January 20, 2009

Thoughts on Homeschool

It seems like everywhere I go online, at least in the 'genre' of blogs I like to read, almost everyone homeschools. I am so amazed at how these many mothers put forth such great effort to give their children the best education possible. Yet, the idea overwhelms me.

When I was little I wanted to teach and I continued wanting to be a teacher until I graduated. But now that I have nearing school age children, um, I don't want to. Why? I am barely able to do the basics of homekeeping right now. How on earth would I school two children, one with special needs, with a preschooler and a newborn next year? How would I do that and keep house, do laundry, cook good meals, exercise, pay attention to hubby and have free time to blog etc.?? I admit, I can be a lazy person at times, especially now. Deep down I want to be busy, but it's just not possible at this point in my life.

I just honestly do not have the desire to homeschool. Does that make me less of a Christian or a negligent mom? I know that times have changed in the last 20 years, but I went to public school until highschool. I learned a lot! I got a good education and made some great friends. I had lots of opportunities and never got mixed in with the wrong crowd. Same goes for my sister. And my husband, and his siblings and other friends. Sure, we live in the Bible Belt of America, and in small towns as well, which probably plays a big part. I wasn't sheltered away from the crude things in life, I just had sense enough to avoid it.

In my ideal setting, when my girls are all old enough to really take things seriously, yes I would like to homeschool. I want them to learn to run a household and learn lots of other skills they won't at public school. I want to mold them and teach them myself as well. I just can't envision myself doing that now, when they're so little. It would just seem like a huge chore.

However, I don't like not being very involved in Leiah's daily life. Her teacher reports to me what she is working on and how she is doing, but I never get to see her in action. I want to be invisible so I can sneak up there and observe without anyone knowing :) And it seems to be true for my children, but they do better with someone other than me. They pay attention better and try a lot harder with someone else, probably because they're with me all the time.

I think homeschooling is great and that if people want to do it they should. Children do seem more educated and more well adjusted to the reality of life. But, it's not everyone's path. Maybe it will be mine someday, but at this point we'll be doing regular school.

15 comments:

Mary said...

I applaud your honesty! You know what will work best for your family. Although I do school my own daughter, (just her!) I myself was not homeschooled, and I turned out just fine, if I do say so myself. Don't beat yourself up about it.

justanotherstayathomemom said...

thank you for writing this! i was starting to wonder if i was the only christian momma who didn't want to homeschool!( i don't count the women at my church cause i think most of them are asleep) anyway...thanks! i think it would be GREAT when my boys are older...i mean, boys! sheesh, do they have energy and nate works hard for the preschool teacher, the sunday school teacher, but me??? he tells me "it's so haaaaaaaaard" when i ask him to color! kids are funny. anyway, i agree, if i can do it, it will be later, like 10 or 11 years old, not now...now, he needs friends and there are none around during the day..but that is a post in it's own!

jesnicole said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! I HOPE YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE A BAD MOMMA FOR NOT HOMESCHOOLING! HOMESCHOOLING DOES NOT MAKE ONE A "GOOD MOM" OR A "GOOD CHRISTIAN". (WHICH BY THE WAY IS AN OXY-MORON..."CHRISTIAN" MEANS "CHRIST-LIKE"...A NAME THAT PEOPLE STARTED CALLING FOLLOWERS OF JESUS....AND SO HOW COULD ONE BE A "BAD" CHRIST-LIKE PERSON?)...I REALLY HOPE PEOPLE AREN'T CALLING YOU A "BAD" CHRISTIAN!! HOMESCHOOLING ISN'T FOR EVERYONE! SOME THINGS WORK FOR SOME FAMILIES THAT SIMPLY DO NOT FOR OTHERS. AND IF WE TRY TO BE LIKE OTHER PEOPLE AROUND US WHILE NEGLECTING WHAT WE'RE CALLED TO, THEN THINGS WILL INEVITABLY FALL APART!! SOME MOTHERS ARE BETTER MOTHERS BY STAYING HOME, AND SOME MOTHERS ARE BETTER BY WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOME. WE'RE NOT ALL CALLED TO DO THE EXACT SAME THINGS. WE ARE ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, UNDER ONE LORD....BUT WHAT BEAUTY HE HAS GIVEN US IN DIVERSITY!! I DON'T COMMENT A LOT ON YOUR BLOG, BUT I DO CHECK IT. AND FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, YOU'RE A WONDERFUL WIFE AND MOTHER. DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENT.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe I have ever once read in the bible that we are to homeschool. I do believe though, your children should go to at the very least a Christian School. I believe that we should not allow our children to be lost in public school and the bible does speak to us about being with the heathen. It tells us not to hang out with them as much as possible doing their ways. So, I think that because it is our job as a parent to raise our kids God's way, we need to protect our children from that too and seperate them from the heathen and raise them in a way that God wants us to. Putting them with non-christian kids and letting them be influenced by them is not God's way.
Hugs((((())))))
Hunter

