With my oldest daughter starting Kindergarten next year, I am becoming more and more aware and looking into the different educational paths out there.
Originally, I looked forward, at times, to the school years. Mostly because I would finally have that coveted time to myself to get things done, rest from the first 5 years of their lives, and do something for myself. But, as it gets closer, some questions are coming into play.
Mostly because of the news and what is going on in our public school system, but a lot because I want to make sure that God is in their day to day studies. It saddens me that He has been so removed, even for those children who want and need Him for guidance.
I can not afford Christian school, especially not for 3 of them for 12 years. It would be another mortgage payment and unless I go back to work 80 hours a week, it is just not going to happen. And even if I could, there is no guarantee that other issues now prominent in schools, won’t be experienced there as well.
On this National Spirit Day, 10/20/2010, where the nation is coming together to support the ending of bullying, it can not be ignored that this is an epidemic. And with the continued expanse of social media, the ability to create untraceable screen names, and the hidden attacker lurking on ever site, I don’t see legislation stopping it anytime soon.
Add to that the growing number of teenage pregnancies, increased drug use, and guns in school. It is just a daunting task to ask me to hand over my most loved family members and expect that badly paid, overly worked, frustrated teachers are going to be able to protect them. Half the time, they are busy protecting themselves, and I can not say I blame them.
I know there are good schools, good school districts – we live in one, and exceptional educators out there. Of course, I think any teacher who walks into a classroom day after day is extraordinary.
But between standardized tests, the pressure to memorize instead of learn, and the frustration of students who may need to learn a different way than the time schedule will allow, I am wondering if I could prepare them a in a more personalized environment.
One of the options that I am just now really looking into is home schooling. Now, I know that the perception out there for home schooled children is not necessarily the best. In fact, I, at one time, though it was a cop out. A way to sleep in late, do what you wanted and not have to be held accountable for your child’s education.
The more I learn, the more embarrassed I am to say I was oh, so, very, very, wrong. There are 10 – 12 families in my neighborhood alone who home school. Some of them are in a home schooling co – op, where they share the responsibility with other families of educating the children. One or two days a week, all of the kids go to one person’s house and learn a certain subject, like English, or Science. This gives the other Mother’s a break and the kids a different teaching style.
I have also learned that there are home schooling “schools”. Confusing, right? A person can pay to send their kids a few days a week for the “bigger” arts and crafts, projects, and other things not easily taught in a home environment.
Another burning questions I have always has is the effect of being home schooled to a college administrations office. One of the home school mother’s here called four campuses. All of them said that not only do they consider that home schooled children are more disciplined than regularly schooled students, but they seek them out and often immediately consider them to be in the top 25% of their class.
That, to me, says an incredibly amount about home schooling today.
I don’t know if I will do it. I don’t even know if I have the energy, the patience, and the discipline myself to do it. But I think it is worth looking into and learning about.
So, I open to my readers the Home Schooling Discussion. I need to learn. I need to understand. I need to decide if I will be setting me kids back or pushing them forward. I need honesty, fair discussion, and a little guidance.
I thank you in advance and appreciate your readership!