overwhelm me.

OK, so I'm going to rehash an old subject here.  Let me get my disclaimer out right now...the opinions I may express throughout this piece are my own and based on people I have met and interacted with.  They are a work in progress.  By no means is it an exhaustive list of...well, anything.  This is JUST my thought process at the moment on a subject that will vastly effect my family.  I'm willing to say my fears out loud here so that other may 1) relate, 2) share a difference of fact and/or opinion and 3) expand my horizons by doing such.

OK? 

So we are talking about homeschooling again.  There is just SOMEthing about it that keeps pricking at my heart and I can't help but want to investigate the avenue completely until I feel a definite yes or no in regards to whether or not we are supposed to do it.  Doug does not completely oppose the idea and I believe that our opinions/thoughts/ideas on the matter are similar.

Here my best reason for sending Moses to public school:  I get a break from him.  Completely selfish but true.      

Add that to: I have NO idea where to start with home school and you have (almost) my complete basis for sending him to public school next year.

That's really all I have in this category.  Almost.  I will get to my last reason, but I bet you could guess what it is.

Here are some of my reasons for wanting to home school: 
-remaining the largest influence in his life.  I want to ensure that the foundation of his life is Christ centered and not world centered.  I want his education to be saturated with Christ.  There are things being taught in public schools that I do not agree with.  Not that I FEAR them...but believe that they have no place being taught to young children whose personalities, souls and beliefs are still being formed.   

-believing that I have been equipped to be the best teacher for my child.  Even if I don't FEEL like I am, I know, that if this is what I am supposed to do...that He will qualify me beyond what I think I can do.

-wanting to limit the influences of the world on him.  I'm not saying I want him to live in a bubble forever but I feel strongly that public school is not where it is supposed to be on many, many levels.  This is NOT me saying that there are no good teachers and people in the public school system BUT you cannot convince me that one on one instruction is ever inferior to being one of 30 in a class.

-preserving family time.  My husbands job leaves us with an odd schedule.  That is likely never to change so long as he stays on this career path.  And I am OK with that.  We have always been able to work around it to make the most of our time together.  Public school would drastically change that.  Doug would go from seeing Moses for several hours in a day to a couple.  That is not OK with me or Doug or Moses (if he had a say).  I could teach in a couple of hours what it takes a teacher to do all day.  To me, this age is a PRECIOUS time to form the little men that I am raising...I don't want or feel it in his best interest to give that time away to others yet.  I just don't.  Plus, I love the idea of family field trips.  We live in a historically RICH area and it would be awesome to visit these places and call it school

We have already agreed that it would be an open ended time line...meaning that we would take it year by year and see how it goes.  Maybe we are only supposed to do this through elementary school?  Maybe until high school...who knows?  Not us yet.  

Whenever I bring this up to anyone, you wanna guess what comes up?  Go ahead...think about it.  People say one of two things to me: 1)We are called to be a light in the world, as Christians and 2) aren't you worried about raising a social reject? Not stated like that, but overwhelmingly implied.

Let's start with number one.  Are we called to be a light in the world?  Yes.  Is this limited to a public school setting?  No.  Young children are so easily swayed by others...teachers, friends, etc...that I would like to do my best, in their young years to build a firm foundation, from which they can defend their beliefs and love of Christ.  My kids not going to public school in their young lives does not mean they won't be lights to the world.  And lets be honest...which do you hear more of...a kid coming home from school with a nice, new, naughty word or a kid coming home to announce that he became saved at school through his six year old buddy Timmy?  Not that it can't happen...I'm just thinking that we don't live in a culture anymore where the latter is more likely than the former.

Number two.  I will admit...this is my biggest fear and my biggest reason in the "con" category.  I am not overly social.  My husband is an introverted, introvert. 

But more importantly...I have had many, many negative impressions of homeschooled children and their social skills/ability to function in society over the years.  I am not saying ALL.  Please hear me.  I am sure YOUR child may not be this way at all...and if so, please email me to reassure me that it is possible to raise a socially functional child who is homeschooled and delightful. 

At the risk of hate mail, let me tell you about some of my experiences with homeschooled kids...

My best friend of many years was homeschooled.  As was her siblings.  She was and still is, very socially odd.  You could pick her out of a crowd easily...based solely on her lack of social skill...ability to carry a conversation with someone new, recognizing social cues, etc.  I only managed to become great friends with her via a mutual acquaintance.  All of her homeschooled friends that I met? Weird, weird people.  I'm just being honest.  I loved her dearly and valued our friendship but she did NOTHING to convince me to ever homeschool.  One of her brothers, equallly weird and oddly attached to his mother.  The other brother...off the charts, tree loving hippy who will refuse any NEW non-handmade gift (that has to be made of natural items)...last I heard he was living in the WOODS of North Carolina in a shelter of his own construction.

And 90% of my exposure to homeschooled kids...pretty much the same.  Seriously lacking social skills and basic human interaction abilities.  It's like they were taken 75% of the way and left there or something.

Please don't read this wrong and send me ugly words.  I am not saying that either side is wrong or right but I do believe there is a RIGHT path for everyone and I am just trying to figure out what that path is for us.  I believe that YOU made the best decision for your child and I am trying to do the same for mine.   

Right now, I am leaning towards grabbing a few workbooks and starting slowly this year to see how we do (a year that Moses is in pre-school anyway).  

If you would like to share a comment with your experiences and win me over to your side...that would be awesome.  Want to send me a homeschooling starter kit?  Well, that would put you on my Christmas card list.   

Please tell me that I have just had a run of bad experience and that my examples are not the norm?       
Please tell me that you started here one day and had the same fears and it all turned out wonderfully?
Please share all of your tips...your favorite curriculum or teaching items? 
Please tell me where to start?  What do you have to have?  What do you wish you hadn't bought?

Please tell me something...
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