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Saturday, February 27, 2016

A few things I've learned over my 12 years of home educating

Over my 12 years of homeschooling, I've met some very interesting ladies (aka homeschool moms).  I am blessed to have met these ladies and be a member of a wonderful homeschool group locally.  My homeschool peeps are not judging or criticizing but encouraging.  Something every homeschool mom needs, yes, even one who has been doing it for 12 years.  

It bothers me how society judges homeschoolers.  I read blogs, watch youtube videos, read Facebook posts and see comments that are rude, hateful and just down right mean.  So I wanted to ask my followers, or anyone reading, a few questions.  (Most of my follows are homeschool friendly, but may have extensions of readers who aren't.)

1.  Why is the 'standard' of education a public school setting?

Schooling didn't start out in a building with a teacher, students and textbooks.  It started out in the homes with parents teaching their children.  Nope, they didn't have a college degree or even attend a school in the beginning.  How did they survive?  ;)

2.  Why do some think that parents are not competent to teach their children now in this day and age?  Have we 'dumbed down'?  

Well, maybe.  Dumbed down from the government cramming all the nonsense, useless information, into our children's minds.  For example, I read an article on how some children in public schools are being taught the Koran, Muslim religion, etc. in school.  This made me very angry. Not that they were learning about it, but they aren't being taught the Christian faith that our country was founded on first!  They aren't allowed to bring the Bible in and teach it, but we can the Koran?   I am all for learning about other religions, but first and foremost we need to learn about the one this country was founded on.  That is like going to an American school and learning Spanish before English.  Enough said about that, I can feel my blood boiling as I write this. So back to the question, are parents not competent to teach their own children at home (with or without degrees)?  Well, I know a few who have attended public school, graduated, and can't read or write very well at all.   Have you ever had an adult count back change to you at the store incorrectly? Enough said.

3.  When is the last time you used the information you learned at school, high school especially?

I've been thinking a lot about what my 7'th grader needs to know. (My other 2 sons have graduated by the way.  One in college and one working as a correction officer at a local prison.  I'm saddened by all the teaching time I spent with the other 2 boys, wasted, that they will never use in life.  Ok, the one in college is using some of what he learned, but that is for another blog topic.  Maybe I'll call that blog post, "College, taking required, expensive, useless classes not related to their major".

I am going to break it down what I think my 7'th grader needs to learn in the remaining 5 years of his education at home (which some of these he already knows).  

* how to balance a checkbook
* how to budget; monthly
* how to shop for any household good or make it on his own
* how to have a conversation with anyone of any age
* how to be self sufficient if needed (growing food, etc)
* how and where to find information he needs
* how to respect others, even the ones he doesn't like
* how to set realistic goals for himself and achieve them
* how to care for a person (or animal) in an emergency situation
* how to do basic repair and construction skills
* how to be a wonderful husband and a good father
* how to be a good neighbor and help others
* how to the love the Lord and keep a relationship with Jesus Christ

Just for the record, I didn't learn ANY of these things/ life skills from high school.  

4.  What have you taken from high school and applied to your life?

For me, nothing.  I didn't like high school, at all.  No, I wasn't bullied or wasn't a misfit.  I was actually a cheerleader, in band and had many friends.  I tried to get along with everyone and give them respect.  I honestly cannot think of anything positive that I applied to my life that I learned from being in high school.  I did however learn things.  I learned that no one cares where "x" went.  I learned that 'clicks' existed then just like they do now.  I learned that some kids were just cruel.  I learned that getting pregnant in high school gave you the reputation of sleeping around when maybe that one person has been dating the same boy for years.  I learned that not having a steady boyfriend also gave you that same reputation.  I learned to judge people by what their parents did for a living, where they lived and how they dressed.  The most important thing I've learned from high school is that REAL LIFE IS NOTHING LIKE HIGH SCHOOL.  I have heard homeschool parents say that maybe they should put their kids back in the public school system in order to prepare them for real life.  Really?  If that is what you think, your outlook on real life is warped.  

I made the mistake by sending my oldest to the local public school for his high school years.  If I had it to do over again, he wouldn't have attended for several reasons that I'd rather not discuss in this post, but he is doing well....great financially.  However, I remember when he learned about credit cards in high school.  He told me and my husband how he learned how to beat the interest on them.  Curious, my husband asked him to explain.  Our son went on to explain that you look at how much interest you are getting charged and you pay that amount along with the minimum payment.  I asked him how that was beating the interest; he was still paying it.  Beating the interest would be NOT paying any correct?  The only way to beat the interest on a credit card is to pay it off within the first billing cycle so the interest won't apply or accrue.  He could not understand and completely dismissed my husband and my explanation on the misinformation he was taught. THIS is the financial information being taught in our schools? By the way, they never went over how to balance a checkbook in high school or budget that I know of.  I taught him that in 8'th grade (homeschooling).

5.  Why are some people so interested in what MY homeschool child is learning?

I personally think it is none of anyone's (including the gov't) business what my child is learning in my home education. Unfortunately, here in WV, we have homeschooling laws we have to follow and of course I follow them, ALL of them.  I just feel that if my child were in public school, I wouldn't have a say in any part of their education, so why are they interested in what my home education plan consists of?  None of your business.  

I love this quote below:

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I'd rather raise a God fearing leader, successor, inventor, creator, or a dreamer rather than raise a follower of the world.

M final question is:

6.  If your children (in public school) had a chance to tour another country or take advantage of another source to improve their education, would you want them to take part in it?

I have 8 words for my response:

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So before you judge another way of educating a child, think about these questions and explore your imagination into the world of homeschooling.   Do your research and you may be surprised!

*Disclaimer:  For all those who have children in public schools, please do not leave any judgmental comments.  If you have a question, I'll be glad to answer.  But this IS a homeschool blog and I don't intent to get into heated discussions, debates or arguments over any issue.  Leave that for Facebook. ;)

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