Pretty tacky title, huh? This is an email I wrote for a friend regarding Home Schooling. I just want to be able to find it later. Feel free to read…
My mother was a home schooling pioneer. My sister was one of the first ‘Home schooled’ to be accepted into college in VA, back in ’80-something. My mom has been doing it for over 23 years (the youngest 2 are still at home).
SHOULD YOU- Only if you feel like God has called you to. Don’t do it because your friends pressure you. Never because you just miss your kids. Never out of guilt. It is so much work. It’s a whole new level of parental responsibility. Every decision you make and every word from your mouth has the potential to ‘bless or curse’ their education, self-esteem and future. I’ve seen absolutely amazing things come from it. I’ve also seen some situations that I wish I could forget.
SOCIALIZATION- This is the first thing that people are usually concerned with. When I was home schooled, not even half of what is available now was around. Many times I had to explain to people what home schooled meant! I was better socialized than ANY of my friends because my parents were able to chose healthy situations for me to be in. As adults, we don’t get to just ‘socialize’ all the time. Not many of us see our best friend every day. I feel like letting that be a priority can set up an unrealistic expectation of adulthood. Think about it. Why are so many ’20-somethings’ hesitant to get a real job, start a family, make a commitment, etc. It’s the same thing as a youth group mentality to me. If the youth groups main focus is fun instead of learning about God, then what teen is going to like the transition into sitting in a 1 hour service where you are learning about your Heavenly Father (instead of having candy thrown out into the crowd, or playing games). There is a place for the fun and socialization. Just like in adult life, it should come second.
EDUCATION- I think the hardest thing as a home-schooled mom is keeping your perspective on what your involvement in the education should be. It’s your job to show them God’s love, first and foremost. If it’s too stressful for you to have them 24/7, they should be in school or you should have other moms to share teaching with. At the very least, have a day when they are in some other classes so you can regroup and refocus. If there is a subject that you cannot give them what they need, FIND A SUB. Find other moms and use each other’s strengths. We went to a friend’s house to learn Spanish and they came to our house for hands on chem. lab. Find a coop.
FINANCES- Don’t do it if you can’t afford unless you have resources already available. It’s not cheap. You have to be willing to sacrifice for it, just like if you were paying for private school. They still have to learn, even things you don’t have the knowledge to teach. It’s your responsibility to get that to them.
My parents made many mistakes teaching us, and they do affect my every day. BUT not anywhere near how much the good has made me who I am.