Sunday, August 7, 2011

I could never do that...

As a parent who has chosen the option of educating my children at home, I hear lots of comments. I hear "why would you do that?" and "what about socialization?" (that one is really funny to me...such a fallacy about homeschooling), & another favorite "is that even legal?".  However, the most common thing I hear is "Oh, I could never do that". Often there is something said to follow that with "I am not that patient" or "you must be really patient".

Okay, let's clear this all up right now. I am not super-mom. I do not love my kids more than you love yours. I do not have more patience than you. I am not a genius. I am capable, but my qualifications don't come from a degree I hang on my wall, they come from a calling God placed on my life. I was first convicted about homeschooling our children in 2005. At the time, we were one of "those" families who thought homeschooler's were "weird". I also would have said any of the above lines to homeschooling parents, if I had known any. Honestly, do you want to hear the biggest reason why I didn't immediately throw in and do it? Because I believed society's lie that they were better off at school. I also bought into the "I need time for me" thing. I was working a job outside of the home. I had things I loved to do, like go to concerts and take classes. I needed to keep "me" alive and not focus so much on the kids education. I mean, public schools were sufficient, right?

Well, since then we have gone back and forth between public school and homeschool. I shake my head even saying that. I have known since then WHAT the call on our lives was, but when things got tough, and I allowed all the doubts others spoken by others to weigh on me, I would allow them to go "back to school".  The first part of last year I was fully enjoying educating my children at home. Then life took some crazy turns. Because of some "issues" with one of my children, I ended up spending all of my time focused on that child and not on my other children. Looking back, I know I could not have done anything differently, but what I know now that I didn't know then is that it was OKAY. I worried that another child was lacking in their education, and with fearing that they would fall behind, I re-enrolled them in public school. This is what is funny. I did not do one day of "schooling" with that child for almost 4 months. Yet, in school, the child was bored. They were BEYOND where the public school kids were. All they got out of "school" was that so called "socialization". You know what I am talking about: the talk about "who is having sex with who", what "Brangelina" is doing these days, "who can get which boys to like them", and "which nasty songs can we learn to giggle and sing". Yeah, that is the kind of socialization I desire for my child (not). WAIT, lest not I tell you about the social studies teacher that challenged my child on political stance and proceeded to dress them down because their opinion varied.  The teacher was shocked beyond belief when my child (who is very politically minded) was able to refute the things the teacher was saying and back them up with facts. Let's also talk about the teacher who, while walking around the locker room while the kids undressed as was required for gym, called my child a derogatory name because of their underwear being a certain brand. I could go on and on, but you get the jest. Nothing good was gained from that little experience. It was a short amount of time, but changed our child in many ways.  One thing did happen though, my husband changed his opinion. He used to think homeschooling was a better option, but he didn't much care either way. He hated trying to explain to others "why" we want to educate our kids at home. However, he has changed in that stance and he is firm on the "we do it because we want to be the strongest influence over what our children learn, not their friends or secular teachers".

We don't homeschool because I am better than other Mom's. We don't homeschool because I have more patience. We don't homeschool because we are raising painfully shy children with social interaction problems (that would make you laugh if you know my kiddos). We don't homeschool our children to keep them out of the world, to make them isolated. We homeschool our kids because God put it on our hearts that it was what was best for our family. We do it because we know our children are not equipped with what they need to stand up to this world, and we don't believe in trial by fire. We do it because we believe in our charge to raise this children for God's glory, not to throw them to the wolves and pray they come out unscathed.

I hear so many Christian people say "well, I send my children out to be missionaries". Well, I hope they have strong mission gifted children who have a firm foundation in the Word of God.  I personally have not met many children that are that strongly gifted, and I liken it to what Mark Glaser once said about it. He said, "You don't put baby tomato plants in the hot sun; you keep them in a greenhouse until they have roots".  I mean really, children learn what they live, and if they spend more time in school daily than at home...well, they learn what the other kids teach them. Those lessons aren't ones we deem worthy of our children. They deserve so much more, so much better. Who better to give that to them than us. No one else on this earth knows my children like I do, and I promise you now one on this earth cares about seeing our kids succeed like we do. So, who better to teach them?

I am not dogging on anyone who choses to send their children to public school. What I am doing is saying that I was once one of those parents who thought I couldn't do. I didn't think I had the patience. I didn't think it was "for" us. I was so mistaken. I love it. I love that I can truly educate my children and not just teach them to pass a state test.  I love that they socialize in the truest since of the world. They can communicate with any one of any age or race, without hesitation. They don't learn that it is "cool" to be mean and how to fight to be on top. They don't learn to hide under a desk in a drill in case a gunman comes in. They don't learn that they must do "XYZ" to fit in. What they do is work on education. Life and the meaning of life. They get their academics in large doses and still have hours a day to pursue other things, like, ahem, socializing.

Lastly, I will say this. You don't think you have what it takes to homeschool? Then tell me, what do your remember from high school chemistry? What? You don't remember much? Hmm, I guess you couldn't do any worse, and neither will I. Chances are my children will retain what they learn because they have a tiny student/teacher ratio. They will be taught in their learning style and be able to make real learning connections before moving on to something else. They also learn that in the real world, true socialization is knowing that you are received better if you call someone "sir" or "ma'am" than "hey" or "what's up".

If you have children in public school, and you are happy with that decision, then so be it. I would never tell you that your children were un-socialized or at a disadvantage.

However, if you have children that are in public school, and it bothers you, know this: homeschooling is an option for you. There are resources to guide and lead you and help you every step of the way. You are capable, and in the areas where you struggle, there is help for that too.



  1. I followed this from your link on Facebook! I think you are doing a great job by choosing to homeschool! And everything you said to back up your decision is really true. My oldest is only going into the 2nd grade but, that little boy I knew BEFORE he started public school is nowhere to be found. Now he is full of anxiety, won't speak his own opinion like he used to and is in counseling. He was never this way before the influence of public school.

  2. Good one! Don't we all go through this internal battle! But when God calls us to do it, we drop our nets and leave the boat. It sure is scary but you look back at him and he nudges you on. Tamara I can't tell you the hell ours has been through in public school it takes my own blog. But one tear filled night I begged God to help us and His answer was not what I wanted to hear, but I am so glad we decided to homeschool. My girl is stress free and happy.

  3. again you are a real inspiration! You rock! I have ours in public school and not too pleased with it.

  4. Great post Heather. I'm glad to see homeschooling again. I had a feeling you would. This last year I really had concerns as my 10 year old Z who is "typical",well I did not do as much direct teaching with her. We do an online curriculum (well for part of it) and she would wake up before me and get it done! After I woke up and had breakfast I spent the morning doing A's schoolwork with him. ( he has to have 1 on one instruction) In the afternoons we were completely unschool~child led learning. Well we tested a week ago...I was nervous even though in NC you do not have to turn in their scores. Well Z tested 2-3 years ahead of her grade level in much of the testing. (she has never made a jump like that before!) I was worried about her math as she is math challenged like ME but was happy she was right at grade level. Scores do not mean that much to me in the whole scheme of things but once a year it's nice to find out how they are doing. (we do not do TESTS beyond the yearly required one)

    Again, Good to see you homeschooling again! :)


I *love* getting feedback and comments. I will publish links to other blogs, just as long as they are not derogatory to a belief I hold in high esteem. I will post comments that disagree with my stance, as long as they are respectfully written. Most importantly, I will do my best to reply to all of my comments. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.