to home school - when would they ever get anything else done, if they do it right? But it has become the "in thing" to do. I read a comment left on a blog welcoming someone to the world of homeschooling, and said it was nice that it was becoming more "accepted now". Becoming more accepted? Sounds like they are talking about some until now frowned on sin or something - (no I am not saying homeschooling is a sin!)

I really do feel by homeschooling, all too many parents are doing their kids a disservice. Often no structure or needed discipline of a classroom. Usually no other kids to help their social skills develop with other peers. Often having a teacher that never went beyond high school - yet the same people wouldn't want their kids in a school taught by only high school graduates.

It does almost sound like a cult. :-) I mean that in a joking way. Mostly. :-) I was following comments on people's blogs trying to find people I knew, and kept finding all these home school moms raving about how wonderful it is, like their life is worth living now that they are cooped up with their kids playing school all the time. :-)

Why all this hype? Why is everyone so determined to not support their Christian school and make social hermits of their kids? I almost get the feeling from reading blogs that some mothers are doing it bcause it sounds fun, and they can jump into this new community that has risen up and blog with friends about it all.

In closing, one last interesting point - at least to me. :-) Most of the families that first jumped on the home school bandwagon from my church and school, have all gone an easier way now. They don't believe in the holiness way and standards. Was homechooling the cause? I really doubt it, but their drift began by withdrawing from the church and school social network. They ceased to be involved in the school, because their kids didn't go there anymore. Wednesday nights quit being important. Soon Sunday nights were sporadic, then Sunday mornings. Then before you knew it, they weren't there at all, but were going to the more liberal church downtown.

I hope I haven't ticked anyone off. That isn't my intention. Just as passionate as some people are about homeschooling, and want to blog and blog about it, I am just as passionate about my feelings against homeschooling, and my support of the Christian school. Where would I, and a lot of people, be without it. I am thankful my mom wasn't a home school mom, but sent us to a Christian school, and supported that school.

I know Christin schools aren't perfect, and have their faults, but I also believe the Christian school is fought harder than the church, and have heard preachers say so, so that isn't just my idea. Could it be that homeschooling is a very subtle attack on something Satan would like to see gone? I won't say for sure, as to not incur any more wrath on my head, but who knows?

Recently, there was an attack on homeschooling in California. I am glad it failed, but it does make me wonder how soon they will really go after homeschooling. The Christian school will follow, I am sure, but if homeschooling is made illegal, all of the people who didn't think the Christian school was good enough, perfect enough for their kids, will be frantically searching for one to enroll their kids in, but by that time, there may not be any left.

In closing, I honestly was not singling anyone out, or trying to attack home school mothers. Just figured since so many people are singing the praises, it wouldn't hurt to present the other side. So I have done. If I have offended you, forgive me, and pray for me. :-) If I have convicted you, consider the local Christian school, or improving your
methods. :-)

One last note: I am aware that some familes may have a very good reason to homeschool even when they have a Christian school, but that is what it should be. A very good reason.

A P.S. If you homeschool, and leave a comment, I will approve it to be shown if you put in it how many hours your kids are in school a day. :-)


HomeschoolMom said...

I wanted to give you my personal oppion of why I am homeschooling my children. First of all I feel God has led me to homeschool. If I was not homeschoolong I would have to work outside of the home to pay for Christian school. Then in the summer months my children would be raised my a sitter or would be home alone getting into who knows what.
My children are usually done with school by 1:00 OR 2:00 in the afternoon, but learning does not stop there. They are learning throughout the rest of the day things will need to know as they become adults and move out on their own, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. I take my children shopping with me and I love it. They learned very early on there is to be no crabbing and complaining. I also use it as a teaching tool. They learn how to shop, they learn how to compare shop, how to find the best bargin for the price. My children have also had a great teacher in their Grandfather. When we were remodeling our home they learned how to use a hammer, screw driver(manual and electric, they learned how to use a saw and they safety that comes with it, they learned how to measure and to do it correctly, they helped run new electric, how to repair plumbing. What child would learn that sitting in a classroom 7-8 hours a day.
When it comes to authority, my children know they are to obey whoever is in authority. That is the teaching of the parents. If children are not learning to obey authority that is a problem with the parents not with homeschooling. I know of children who have been in church all their lives and attended Christian day school and do not obey those in authority. that is not a problem with homeschoolers.
My children are also very social. They make friends very easily. We belong to a homeschool group and we get together for field trips and we try to have gym days and field days where the children get together to socailize and have a good time. If chidlren are not being socialized it is because that is the way the parents want it.
I know there are a few homeschoolers that give all of homeschooling a bad name. I know families that their children get passed on grade after grade each year when their children are not doing even a half a year of school work a year. The few that do that can not be lumped with teh rest of us who are doing our best to make sure our children have a good education. I have read articles that the state has done testing on public school students, Christian school students, and homeschoolers and every time the homeschoolers test way above the others. That has to say something for the education of homeschoolers.
Everyone is entitled to theri own oppion and you have yours. When it comes to homeschooling it is no differnt then chosing to send your children to Christian school or public school. I would never send my children to public school because of the drugs, profanity, and sex going on and I'm not talking about just among the students. So my choice was between Christian school andhomeschool. financially I had to chose homeschooling. What I pay for a year of homeschooling materials, is close to a month of Christian school. When I had to chose my husband and I did not take the decision lightly. We talked about it long and hard and we prayed about it and this is what we felt the Lord wanted us to do. I truely feel this is where the Lord has led me and this is the work He has given me to do. I would not trade it for anything in this world. It is so rewarding to see my chidlren grow and mature each and every day.
I trust the Lord will bless you and also help you to understand that most of us that are homeschooling are doing it because it is what we feel God wants us to do. We are not doing it because it is fun. It is alot of hard work, but with God's help we are making it work and our children are growing and learning and maturing not only in their school work, but also in God.

gail said...

