Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homeschooling Articles

Go HERE for a REALLY great article on the 25 must read articles on homeschooling! What a great list of some wonderful information! These articles would be the first source for anyone considering homeschooling as a possibility.

It just so happens I have been asked this week by 2 different people to tell about why we homeschool. I'd love to be all spiritual like so many homeschoolers and talk about how we do it for God reasons, and that certainly is excellent, but I feel like spiritual training, Bible training, teaching children Biblical values is a priority we would make time for no matter our schooling situation. I have to say my number one reason for homeschooling is academic. I'll never forget being in an English literature class in college where I was put in a small group with an older lady and a former homeschooler. They were tossin' off names of classic works of literature that I had no idea existed. I quickly found in much more than one area my public school education had put me way behind!

The 2nd huge reason we homeschool is time - theirs and ours! We started out with our oldest in public schools. She quickly developed a love of reading, writing, art, and science - she was bored the whole school day, and when she came home she was too tired to do anything much. When you add in an evening of church activities, t-ball, dance or any extras - everyone is exhausted. I felt like we never had time to just read aloud a great chapter book snuggled together under a quilt. I wanted to give my kids time to read the classics, to paint with real paints, to spend the morning studying real insects in a field, and to write about all their adventures without page limits. Now my children are involved in a lot of afterschool activities, church groups, softball, volleyball, flag-football; but these activities are a blessing to our family, not taking away from our time together.

My husband as a youth pastor often had a crazy schedule when we first started homeschooling. Because we were homeschooling, he could customize his day and be home and spend odd hours like 7 - 9am or 12-3pm if he knew he wouldn't see the kids in the normal evening hours. Now, we can take vacations at off-peak times and we can take off and go hiking (one of our family passions). Our kids have time to play together and be friends, there is time for imagination and creativity.

I love the range of experiences our kids can have! We are learning Haitian Creole now in preparation for a mission trip to Haiti. My girls know how to sew and quilt, my son is learning to hunt, and build, all of our kids have learned survival skills. The all know how to cook and garden. The younger two decided last week they wanted to go ahead and learn the states and capitals. My 3rd grader decided our history textbook didn't tell her enough about Clara Barton. We can cater their education to their interests - which is what makes learning really fun. Schooling changes from "schooling" to a life full of learning and adventure. It's funny, my kids don't really think about reading, writing, art, and science as "subjects" they learn. They are just really fun things we do.

Now, we certainly have our difficult days, and I do fuss at them about schoolwork from time to time. I get worn out and I want to send them anywhere but here! But, overall it is a choice that for us brings less chaos and more peace, more time to savor what is important, and allows us to fill our time with the things we feel are most beneficial to us as a family and what we believe.


Anonymous said...

I think that it's great that they are getting so much intelligence from home schooling, and that they are able to have more family time. Also, the ability to control the curriculum as a parent/teacher or even have a say on your curriculum as a student is wonderful. Having said that I think that there are major drawbacks from keeping your children in the home while they grow up. Public schooling gives a certain level of communication and socialization learning that home schooling doesn’t provide. It is difficult to find and outgoing home schooled child because they don't have the constant communication with thousands of other kids. In public schooling there are tons of kids who can relate to your problems with your friends or your parents, but when you learn in the home you only have your fellow students (siblings, if you have any) to relate to your issues. It is more difficult to join social clubs as well if you don’t have ones set up by the school. I think it’s wonderful and I completely agree that they will get a better education and your family will have more family time, but it may become a problem when they get thrown into the real world and are not comfortable in some social situations.

ayersfamily said...

You certainly have to make an effort to make up for any negatives for any educational choice. For us, we live in a community with SO many other homeschoolers. We are part of 2 learning co-ops where the kids are with around 200 of kids on Mondays and Fridays. In these classes they take theater and PE and other classes with groups of 10-25 kids - so they truly have that taken care of. In our week- we have Co-op on Mondays, Life Group and friends we get together with on Tuesdays, Library on Wednesdays, Volleyball and t-ball on Thursdays, more co-op on Fridays. And we are with church friends, homeschool group, softball and other activites at night. The problem is that we are TOO socialized most of the time. We have been around some pretty weird, introverted homeschoolers! But generally the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! My husband and I are outgoing -and our kids are too.