liz from new york said...

dont worry about sending the kids to public school, the teachers are so dedicated to doing the right thing, and as you are very hands on with your kids, they will do great. it's the parents that just send their kids to school and expect the teachers to do all the work are the ones that seem to have the biggest prolems with the system. my kids do great, my 12 y.o. is in the national junior honor society, but we keep after them,moniter everything, go to parent teacher, and by all means, dont be afraid to speak up , ive done that with awesome results, and with special needs kids, thats the best place for interventions..they'll be fine!!

My Life With Boys said...

Hey, I only homeschool because of financial reasons 'and' it's what my husband wants me to do. I struggle with it daily- it's just not my thing. (I don't like school!) I pray everyday that God will give me the patience and desire to school my children. Don't beat yourself about it- homeschooling is not the only way to go- believe me. Where and how you school your children is every parents personal decision. No right or wrong about it. Don't feel guilty about not wanting to homeschool your children- you are not alone! ;)

Also, to answer your question- yes, this baby was a surprise! I (we) were planning on waiting another 6 months to a year before even entertaining the thought of another baby. Oh well, I guess God had other plans. Also- just because I'm having another boy doesn't mean you'll have another girl. In fact, your chances are probably higher for a boy. I also loved the baby names you mentioned. I mentioned some of those names to my husband back a few months ago and he didn't care for them. =( Oh well, I'm sure this baby will get named somehow. For now he is just baby boy... =)

Anonymous said...

When I was new to homeschooling, I thought it was "the only" "good" way to teach children.
Now, I think that it would be best for every child to BE homeschooled, but it is NOT the best for every parent to homeschool.
Like, for instance, saying that every person would be healthiest if they moved to the country and lived organically ~ but not every person SHOULD become an organic farmer!
Make sense?
I think so.
Pray, and go with your gut!
KH

His Tender Mercies said...

Don't feel bad you don't homeschool....your still a good mother. My son went to school for two years. I had family members pressuring me to homeschool. I had no desire. Then as time went on I felt like God was calling me to homeschool. I prayed about it and then started ....everything fell into place.
I have to admit though I do think often about sending them to school....wondering if this is REALLY what God wanted me to do. It's not an easy task for me to homeschool, especially having 2 teenagers,2 elementary aged, and 1 preschooler.

Anonymous said...

You are not a bad mom at all for not homeschooling your kids...no way!!! Where is chapter and verse and command by God that we are too homeschool (Educate there minds)our kids? yes we are to train them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord,thats quite clear in scripture but Ssome take that verse to mean every second of the day and so they say the kids must be home for that reason but if thats the case who decides that it's okay to take a break from the kids and go with hubby on a date while babysitter/or family member watches them? God or the parents??? Who makes the excpetions to break that command???). I respect anyone who does or doesn't but please, please anyone out there who loves the Lord and feels that it's a command for all his children to follow please don't say something is spiritually wrong with a mom or dad if they don't. That would mean they are in sin and what would that sin be??? Are you in there lives to make such a judgment???

