Sunday, July 29, 2007

home schooling - part 2

okay, let's see if i can make this short yet say everything i want to say. if you didn't read part 1, please do so by scrolling down to yesterday's post. there i said the difference i noticed in kids who were home schooled and those not, has had the biggest impact on my opinions of home schooling.

as a youthworker, i can't help but notice how stressed-out and beat-down a lot of the kids in my youth group are. as i take the time to listen to their stories and get to know them better, i've come to realize how the time they spend in a public/private school environment impacts them.

but this issue has more to do with the social aspect of school, not the educational. it has to do with the other students they hang around with and the microcosm of school life. and although i care about the educational side and know how important it is, it's the social aspect that makes me scream for change and see the advantages of home schooling your kids.

i saw this aspect play out personally in my own family. my daughter, danielle, suffered during her middle school years. this is the first time i considered home schooling for my family. had i felt more confident in my abilities, i would have yanked her out and started right away. she was being attacked by "mean girls" and the little self-confidence she had was eroding quickly. she made it through but chose a different high school to go to. it wasn't easy for her, but she made it through and now is doing well in college.

this is why i say home schooled kids are more self-assured, self-confident. they are not exposed to this life consisting of students looking for their place, for acceptance at the expense of others. they aren't beaten down on a daily basis. kids and parents alike are unaware and don't understand how this affects how johnny and susie survive and who they become because of it. it's sad to watch, and even sadder knowing there's really nothing you can do to change it for a student. i could write a book on this subject, so i'll end this part here.

the other thing i wanted to share was about my other child, my son, jake. he is a very bright child. he's smarter than his mom and dad combined. so when i think about his education, i'm glad he's attending public school. of course, we're in a very good school district and he's part of a higher level curriculum program.

he's going into his fourth year in the internatinal baccalaureate (i.b.) program. this has been a great program for him. it has challenged him and given him a fantastic education. it teaches it's students how to learn as opposed to teaching them what to learn. and if he does well on his i.b. tests, he can knock off up to two years of college.

i tell you all of this because i can't even imagine trying to home school this kid. he's been in advanced classes since elementary school. it was obvious at an early age that he needed to be challenged. and i don't think i would have done him justice if i had home schooled him. i don't think i could have offered him what the school district has given him.

but i want to be clear... this is a reflection on me, not on home schooling. i'm sure there are many bright kids out there being home schooled. and that their teacher(s) have given them curriculum that challenges them and has brought them into higher levels of education. this just goes towards my thinking that not everyone is cut out or qualified to be a teacher or to home school their children. i think home schoolers can agree with me on this.

i want to close this with what many feel and others have said. home schooling shouldn't divide us as much as it has. we shouldn't be so judgemental of either side because we should know what works for some, doesn't work for others. we should embrace the differences and then learn from them. we, as parents, need to do what we think is best for our children, and then not be judged for those decisions.

thank you for taking the time to read all of this. i would love to hear your thoughts on home schooling and/or on what i have written here.

link of the day:


Ruth said...

I think you have good insight. I agree with the possible impact the social implications of school can have on a child. My daughter is about to head to public high school after being at a small Christian school since preschool. I am nervous, and so is she! Oh, academically she'll be fine. It's all a social worry. Thank you for sharing your observations!

Penless Thoughts said...

You know I agree with you 100%. I think it has to be based on all those factors: the individual child, the ability of just plain "want to" of the parent, the discipline of the parent - I know some who truly want to home school but do not have the personal discipline to do so, the school system involved, etc.

Thanks for 2 thought provoking posts!!

jennifer said...

Excellent Post!

I hope that I did not cause sometimes I am treated so if I am neglecting something so important for the children.

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter...many recall memories of such. And your son the same is true. My sister was spotlighted and did very well thanks to a wonderful teacher, who guided her so well.

I know that it is a tough subject, and my first stand is defensiveness, because I have been so rudely treated. In fact in the military, one of my husband's commanders threatened to go after us, as if we were criminals. Home schooling has come a long way, in the public eye.

Fortunately for us we have always respected the state laws and followed them to a T.

Amber said...

grrrr...I just typed up a long comment, hit some key and it dissappeard...I'll try agaiin

Amber said...

I homeschool my DC, so I have a different opinion on HS.

There are differnt options now a days with homescooling--socialization wise, co-ops, field trips, which I think is a big highlight! So many different things to chose from.

I went to PS and was exposed to a lot of unnecessary things I don't want my DC exposed to at such a young age. They are innocent from words and slang terms and I would like to keep it that way.

I hope you don't think I'm offended by your post, I'm not. I think if you needed to HS your children the Lord would have guided you to do it. He put in your heart what you needed to do and you followed through with it as I am doing myself.

You ARE a wonderful mother and a blog friend and I'm glad to know you:)

God Bless,

yeah! it didn't erase!

A Note From Theresa said...

home schooling shouldn't divide us as much as it has.

I agree with that 100%. I just can't understand why people get so upset at homeschoolers. It's not like we are doing something against the law. Homeschooling is 100% legal. I'm not rude to people who don't homeschool, but they tend to be rude to me. It's crazy.

On my blog I rarely talk about homeschool, even though I love homeschooling my children, and it's because I don't wish to be brought into a long debate about it.

I homeschool, you don't. No big deal. Lets all Drop the debate, it's really silly to debate on it any how.

We all must do what we think is best for our children. And your ways may not be my way. People just need to remember that.

Anonymous said...

well said, Diana. I know you have thought about it a lot. I agree with you. I couldn't try it. I think it takes an exceptional person to do it well.

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

I too agree with you 100%. Either way is OK, just depends on the person.

Jamey said...

I agree with the middle school thing. I am nervous for sending my kids to middle school. Kids are so mean!! I would love to home school my kids, but I am just not good at it. We have had some trouble with our oldest and pulled him out of first grade. I home schooled him for the rest of that year and didn't do a very good job. It's a great option to have though and I'm sure if I really got into a curriculum it would be OK. Colorado is so supportive of home schooling families, I think it's great! At least I know it's always an option! Great post!

Momma Roar said...

2 great posts Diana - now lets see if I can get my thoughts organized, lol!!

I agree 100% with Amber - if the Lord wants you to hs, He will put that desire on your heart. It isn't for everyone - We need Christians in the public schools too. Case in point - had my hubby not attended public school - we wouldn't have met and I would not have had the opportunity to come to know Christ as my Lord and Savior through hubby.

In my close group of girlfriends, the majority of them see nothing wrong with me hsing - but there are 2 who just give me a hard time and tease (usually taking it too far).

I don't say anything to them about their educational decisions - why should they be frustrated by mine?

I think some people get upset with homeschoolers b/c part of it comes down to them feeling (totally my opinions here) guilty that maybe they should be doing it too? What do you think?

We can get so nit-picky over these little things: do we homeschool or not? do we sing hymns or praise songs? do we wear pants to church or dresses/skirts? do we wear jewelry or not? [remember, I live in a fairly conservative area - the Amish are the extreme, but there are many conservatives that only drive black cars, only wear one piece dresses, hair up with covering, men and women can't swim in the pool at the same time] - and these aren't necessarily bad things, UNLESS we let them divide us.

Can we just worship side by side without comparing all the little differences we have? We are each convicted of different things - and we must each follow God's direction in those convictions - What the Holy Spirit convicts me of may not be the same thing He convicts you of - and vice versa. What is important is that we heed what the Lord is calling us to do - not my neighbor or my best friend.

I totally agree with your post and thanks for letting me go on a little ramble there (guess I should've made this a post rather than a comment!) thanks diana!