Saturday, July 28, 2007

home schooling - part 1

jen, over at pen of jen, wrote about home schooling today. i wanted to leave her a comment giving her my opinion on a couple of things when i realized the comment would be way too long. so since i didn't really have something pressing to write about today, i'm going to put in my two cents about homeschooling. i'm thinking, though, that it's going to end up being a two parter.

i will start by saying that i didn't know anything about home schooling until i moved here to colorado in 1990. when i first heard and met some families who were doing it, i did not think it was a good thing. in fact, i thought only weird families did such a thing. and yes, my biggest and number one question was, "what about socialization?"

to be honest, i thought this way for a long time. i tried not to judge, but i just didn't get why families wouldn't trust the public or private school systems. a few things have made me look at home schooling in a different light.

1) columbine. living here in colorado, we lived and breathed the tragedy of columbine for months (and beyond). my eyes were opened to what high school life was really like for some kids. it was obvious that for some, there was no escape from the misery of high school. i don't think most parents have a clue of what these years look like.

2) testing. i got to the point that i hated all the testing that was/is taking place in our schools. from where i sit, the schools spend more time prepping and practicing for these tests than they do teaching the rest of the curriculum. and mostly, this is for the measurement of the schools - not the students. our kids would be learning more if less time was spent on testing.

3) the kids. when i started doing youthwork in 2000, i started noticing things about the students i came in contact with. to put it simply, kids that have been homeschooled are nicer, smarter (generalizing here), better mannered, and have a higher level of self-confidence.

this last issue has had the biggest impact on my opinions on the subject at hand. i'm thinking i will have a lot to say on this, so i'm going to save it for part 2 on this subject. i also want to express why i'm glad my son is in the school and program he is in, both being public.

so please come back for part 2. and as usual, i'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions. and don't forget to vote on my poll. c'mon... it's not hard and i would really appreciate it.
link of the day:


jennifer said...

I am glad that you took the time to post. I know home schooling is not for everyone, nor did I ask for sympathy or even acceptance. Sometimes when I make a title...another reason to home school, I forget how rare home schooling is. The title was only to make parents aware of what is happening in our public schools.

When I wrote this it was a follow up to a post I wrote before, and I just wanted to explain what we do, and began because of another(subvet) asking me some questions.

The path we are on has kept my daughter to be alive so it is for us. I also realize that many will never get it. I am so ok with that.

I look forward to your second post and your son in school. I really am happy to see your thoughts.

I am going to add a few links to posts that I wrote on my home school blog that were picked up by some very large blogs.

Thanks again

oops I guess I wrote a book here, please forgive me.

Just Mom said...

I've been keeping an open mind about homeschooling because of the very points you mentioned, especially the point about there being too much focus on those standardized tests and not enough on actual curriculum. Can't wait for part 2.

SharonB said...

Great post. Looking forward to reading part two. It's good to see the various sides of education trying to understand one another instead of judging.
Our family has done Home school,private and public...each has their own pros and cons depending on your child.
I really think that there is room for all three choices...If parents are praying and seeking God's guidance He will lead them to the right choice for their children.

A Note From Theresa said...

Just came over here from Jennifer's blog, and read what you had to say. And even though this is a Pet Peeve topic I will not go over board with my comment.

You did not say anything bad about homschoolers for witch I'm thankful. You are keeping an open mind and I thank you for that as well.

But I have a question, you said "i tried not to judge" I have to ask,,, what is there to judge? We make our decisions by what we think is best for our children,, We ALL do this.

I don't judge people who say that homeschooling is not for them. Frankly,, my own sister would be one of the meanest homeschoolers there is if she did homeschool. Thankfully she does not.

I don't try and shove homeschool down peoples throat. Yet, people who use public school, does try and shove "it's best" down homeschoolers throats. Ok and maybe for your children, it is best. But please don't say it in a way that makes homeschoolers look like dumb fools.

In the long run, when we stand before God, the high Judge, He will let us know then if our decisions here on Earth was right or not.

I will read part 2, if you'll permit me, and I may or may not comment. But I'll end this by saying. My husband was in public school and came out a good Godly Christian man. And it's not with people who send their children off to public school that we have a problem with. It's the public school system it's self in witch we have the problem.

To trust the public school system and send them, or to not trust the public school system and keep them. That is where the question should lie.

diana said...

thank you all for your kind responses. to theresa...

i'm sorry if you thought what i was saying was making home schoolers look like dumb fools. that would be the furthest thing from what i believe and what i would want you to feel.

i would have to be honest and say that i was judgemental early on. my judgement came from ignorance and an unwillingness to try to understand a different point of view. i think i have learned my lesson on this one.

i hope you do read part 2, and comment on it - with whatever you have to say. like sharon b. said, it's good to see the various sides of education trying to understand each other. i value your opinions.

Penless Thoughts said...

I totally agree with Sharonb.

Homeschooling was not even heard of when we were raising our children. 2 of ours went to public school and the younger 2 to private Christian school.

As an older person who is not personally involved I have been alarmed at the "divide" and judgementalism I have observed on both sides. (I did not find your post judgemental at all.)

There are areas in life that one size does not fit all and I think schooling is one of those issues. It depends on so much: 1) What area God is leading you in 2) If you are capable of homeschooling. Not all parents are!! 3) How good or bad the particular school your child is in. These are just a few of many factors as I see it.

I'm not for or against either side but I am against the terrible divide I see on this issue among Christians. A house divided will not stand. We are the house and body of Christ.

Looking very forward to part 2. Thanks for a great post.

Ruth said...

I agree with Susan. I do not homeschool, but I think it's great for those that do and are able to do so. God puts us all on different paths with different circumstances. We just need to hear His voice and obey what He tells us to do. I look forward to part 2.

Amber said...

going up to read part 2

0:) Amber