Homeschoolmom, you are right on target. We are Biblically commanded to train up our own children. It is interesting to note that often those with no children have the best advice on how to raise children. This is such a case. I'm fairly certain this blogger has no children. I think he may even be living at home still himself. My children are my responsibility. It is up to me to train them and raise them.

A proud homeschool mom.

Buckeye Mom said...

Excuse me!! Homeschooling a cult????!!!! I think NOT!!!

A Christian school would be closer to a cult than homeschooling ever would be!!!

In a "Christian" school students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations made by people they don't know and may never meet.

At home PARENTS have the say and choice as to what their kids can do.

Why do homeschoolers get done with their work early in the day?

Duh!! Do you realize how MUCH time is wasted in the classroom waiting for the "slower" kids to catch the concept of new lessons?

And how good it is for mothers to keep their "slow" children at home so that they can see that their child is "catching" on to the concepts. That way their children will grow up loving school instead of hating it!!

Dr. Dobson even recommends homeschooling- for boys especially. It makes them stronger and better leaders. Read it for yourself in the book Bringing up Boys.

It is obvious you don't know much about family or children! Every child is different and what works for one might not work for another.

I have been very impressed with the MANY "homeschooler" children I have met. They are confident, a joy to be around, respectful and very intelligent. I'm sorry I can't say that about ALL "Christian school" students!!!

Before you start giving advise to the world about choosing your child's education, you had better become a dad!!!!! Only then will you be qualified to give opinions!!!

Thanks for you time!!


A mom who doesn't homeschool but admires those who do!!!

Mark said...

wow, I touched a sacred cow! I am curious how many hours Gail's kids are in school, and none of this "well they help around the house and go shopping, and learn all day" - we called that chores when I was a kid - I didn't know I could get school credits for it :-)
And btw, I recently moved back to Ohio and am temporarily staying with my parents with most of my things in storage until I get enough money to rent a place of my own. Far from "still living at home" :-)

gail said...

First of all, I don't think you realize that in a public school (and probably a Christian school) a student only has FOUR HOURS of actual teaching and concentrated bookwork? The rest is study halls, lunch time, breaks, dead time, etc. I am happy to report that my children get at least that and usually more on any given day.

As one of your other commenters mentioned, test rates of homeschooled kids have been consistently higher than that of traditionally schooled children for several years now. Also, I can't put my hands on the link but a very high percentage of Harvard and Yale students are homeschooled students.


Nancy said...
And btw: It's called home ec.

Buckeye Mom said...

A "sacred cow"? No you are not touching a sacred cow-you are touching sacred families and children!!

I wanted to clear a comment I made about the "slow" students. What I was trying to say was home schooling is good for the "brilliant" as well as the "slow". Actually home schooling is a wonderful thing for either child. The "brilliant" can go as fast as they like and the "slow" can take their time and learn without the frustrations of being "left behind".

Perhaps you can now understand the joke about Sarah Palin-"What is the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" "Lipstick!" Only we could say ALL moms instead of a hockey mom.

So if you don't want to be attacked and shown up as ignorant, you had better leave the homeschooling issue alone, until you know more about what you are talking about!!!

We are MOMS!!! And we WILL fight!!!


volleyball queen said...

I am a Christian day school mom and I think that homeschool kids are very babyish and whiny. When will they ever detatch themselves from mommies apron strings or learn to stand up for themself. Why do you homeschool? Is it because you can't stand for someone to correct johnny. I know there are alot of homeschool moms that never went to college, but yet feel they are able to teach geometry and trig and algebra 2 and so on. How can you be Mom and Teacher? Whatever! I love my mom, but she is my mom, not my teacher. I think homeschool kids are deprived from social activities and most do not know how to be normal in a group of kids. Do not know how to play sports etc. How fun is a school play with your brother and sister acting out a christmas play? And who is the audience? Mom, excuse me I mean Teacher or is it mom? And how about high school band? And school speeches. Not so scary when its your brother and your mom, or whoever you are, oh yes, you're the teacher right now. And do these little pansies have a structured 7 hours of school, or do we get around to it around 10:00 if we had a late night before. I truly feel sorry for homeschool kids, because SCHOOLS RULE! And if you think its not a sacrifice to send kids to a Christian school, you are so wrong. I think your kids would love to have friends they get to see at school everyday. My best friend I met in kindergarten. And it is so nice to do your grocery shopping while the kids are in school and not have johnny and susie tagging along learning how to shop. Funny, I never learned how to shop in school. That must be learned when you homeschool since I see so many out doing it. OH by the way, SCHOOLS RULE!