I completely agree we as christian parents are commanded by God to train them up in his ways. I also agree it's a wonderful extra blessing and benefit to incorporate God in all there subjects aswell through the means of homeschool. I praise God for those moms who do and those don't, you know why??? because it teaches us to keep humble and sometimes in our pride we see ourselves going through so much effort and work to do something we feel is right we start to expect the same thing in others and even think they are lazy or slacking off in there christian walk if they don't. I have been there and thought that sadly. I ask the Lord to fogive me of any of those feelings and thoughts. You see it's important in all we do to be careful not to set some standard that God hasn't required on others. We are not to add nor take away from his word. We can do what we feel is best as God leads but we cannot start to form in our minds some command in our hearts around it and then start expecting others to abide by it.

I will be open and honest to say that I have thoght somehow it's holier to homeschool or that a family who does is godlier- shame on me.

What makes us holy and right is nothing we have done, nothing or anything we can do it's all our saviours work on the cross- thats it. Some how we can't wrap our minds around the fact that God loves us and accepts us through his son alone- thats ultimately it. How often I have fallen myself in pride on what I have done, pride of man is the root of all sin. Also we need to live our lives for Him not mans approval. I feel into some bad thinking and comparing as a young, inexperienced mom.

We are a christian family who have homeschooled and continues to for my son who is in kindergarden ussing the help of a DVD curriculum. My daughters going on there second year in a christian school they are a bit older. We pray for them and are watchful of there behaviors and attitudes. We take each year to the Lord in prayer- it's in his hands. Where we live public school in elemantary isn't to nice. We are so very greatful for all the options we have though.

I have a christian friend who is a single parent (She got saved after having her son). If it wasn't for public school what would she do? What about the many unsaved that walk and live among us, yes they need the Lord but they also need a school for there kids to go to. What abliut the less fortunate inner city kids- i praise God for the many programs available for these kids.

We just need to live the lives God has given us and be greatful and happy with his will for us and eachother for that is His will. In many poor countries this topic would never come up. In many other countries you have to pay to go to school, thats right there isn't "public school" there is only private and many can't afford it. We need to all be so greatful for all we have in this contry, yes there is much bad but i can think of so many worse things in this country then public school like abortion which kills, million, millions of babies a year.

Sorry for my rambling and thanks for listening, God bless you!!! And remeber you are his dear preciouse child, don't ever comepare his will for you with anyone else's- his will for you is perfect and best as he knows whats best far more then we or anyone else could know for us.

I love your openess and honesty, you are so real!!! ;)

Anneatheart said...

To anonymous at the bottom- I too have had that thinking that by doing xyz, I was holier. God reminded me just this past Sunday, that the only thing that I can do to be worthy is to accept Jesus' as my Savior- bottom line. We forget the simplicity of it all at times; there is nothing more that can be done- we cannot earn extra points or whatever. Our salvation is a gift. DUH!

I'm not saying this is true of everyone, but a few people I have come across get sooo involved in it that that's all they talk about, and frankly, I don't care. I am interested in what they are doing, but I know nothing about specific curriculums etc. I get confused easily :)

Mary said...

I have done both homeschooling and public school. Neither was perfect; both had problems. Don't be afraid to help out at school when you can. It's a good way to see what your child is doing, to assess the teacher, to add your own little bit of influence.

Tereza said...

I don't homeschool and am a Christian:)
Looks like I missed alot since last time I popped in....you moved and everything!! Woah....no wonder you are tired!!

simplenaturalnourishing said...

I have two very littles (2 & 5 months). We have known for a while that we would homeschool our children someday. Many times I have had rough days and thought how nice it would be to have a bit of quiet in the day - even just a couple of hours - if the children were sent to school. I do not have near the responsibilities that you do with the girls you have and the special circumstances you have, so I can't say I understand.

I do realize that not everyone has a desire to homeschool, I don't all the time. But I do know that homeschooling is the right thing for children, given what is and isn't taught in public schools.

Homeschooling doesn't make a mother better than another mother.

I guess what I am trying to say is that while I don't always WANT to give the time and energy to it, I know that it's the right thing to do.

I know that when it comes and if and when we have more children it will be even more difficult, so I am praying for strength.

Blessings to you.
Shannon

Anonymous said...

