Why We Homeschool
Choosing to Homeschool my children was due to the ineptitude of the public schools to keep their accreditation. They also refused to show any restraint in trying to force parents to put their children on Ritalin to make them zombies so the teacher could have a silent class.
My grandmother was a teacher so I always had the highest respect for teachers when I was in school.
It's not just the schools, a lot of their actions are reactive to the fact that entirely too many parents don't do their share in raising the children. They expect the school to be a babysitter and teach their children everything, including manners.
Things are not so good in some of the public schools anymore. The stories coming from the public education sector get more horrifying each year. Nearly every night there are stories on the news that have to do with school violence and teacher / student relationships, even in Elementary School!
Currently, the county I live in is fighting to keep it's accreditation and has been for a few years. There was a time a couple of years ago when the parents were offered placement for their students in other counties because the Board of Education just couldn't get it right.
How It Started
A Little Background
My youngest son, Christopher, has 3 older brothers, Michael, Billy, and Joey, who were homeschooled. Christopher was always present because he was a baby at the time. He learned quite a bit and was very far ahead when he started kindergarten. He never talked like a baby. He was always clearly understood and his sentences for the most part were correctly formed.
He started in public school because I had gone back to work when he was younger and he wanted to be with his friends in school. So, he did very well through the 5th grade. He was always at the top of his class, on the honor roll, and classified as a genius.
Our Homeschool Journey
When Chris graduated to the 6th grade I was little concerned. We lived about 1.5 miles from the school and they wanted him to walk, crossing a very busy road, to school. This bothered me but we agreed that he would walk with a group that were all going to the same school.
The very first day of school, he was met with aggression from another kid. He came home and stated firmly "I'm not going back to that school." Of course once he explained what happened I tried to talk to him and said I would talk to the teacher, counselor, principle...ANYONE who would listen and get it resolved. He very calmly explained to me that he could and would just NOT go to school. He left the house after me and I would never know the difference. As a working and now divorced parent I was trying to think how I was going to deal with this.
At that time he was 12 and I couldn't leave him home by himself for 10 hours a day. Even if I thought he was mature enough (which I didn't), the law wouldn't have allowed it. His older brothers had gone to live with their biological mom after my divorce from their dad.
I called my best friend, who had just moved back into town with her 4 children. She said it was funny I called because two of her daughters were going to homeschool instead of going to our broken down public schools. Well, thank God for my best friend. She was a stay-at-home mom and said he could come over there and study with her girls. One of them being only a few months older than Chris.
Homeschool Ideas and Supplies on Amazon
During the homeschooling decision making process the question is always "What curriculum, what method and by whom?"
For this particular child, it was pretty simple. He was going to school online. We signed him up at PennFoster for the high school program. This school is ACCREDITED.
I caught it at a time when it was $925. I made a down payment of $85 and monthly payments of $35. Actually, my parents volunteered to make payments because they wanted him homeschooled too! I couldn't beat that! This takes him all the way through high school! It will be paid for before he graduates.
He is currently carrying a 4.0 GPA and he only has 7 more courses. He should graduate with his peers if not before. Chris will be 16 next month. It's learn at your own pace so if we decide to take a vacation, we can. It just makes life easier not having to go by someone else's calendar.
The Misunderstandings of Homeschooling
What people don't know or understand can hurt sometimes
Homeschoolers have taken a really bad rap for many years. They have been thought of as religious freaks, socially disfunctional, mentally challenged or just plain weird. While some of these things MAY apply to some, on the whole it is not true.
Most of us are just tired of dealing with the Board of Education and the constant interference in our everyday lives. We can't even go to work without the school calling to say "your child has a nosebleed, you have to come get him" (not caring that I worked 60 miles from home) or "we feel your child needs to be on (some drug)." "The next time your child comes to school with a bruised knee, we'll have to call the authorities." No wonder our kids aren't getting the exercise they need. They can't play outside for fear of getting a scratch. Does any of this sound familiar?
Things to know
Homeschool supplies can be very expensive
As anyone who has ever thought about homeschooling their chid(ren) knows, the supplies can very cost prohibitive. Depending on the curriculum it can be in the thousands of dollars.
For Michael, Billy and Joey I found used books from the library and the schools. I also searched the internet for the next days lesson. This truly was a chore. The best place now to get your curriculum would be ebay. Used books, software, etc. that will help you in your journey to be free of having someone sitting in your back pocket telling you how to raise your child.
Homeschooled Vs Homeschooler
I hope this has helped someone to understand the homeschooling issues and WHY we do it!