"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

on second thought...

Actually, I should say "on 1,000,002nd thought"...

We are seriously considering homeschooling the kids.


Surely there are people out there who know something about homeschooling.  (They probably just don't read this blog, hahaha!).

If anyone has any resources they know about, or experiences to share, please DO :)

This is what I think would be GREAT about homeschooling:

  • we could cover a wider variety of subjects than they'd get at public elementary school like: languages, Bible, ART...did you know some elementary schools don't teach art any more?  I'm not an artsy person, necessarily, but I think it's important. 
  • we'd spend a LOT less time "learning".  Instead of sitting/waiting/transitioning at school for 7 hours every day, we'd do 1-2 hours of lessons per day and spend the rest of the day doing WHATEVER WE WANTED.
  • we could tailor the lessons to each individual child, instead of hoping they catch something from a teacher who's trying to accommodate 24 different kids at 24 different levels with 24 different styles...   I'm not saying teachers don't do a GREAT job.  I just think sometimes their job is TOO hard.  Ry's K teacher fully admitted to us he didn't have enough time in the day to challenge her with reading.  We LOVED him, and it's not his fault. It's just pretty sad.
  • we'd get a lot more movement during the day.  One or two 15-minute recesses and PE class every other day means a LOT of sitting.  Especially as I consider sending my very active BOY to school...
  • it would challenge ME.
  • we'd have more flexibility as far as vacations, not having to only travel when school's out. 

These are the things I'm worried about:
  • socially stunting my outgoing, friendly, socially secure children
Well, I guess that's just one thing...

Seems pretty ridiculous to even have a second or third thought about it, when I put it that way. 

Any suggestions, helpful hints, experiences, resources??

Choosing to love,


Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't have any professional advice, but all three of my dad's sisters home-schooled their kiddos and I would definitely say they were all socially stunted because of it--all 15 of those kids. I have known other kids who turned out great (The Ensigns!), but from my personal experience my cousins just all kind of had a hard time adjusting to the "real world" when they graduated from home-school and went to college.
On the other hand, you are a fabulous person who I'm sure would make sure your kids get lots of other social interaction with other kids outside your family. Plus they wouldn't have to deal with all the secular junk they teach at public schools or the lack of opportunities at Christian schools (like Lincoln Christian!!)
Good luck with your decision!!!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Becky! It's Tina. Interesting thoughts. When I was in 7th and 8th grade I was homeschooled because our neighborhood middle school was becoming pretty dangerous. Long story, so I'll just keep it at that. However, I really hated it and looking back, I wish I had not been. The social component is huge. I was homeschooled with my sister, and had lots of church friends, but I still felt pretty isolated after two years of it. I missed out on clubs and sports, although maybe they have out of school opportunities for that now that we couldn't afford...I don't know. I am not sure how colleges feel about that stuff...would it hurt their entrance possibilities? Also, huge bummer that LPS took away art. In Papillion we have art every week and PE or music every day. I also think the teacher's comment about challenging your daughter is sad. I have the same amount of kids and our whole reading curriculum is based on the idea of teaching the kids where they are at-not all on the same level. So I'm sorry for that! Also, in my school we have really cut down on transition times and it really doesn't take up much of our day...most hours are spent learning and working! So, I know I am a public school teacher, but having grown up in all 3 aspects of education: private, public, and homeschool, I would vote for either of those before homeschooling. Again, every situation is different and every school district is different, but I guess mine is pretty good so my views are skewed. =) In my opinion the only difference educationally between private and public is I can't talk about Jesus, which is a HUGE bummer. But strictly from an educational stance, they are the same. I'm no expert, just thought I'd comment since you asked. =)

Gu34 said... Best Blogger Tips

First of all, I don't think that all LPS schools have gotten rid of art. It's a decision that Fredstrom made a long time ago to get rid of it and make science part of their specials. I'm pretty sure Beattie still has it one day a week or so and teaches science in the classroom.

I have mixed feeling about it myself. I always wanted to be home-schooled because I wasn't a social person and it caused major anxiety every day to go to school and get picked on. I still to this day hate pretty much all of my school years. Very dark years for me. I can't tell you one teacher that really connected with me or any really good friends (other than Tina) I made that didn't have connections to church also.

