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PUTTING THE “HOME” IN SCHOOLING

PUTTING THE “HOME” IN SCHOOLING

(Reposted) Guest Post by James (otherwise known as “the huz”)

Why do we homeschool?

My initial answer started out as a long rambling history of our journey into homeschooling nine years ago when we pulled our daughter out of her first term of kindergarten.

But here are the real reasons:

We homeschool because we realize that we are not raising children, we are raising adults-to-be.

Because we have chosen to take day-to-day responsibility for how our children develop.

Because we want to be an active part of their education.

Because we believe every child is different and needs a different education.

Because  not all of us will remember 5th grade social science, but we all remember that kid that bullied us.

We do not believe that just because it’s “part of growing up” it gives us permission to ignore our children’s behavior.  What part of adulthood are we preparing our children for by letting them get picked on?  Or looking the other way whilst they pick on others? Being a jackass is NOT an essential part of childhood development and is not a part of our family’s homeschool curriculum.  Isn’t it better to give each of your children such a strong sense of self worth that they will not ALLOW themselves to get picked on?

We homeschool because we believe we have a duty as parents to prepare our children for the world that awaits them as they fly the nest. And because Pythagoras theorem will not replace self esteem.  Don’t get me wrong…  I’m strongly into general knowledge, a good vocabulary, good grammar, proper spelling and sound math skills.  But that is the “school” part of it.  I’m talking about the “home” part.

To us, the development of the child is more important than fractions and sentence structure.  When you go to school you are pretty much associating with people in your own age range.  When is that likely to happen in adulthood?  Are all the people at your office or factory the same age as you?

When you go to school you are encouraged to “fit in”, to look to others as examples of how to act.

We teach our children to police their OWN actions.  We teach them to be their own unique person, and to take responsibility for that person.  We, as parents, are the rock that tethers our children to earth.  They are encouraged to experiment, to succeed and to fail, knowing that we will always be there for them.

And to us that is the essence of homeschooling.

Our lives revolve not around our careers or social schedule, but around the needs of each of our children.  Sometimes those decisions are hard to make.  Sometimes you really would rather chill out with a glass of wine than go over the events of the day with your spouse and find the lessons to pass on to your child.  We have made and will continue to make these choices and the more we see of those children that have experienced a public education the more resolute we are that we made the right decision nine years ago.

So yes our kids learn math and English, (along with French, fencing, horseback riding, latin, archeology, cooking, Spanish, world geography, sign language, entomology, guitar, world religion, karate, dance, typing, computer graphics and the works of Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Edgar Allan Poe) oh and did I mention that our 13 year old can read at college level and has a better vocabulary than most adults we know?

They also learn to respect themselves and to be tolerant of others whilst always having enough self esteem to hold their head high even when they have to deal with difficult social situations.  Not only will our children stand up for what they think is right (just try to get my 5 year old to throw an apple core out of the car window) but they actively support and encourage their friends to do the same thing.

So we homeschool.

We do it because we think the best legacy we can pass onto the next generation is that they are good and happy souls.

Because no adult is in therapy right now wishing their parents had “just made more money”.

Because we want each child to be their own person.

Because we want what is best for OUR children, not what is easiest for US.

Our children have a birthright- a promise that we gave each and every one of them the moment they were born, that they would be the focus of our lives.  We promised that we would raise each one of them to adulthood the very best that we were able and would provide them the tools and the opportunity to meet and exceed their own unique definitions of “happy” and “successful”.

That is why we homeschool.

(And before you jump down my throat about how it doesn’t work for you, how dare I, blah blah blah, please note that we are talking about why we made the decision for OUR lives, OUR children, OUR choices, and this isn’t about your children, your choices, or your life.)

8 Responses to PUTTING THE “HOME” IN SCHOOLING

  1. YES! so very well said. and at nine years, you are an inspiration!

    i am clear that our older child, our son, who is eight years old, would already have his uniqueness and his spirit squashed out of him if he were enrolled in school. we want him and his little sister to be themselves, to be free to explore and grow and BE. yay!

    thank you so much for sharing. new fan here! Marian

  2. my favorite line from this post…….
    We homeschool because we realize that we are not raising children, we are raising adults-to-be.

    EXACTLY

    great post..thanks for sharing this.

  3. Exactly like you say about not remembering the academics but remembering being picked on, I’m kind of terrified to send my kid to school. All I remember is being teased, being left out, feeling bad, even though I had a ton of friends (wasn’t one of the “popular” kids, but I had a good sized group of friends even as early as elementary school). I’m so scared she’ll have all of her uniqueness coerced out of her, whether by bullies or just the normal course of being in school and having to follow the rules. My husband seems irrationally anti-homeschool, so I’m thankful that I’ve started thinking about how to change his mind years before we actually have to make decisions. It’s not like he had the epitome of an awesome public school experience, either, so I don’t know what’s going on there…

    Sorry for ranting on your page, I just totally agree with you and I wish I could focus on what curriculums to work with (or not as the case may be…) as opposed to how I’ll change my husband’s mind that homeschooling isn’t some horrible thing that will ruin our kid.

  4. I don’t have many positive memories of school. I want my son to love learning. With him back in public school, he has lost his enthusiasm for learning new things. He’s constantly asking me to teach him about different things…because his teacher won’t answer his questions. Sigh.
    Something definitely needs to be done.

  5. Do you use a home school curriculum or how do you determine what all to teach, we’ve looked into it somewhat and there are so many state regulations etc it seems. How do you get through all that?

  6. I want to homeschool, really badly. We tried it once, last year, with an online charter school, and the kids failed miserably. (Actually, I want to unschool, but I was told (by successful unschoolers) that it is bad to start them in middle school, as it is like taking all the rules in your house and throwing them away.) I don’t know what to do with my boys, but I do know that my oldest is constantly bullied at school, and that to me is unacceptable. I would love to learn to be a successful homeschooling mama!! Kudos to you Joni!!!

  7. Hi there,

    I found your blog via your facebook page, and I just want to say how much I admire you for being out there and I find your posts refreshing. But I’m not here to wax poetic about that. I really REALLY want to learn more about homeschooling. I am a victim of the bad homeschooling scenario. My mother decided to pull me out of public school after 4th grade, due to extreme bullying, and also the fact that there were rumours going around about a certain educational professional holding a sceance during Halloween in her classroom. Needless to say I suffered and ended up being behind 2 years academically, because my mother didn’t know what she was doing.

    After all these current events in the nation regarding school shootings, they have been hitting closer to home now. Local police arrested a juvenile a couple days ago in a small rural town, not even 30 minutes from my home, because this person thought it would be cute to openly threaten to shoot up the schools in the town as well as the next town over and the schools withing a 50 mile radius and that he had accomplices that would help. That right there scared the living daylights out of me! I have been thinking about homeschooling my son since before all this stuff has been going on, but after the last few days, my reasons have become more clear.

    If there is anything you can tell me that will help guide me on this path, please do so. You can reach me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/meggankstewart or at my email address: mistresscorbie@gmail.com

    Once again, Kudos to you and your husband for being successful in your choices for your family! I only hope that myself and my husband can be as successful as you are!

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