Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Do We Homeschool?

Jesse is fighting some major battles at work this week, so to distract myself I thought I might blog a bit about the above question. It's a question I hear constantly at this time of year. So I figured I would sum it all up in one place for those that are curious. Not to debate, mind you, just to offer some of the information we used to make our decision. If you aren't interested, no worries, but if you are read on!

Homeschooling wasn't a decision we took lightly and one that we feel very deeply is the best decision for our family. Anyone who knows me even a little bit (and I pretty comfortable that all 14 readers of my blog do, LOL), knows my children are my number one priority and I want the best for them. We talked to public school educators, counselors, and most importantly, Our Heavenly Father, when making our decision 2 years ago while Talyn was in public school. Talyn had a torturous 1rst grade year in an award winning school district that really opened our eyes to the limitations of the school system as it stands now... which, interestingly, has changed alarmingly little in the last century, with the exception of the sheer numbers of kids that are now pushed through it. Jesse actually went to college to be a high school biology teacher and was discouraged from the profession by other educators. I do tend to be an out of the box thinker, but my first reaction when first Jesse, and then Laurie, who was a former public school teacher, suggested homeschooling, was, Umm NO! and No and really, NO... I was really looking forward to some time for myself! It's funny, really, how often I find myself eating my own words. I began to research- I am a huge advocate of thoroughly researching something and then drawing your own conclusions... even "small" decisions get googled at least once! It took a lot of support from Jesse and other homeschoolers, knee shaking, a hefty dose of self-doubt, and a whole lot of prayer before we jumped in. I haven't regretted it, ever, but I do admit to pangs of jealousy when all the other moms send their little ones off for 8 hours of peace every day. Someday, I will have all the peace I could ever want, right? The journey has been enlightening and bumpy and most of all, educational, for the children AND the adults.

So I guess the long and short is that we believe that it is better for our children then the other options that are available to them.

Here are some interesting recent articles that back up that opinion.....
Studies have shown time and again that homeschooled children excel in academics, and not just by a little bit, but very significantly.

This article sums up how we feel about socialization concerns.

I would like to mention our area is considered a "hotspot" for homeschoolers and we have several clubs, groups, dances, field trips and sports teams available to us, so I don't really worry at all about the kid's social skills.... but their "social training" isn't just confined to their peers and I really do believe that is important. Our children are comfortable with people from all walks of life, including their peers. We are constantly complimented on how well spoken and well behaved our children are... a mennonite woman at the Farmer's Market last Friday told me that my children are very "mannerly". They aren't little robots, though. They are all independent thinkers and quite comfortable (a little TOO comfortable) negotiating with anyone they see fit to ... I had to remind my son tonight that contrary to what he believes bedtime is NOT negotiable. I don't think he believes me though, because it still took 30 or so minutes to get him to actually GO to bed. Which I should actually go do, as well.

Happy to chat via e-mail, so drop me a line!

'night :)

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