Why I've Chosen to Homeschool
I am a Belief and Behavior Therapist, Mother of 3, and Step-mother of 4
I know some don't understand the reason for my choice to homeschool, so I wish to explain some of my goals for homeschooling my chidren. Please do not take personal offense to anything I have to say about public school or anything like that. It is nothing against anyone at the public schools personally, more just about Satan who runs the government and the majority of people's lives. (" Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." -Jesus in Matthew 12:30) So I cannot speak for every person in the public school system since I do not know them all personally.
My belief is that God has blessed me with children, and that it is my responsibilty to raise them. I believe that raising them consists of building their: motors skills, morals, character, faith, life skills, familial responsibility, understanding of God's purpose for their adult lives, teamwork, living in simplicity, financial responsibility, relationship skills, effective communication skills based on differing personalities, emotional understandings and insight, proper responses, accountability, complete dependence on God, reading, writing, math, etc. Unfortunantely, there are only a few short years to instill character, morals, and certain cognitive processes in children before they develope into who they will be as an adult. I'm sure most of you know that there are certain fundamentals that are essential for children to learn before that vital window closes, and it becomes very difficult for that child to understand or inact it naturally or easily. This is why I have chosen to homeschool my children. Understanding God's plan and our responsibility in life and building proper character and responses is what I feel is most important to teach my children. I know school teacher's really try hard to teach chidren charater and good morals, but I also know that trying to instill it into 3 children full-time and 4 additional children part-time takes more personal attention than I have. (Thank you Jesus for continuing to strengthen my patience.) Having a classroom of 20-30 children makes it impossible for a teacher to be able to give children the one on one attention they require. I believe that, if it is at all possible for a parent to be at home with their children, then that's where they should be for the best results in that child's adulthood. If I can homeschool... ANYONE CAN!!! (I'm relearning this stuff as we go, and I'm finding that this second round of education for me is much more interesting than the first time I did it. A lot more make sense now. I can see how all the puzzle pieces fit together.) We learn arithmetic, writing, bible, vocabulary, history, and about our economy and ecosystem as well, but it is not our main focus. We will be doing "class work" regularly, while also keeping in mind the above skills I mentioned earlier as being priority over everything else. I was concerned, academically, that my children may be behind in a few subjects when entering public school, so I was very pleased to find that my oldest daughter actually tested in a higher grade level than she was learning at home, and that my youngest, my son, is right where he would be if I had not taken him out of public school, with the exception that he is one grade more advanced in math. Time to move on to the new curriculum from Switched on Schoolhouse.
Previously, my daughter would come home from public school not knowing how to do her homework, and telling me she can't ask for help in class because she doesn't want to look "stupid" to the other children because they make fun of her. Peer pressure and bullying at such a young age has serious mental effects on a developing child's future. I will have to let you know that I do not agree with my children being in public school until I feel they are ready to take on that battle, but it is my responsibility to be a parent as God is our parent. He will allow us to have our heart's desire, even after He warns us that it is not what He wants for us. He does allow us to make our own mistake, but pay the consequences when it backfires. Michelle Duggar once said "Any tough situation you go through in life can either make you bitter or better." There is a lesson to be learned in everything we do, and this is what I was hoping that I will be able to teach my daughter and son. I had explained this to them a few times now, but my daughter had insisted that she wanted to "be like other kids", so I had allowed her and my son to enter the public school system. I was able to teach them the lesson all too well after only 3 weeks in the public school system. I was able to point out the major changes that have taken a negative toll on their character, and we will be restarting homeschool at the beginning of next week. (My biggest change in the homeschool plan is that I WILL join a homeschool co-op. This will allow my children to have extra-curricular classes, field trips, and play dates with other homeschooled children of like-minded faith. I did not do this last year because I was a single mom who homeschooled children, ran her own cleaning service, and gave free counseling to anyone in need. My work schedule was always changing, and being the sole support for and homeschooling my children was a huge challenge. Now I have a VERY supportive husband who desires for me to be home with my children as much as I do. Our budget is SUPER TIGHT with no room for luxuries, but our children's future is worth it.) Also, my middle daughter made the decision to continue homeschooling this whole time her siblings were in public school. Her character has continued to get stronger, and she actually tests almost at the end of a 5th grade level when she would only be placed in the 4th grade in public school.
I believe that this life (while we think it is physical) is a spiritual life over anything else. I believe we have spiritual battles both from others in our lives and internally, and that is why I believe it is so important that a parent train their children, personally, to be prepared for that battle before sending them out into the middle of the war. Its always best for soldiers to be aptly trained prior to being sent into the midst of the battlefield. I, in no way, intend for my children to be sheltered. My children are actually raised quite the opposite. They know (and are shown) more about the real world than most teenagers, even some young adults. For two years now, I have been purposely, flat out honest and frank about any subject that may come up; anything from sex to finances and government to relationships. Most parents shrug off or cringe at the never failing "why" question. I believe we should always answer the "why" questions as thoroughly as possible, but on their understanding level. (FYI: children understand and are ready for a lot more than we think they are.) If a parent doesn't answer the qustions, it will only leave the child to try to find the answers from an outside source that may not share the same morals and values as that parent does. That parent will then be leaving the child to be influenced and their minds molded by an unknown source. Wisdom and knowledge are a very precious commodity, and I do not take my God-given responsibility lightly. While I do not feel my daughter or son were prepared for the spiritual battle they had to face everyday at school (with other adults and children who do not live by the Word of God/Jesus), I gave them the freedom to make this choice on their own. Unfortunately, a couple of hours in the evening and a busy weekend is not enough time to fully depict the heart of Christ to an adult, let alone a child. It is something they need to see lived out daily, and all day long. My children's public school career in Dallas lasted 3 weeks, and now it is time to use those weeks as a lesson to teach them the importance of being aptly prepared for the battle before going to war. I'm not saying they will never attend public school again, but they need to be ready to face and deal with all the battles that lay ahead BEFORE they are put in that situation.
I know it will take some time getting their character back on track, but "God works all things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28 (and my life experience)