Pray for those moms and talk about what your daughter is learning. =) If they can talk about what they are doing you can talk about what your daughter is doing and the fun things she does at school. Friendships shouldn't be one sided there both needs to be a give and take at some point for a friendship to continue. You seem to be a neat person and great friend im sure, most of all you are one of His children so in this world where there are few who are christians we need to consider eachother as a great blessings. We are all complicated because of sin and we all have baggage so we won't all be so close to eachother unfortunately but I wish more woman would be more open and reach out to one another in the Lord.

I think in all of us there is something in the back of our minds that say well this is the better holier way. But in the end God has a plan for each of our children and each of our lives. There will be reasons we may never know on this earth why he allows some to homeschool through graduation 8 kids and others not.

I didn't have the best experience in my highschool years which was in a public school but God used my last 2 years to humble me and he braught me low. It was good for me and that was all part of his work in my life. For me he used such a path to show me my need of him and I praise Him for that!

One thing that i have heard from christian moms whos kids are in a public school is how involved they are to the degree they can be like good communication with the teachers. Making sure there son or daughter even apoligizes to there teacher if they have been misbehaving in some way. Some have told me what a great testimony this has been for there teachers.

here is a blog link to a christian family whos kids go to public school roseofsharonmay.blogspot.com her sister also for the first year has her kids in public school her sight is http://featheringnest.blogspot.com/her sister kathi has written some wonderful things on homeschool and public school that are very helpful.

There are pros and cons with anything as we don't live in a perfect world. In everything do what you and your hubby feel to be what God's will is. If you choose public school always take note especially as they get bigger of there attitudes, are they followers and do what others do and are easily lead? Pray they wouldn't be and that they'd stand for the truth. Whatever you may do in the future God will bless it and help you with it all- he will never leave us or forsake us and none of us can do it in of our own strength in fact how sweet it is to be right by his feet seeking his strength daily. thats where he wants us and it's the best place to be! =) When we are weak it is Him that carries us through and works many great things in our hearts.

God bless you and your beautiful family!!! he will keep you and bless you as he has!!! Congrats on your expecting and im with you on the comfy clothes, you look great!!

*Michigan Momma* said...

I just wanted to add that for ANY momma out there who is struggling with the idea of "doing it all" - including homeschooling - you *can't* do it all.

No way.

I do VERY RELAXED homeschooling, at this point. We mainly do phonics & math - with other stuff sprinkled in as time allows (read: nap times when things are going well). My goal at this point is to make sure their CHARACTER training is going well. I also want them to be able to read really well - I love to read, and hope to pass that on, as it will help *so much* down the road.

All that said, my standards have HAD to lower in this process. You just can NOT have 5 kiddos, 7 and under, keep a perfect house, fix 3 squares a day, exercise, be the perfect wife, friend, daughter, momma, etc.etc.etc...AND homeschool.

So things get skipped. We eat homemade meals when I can make the time. The bathtub gets scrubbed...um...ya, let's not go there....

My hubby keeps me realistic. He likes a clean, organized home, but he also wants a sane wife! Laundry piles up sometimes. The kids don't necessarily vacuum as well as I do - but hey, they pick up the big chunks!

And lastly, as to the "homeschool when they get older" thing.....here's my thoughts. They are little & highly impressionable NOW. My dh has always said we will homeschool during elementary, when they are the most "formable" & "moldable" - then we will see about jr. high & high school. By that time, we will know their hearts a bit more, how strong and impressionable they are, if they could stand strong in an anti-God system, etc. (although we are fairly certain we'll homeschool all the way now - you just never know what God has in store).

It's just another viewpoint to consider. I would never consider a momma "bad" for sending their kids to school - I just wanted to share the "why" behind our decision to homeschool *especially* when they are young. It's hardest then, with all the preschoolers, toddlers & babies, but their hearts are the most important thing. They are sponges...they *will* learn!

**I'm not trying to change your mind, or say you are making a bad decision - honestly!! Just wanted to share about the "schooling while younger" issue and what has helped us make this difficult decision. I've always enjoyed your blog and wouldn't want you to think I was judging you...nope, no way. EVERY momma's life is different!
Luv ya, Lori