Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I Homeschool my Kids Because...

We've taken the last three weeks or so off of school. Next Monday we need to be ready to hit the books hard. The problem is I am having a hard time getting motivated, and its sure hard to motivate others if your not feeling particularly inspired yourself. So, I've decided to make a list of the reasons I homeschool my kids, becuase I need to be reminded. I homeschool because:

-I understand the unique needs and gifting of my children better than anyone else. I can tailor our schooling to fit the unique bent of each of my children. Besides, I care more for my children's success than any teacher; I'll do whatever it takes to see that they succeed. I know that my kids won't get lost in the shuffle.

-When we school at home life long learning becomes part of our family's culture; I want to pass this value on to my kids.

-Education, by definition, is social engineering. I want to be the one who influences my children's values and character. Public schools are influenced heavily by Secular Huminism and Marxism. Christian schools take their cues from Fundamentalism and Religiosity. I do not subscribe to any of these "isms". I want to foster an environment that produces authentic faith. And I want my kids to be well informed critical thinkers. This does not happen by default. If I want to see these qualities in my kids I better be willing to invest the time.

-I want my kids to be socialized differently. When kids are placed in large groups of their peers (aka a classroom) a pecking order is sure to develop. Everyone knows who the cool kids are, and who are the best athletes. They also know who the nerd and geeks are. Of course, this happen in society at large. But there is something uniquely cruel about how this is played out among children. And bullying, teasing in classrooms injures kids when they are uniquely vulnerable.

Some people say that being bullied, teased and left out are rights of passsage. And maybe they are. But having passed through these "rights" I cannot say that I have benefited at all from the experience. I think most adult would agree that they are not better or more whole from being bullied or teased as a child. '

Yes, homeschooling shelters kids, but kids need parent to shelter them and help them navigate life before they have the experience and maturity to do it themselves. Who says a little sheltering is a bad thing?

Homeschool kids are socialized. They learn to interact with people who are much older and younger than them. They learn how to have fun in groups of kids of many ages. Homeschool kids learn that they belong to a family and they have responsiblities to that family. Homeschool kids HAVE to become friends with their siblings.

-Education is bigger than Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmatic. I want my kids to know how to budget, and cook, and clean and deal with real life stuff. This takes training, training that is hard to squeeze in when kids are in school all day, but easy to incorporate into homeschool life.

-I want my kids to have their innocence and childhood. I want them to have time to color, and play with legos and dig in the dirt. Homeschooling preserves my kids innocence.

-Sending my kids to school doesn't mean that my schedule would suddenly free up, and I could check out as a parent. Good parenting is hard work, and most days I'd rather do that work with my kids at home with me.

Okay - times run out. Baby's up, and I've gotta run!

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