On the other hand I know a lot of teachers that groan when a home-schooled child is placed in their class because they are typically behind academically and socially. There's a lot they can gain from the teaching of an adult other than relatives. There are things that they can only experience when in a school but same goes for home!

Basically I'd support you either way. =)

I think Misti Jamison and Maria Bakirane home-school if you want their input.

Lynne said... Best Blogger Tips

I suggest that you talk to Gina Boe. She has homeschooled her kids until high school. Her oldest son is a junior, I think. Her daughter will be a freshman this year and two younger boys at home. The older kids go to Norris. She would be a good resource.

I would be happy to talk to you in person about this from my perspective in working with teachers and schools for years. My Ph.D. is in teaching, learning and curriculum so I have that perspective. Also sent the kids to private Christian elementary school, which I wish I had not done. It was good for them in terms of Christian education, but it was poor for academic education.

LPS has an outstanding gifted program that you should investigate for Ry. At one point, I worked for LPS as a mentor for highly gifted elementary kids. Excellent program. At that time, they had to be in 2nd grade to qualify, but I'm not sure now.

Stefanie Rowe said... Best Blogger Tips

I just want you to know that none of us are trying to discourage your (huge) decision, Becky! I have seen this discussion and outcome go both ways, and I was particularly impressed with my cousin who homeschooled until about middle school and has two great, well adjusted kids now. I will just say that the little bit of homeschooling that I saw her do... was very hard work. She was not just a mom, but a teacher.
I will also say that I have had a lot of clients in my office both in public school and home school. But the home school parents are always so disappointed that "after all I sacrificed and did" their son/daughter is still having problems. That being said, I think it's always good to have realistic expectations.
Good Luck on your decision!

Kelly Ferguson said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a friend who is our age & homeschools all 4 of her kids right now. I know she would love to fill you in on her side & how it's going for her if you want. Let me know & I'll hook you up w/her on facebook. She & her husband are super cool & fun! :)

christiancari said... Best Blogger Tips

I've also seen both sides of this issue. My sister-in-law is a high school English teacher in Bellevue and she would advocate that your kids will miss out academically to a point. As an Admissions office worker for a private Christian university, we often had academic & social issues with homeschooled student applicants. All that said, there are some obvious strengths, as you've pointed out. Some kids excel when they have a more personalized education approach, which crowded public schools simply can't allow for. I had a friend who did a great job of socializing her very normal kids (they were active in church youth groups, social clubs, sports & music) & personalizing their educations so her very active son who wasn't interested in "sitting" and "reading" could go at his own pace & learn other kinds of things in the meantime so that when he was ready to sit & read, he just ate it up. My youngest brother had a similar delayed interested in reading but was forced into a public school situation & it took a toll. However, I can tell you with certainty that the relationship between parent & child has to be a certain way for the homeschooling benefits to really work. Otherwise, it will just be a constant struggle and you'll both be losing in the end. I appreciated that one of my friends knew better than to homeschool her daughter, opting for a better relationship with her daughter in the end instead. They had enough conflict at times that she just knew that would exacerbate the issue.
One of my main concerns for Christian families deciding to pull their children from public schools is the struggle between "protecting" your kids from outside influences (which I know isn't your main concern here, but rather good education all around) and letting your children be the light in the darkness. It bothers me to think that Christians would either go off by themselves individually or gather only in their own little groups (i.e. private Christian schools), leaving public schools to be condemned. Just another thought in the homeschool debate! And have you thought at all about becoming an art & education advocate for your school? I wonder how many other parents would like to see art ed and more attention given to the students who are excelling (or behind!).
Good luck sifting through it all! :-)

Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

I love all these comments! They are very thought-provoking! I had no idea this would be such a passionate topic for people! We are still discussing it, and I have LOVED bringing up the different points everyone has. Thank you so much! If you have a friend, or a friend of a friend...anyone who has any insight, please encourage them to chime in here :) Stay tuned, more later... <3