Sunday, October 31, 2010

Advantages of Home-Schooling

Just to be sure you know where I am coming from, I really love public education.  I truly feel that it can do a better job at educating my kids than I can.  I never wanted to home-school my kids because teaching different kids different things all at the same time just stresses me out.  However, I always dreamed of coming up with really cool activities for my kids before the school years as well as for the summer.  I thought I'd be something like No Time for Flashcards.

Has it happened?  No, not nearly like I'd hoped, but I am getting better at it. 

During the summers, I volunteer with my kids at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City.  Many of the volunteer families there are home-schooled families.  When I first learned this, my (terribly rude and stereotypical) reaction was, will they be weird like the home-schooled kids I'd heard about growing up?  No.  They were wonderful!  I'd never met such confident and responsible teenagers!  Since then, I've met other home-schooled kids that I find amazing!

One time on LAF/Beautiful Womanhood, a link was posted to an article on the Duggar family. You know, the ones with the 19/20 kids.  (I have to be honest here, I used to think people with lots of kids were crazy.  I think I picked that attitude up when I was young and started hearing people make rude birth control comments toward others with large families.  After becoming a mother, though, I have a gained a HUGE amount of respect for families who do have lots of children.  I think our Heavenly Father wants to give us as many children as we are willing to take; so, more power to you if you have a quiverfull!)

Anyway, the article said,
While, admittedly, I admire the Duggars for much of what they do, I didn’t expect what I saw in these 3 girls.  The world has yet to beat them into submission.  They don’t watch the Disney Channel, so they’ve yet to learn that adults are buffoons and parents are embarrassing.  They don’t listen to the local rock station, so they’ve yet do discover life is supposed to be one promiscuous event followed by another.  They don’t attend public school, so they’ve yet to learn teenage girls are required to be filled with angst and riddled with insecurities.
As we spoke to the 3 of them, one word kept jumping out at me:  Freedom.  These girls were experiencing freedom teenagers rarely taste.  Completely free to be themselves.  The exact opposite of the words so often used by media folk to describe the 19 kids.
I realized that if these types of families can raise these children to be so exceptional, they must be doing something right.  I don't think I need to necessarily home-school my kids to teach these things, I just need to stress these attitudes and qualities in other ways.

On a side-note, I've learned, the reason we all thought home-schooled kids were weird growing up was because they were more mature, confident, and responsible.  They could talk to adults.  We were the dorky ones following the fads.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I have been seriously considering home schooling Rachel. I have been doing preschool with her. It is going very well. I have done some research for kindergarten and she already meets readiness requirements. The public school system says because her birthday is one month after the cut off date she will have to wait one more year...which naturally leads to me wanting to home school her. I don't feel it would be right to hold her back.
During my mission, in my first area, there was an amazing member family,the Tilleman-Dicks. They home schooled all of their children. They seemed quite brilliant. I asked their mother lots of questions about it. Home schooling sounded like a lot of work and dedication on her part and seemed quite intimidating. I still contemplate whether I could/should do it.