Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Necessity or Choice?

The original thought of us homeschooling came from the heartbreak I was feeling for Will as he was undergoing so many transitions at school. In the beginning, it was all about just getting him out of that environment, but as adjustments were made and the end of the year was in sight homeschooling became a choice... something we WANTED to do. I believe this will make a huge difference in the long run.

The more we thought about it, the more we felt it was the right choice for our family.

I realize that homeschooling is not for everyone. I can't (and won't) cover all the reasons why people object to homeschooling, but will say that right now it's the choice we've made. I do not think we are "better" than traditional schoolers. We're not trying to be something we aren't. We aren't running from problems, we gave our kids a natural end to their school year and we've made the conscious choice to take a different road for next year. This is where we are in our lives and this is our choice. Please respect that. :)

We made our choice from a lot of different reasons. Thankfully, our choice is a possible one. I am so thankful that Jeff has a good job that supports us well so that I can stay home with the boys and be a full time mom. God has truly blessed us and given me the life I never knew I wanted.

As for the reasons behind our choice to begin homeschooling, I figure there's nothing better than a bullet list. I don't think our reasons are atypical; I just want to list them. :)

In no particular order...

  • Morning time. Jeff has a lenient enough schedule that we'll be able to enjoy mornings as a family. Family mornings have always been a high priority for us. We've always started the mornings off with each boy climbing into bed with us to wake up.
  • Building sibling relationships. My hope is that the boys will continue to grow closer. Although they argue and fight, they adore each other and I want to nurture their relationships.
  • Knowing what my boys are learning (education-wise). Will is not the most forth-coming child when it comes to giving free information. I have to "pull teeth" to get something out of him. LOL! I was given the opportunity to teach Will's Sunday school class this last quarter and it was so exciting to watch him learn and see how much he really is absorbing.
  • Knowing what my boys are learning (moral-wise). I will have control over what tv the boys watch and don't watch. (I was amazed to learn that they watch tv or a movie almost every day at school during rest time!) They won't be subjected to language that I don't want them to hear or concepts that I don't want them to know about yet. (ie. During the end of the year Kindergarten party, a child wrote the word "sex" on the wall of the school and on the sidewalk with chalk.)
  • Teaching according to their level. Will was bored this past year; I'm certain of that. This next year, we'll be able to go as fast (or slow) as he wants to go. We can emphasis the strengths and work on the weaknesses together.
  • Consistent Discipline and Positive Feedback. The boys will know what is expected of them at all times of the day. The rules won't change and Will won't have to experience empty threats again. I plan to work lots of positives into this next school year especially.
  • Emphasizing the love of learning. I think too many times children are taught for the sake of testing. I want to cultivate a love for learning... the testing will fall into place if they are genuinely learning to begin with.
  • God. Yes, I pulled God into this decision. Honestly, as soon as I did, my choice was clear. I'd been personally struggling with actually teaching my boys more about God. Yes, we pray. Yes, we attend worship and bible classes regularly. Yes, my kids are taught about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; however, I want us to be more involved in that teaching and I want my family to glorify God. It is disheartening that God is not allowed in schools anymore. Every foundation should be built with God. I want to make sure that my boys have a Godly foundation.

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