Friday, October 01, 2010

Mommy's Moment: School Time

Okay, so this will be the last Mommy's Moment and we'll get back to the real silliness of life! But I wanted to share a bit of my heart as I step into this new, unchartered world of home schooling. I'll admit, many people have given me strange responses when I mention we may homeschool our kids. Honestly, I never thought those words would become part of my everyday vocabulary. A former public school teacher myself, I always envisioned our kids going to public school. However, my heart has begun to change over the past two years. There are days I've fought that change. What will people think of us? Will our kids be social outcasts? Do we come across as "holier than thou?" But the more I've delved into the heart of homeschooling and talked to friends who homeschool, I see a wealth of benefits that well out of it. I don't think one form of education is right or wrong. But I have felt this tug on my heart for awhile now and it gets stronger. . .even with resistance. And, expressing my thoughts on my blog is the best way for me to articulate why I am strongly considering homeschooling.

I want John and myself to be the major influence in our children's lives, especially at this young age. I want to present to them a Biblical worldview as we study all the Lord has created. I want to spend time with my kids. Enjoy them. Participate in their learning and discovering. I think homeschooling provides unique opportunities to explore the world in a way that public schools can't. We can pick up and go on field trips whenever we want. As a former public school teacher I know how much time is wasted in the classroom dealing with discipline and more importantly, administrative red tape. In a homeschool setting so much more can be covered in a shorter amount of time. And, unlike when I was younger, homeschooling has blossomed to provide group activities for my kids. They won't be social least not because of homeschooling! My plan isn't to bar them in our home for hours on end while they wear dresses and bonnets (of course not Grant). It's to take them OUT. Expose them to the world. Also, as a school teacher I was always frustrated with the anti-gospel message fed to kids. Obey, and you'll get a treat. At such a young age it teaches kids to obey for a reward. It slowly imparts a works based mentality. If I do good, I'll be rewarded. I challenged it when I taught but unfortunately, in a classroom full of 25 was the "best" method. This is a mentality that permeates our culture and fights the message of the Gospel.
All this to say, we may send our kids to public school. And I know God's grace will be there. And thankfully it's all about God's grace in each decision we make. If Hannah, Grant, and baby go to public school the Lord will give us wisdom in how to navigate through it. My hats go off to all the teachers who teach. It's a hard, hard job.
I could go on and on regarding my reasoning and thoughts behind the benefits of homeschooling. My intentions, however, are not to look down on those who have chosen the public school route. More than anything, I guess I would like to be better understood as to why we may choose this route for our family. I get flustered when challenged by others and often trip over my own words. I'm too often worried about what others will think of me. Writing is not threatening. Call it a cop out. It's easiest for me to communicate in this way. It's a hot topic that easily gets people stirred up and somewhat angry. It shouldn't. It's not about who's better or who's making a better decision for their family. It's about doing what you think is best for your family and doing it for the glory of the Lord. That truly is my heart.
SO, this is our first real week of "school time" as we call it. It entails simply an hour of our day. I'm starting small and simple. This week we learned about the letter A. Apples was our theme. We read apple books, made apple trees, apple prints, and learned an apple poem (Grant's favorite). We talked about astronauts, what they do and made a star picture. We talked about ants and went on an ant hunt outside. We did some adding with animal crackers. We practiced writing (a challenge for Hannah) and we read lots and lots about Adam and Eve (or Adam and "Steve" as Hannah continually says). And next I'm going to plop all their "creations" in a book to create our ABC scrapbook. Honestly, it's gone better than I thought. Like I said, all of this intimidates me a bit. But I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it with them. I LOVE teaching. I LOVE it that MUCH MORE when I can teach my own kids. And thankfully, they've enjoyed it. So next week, we're on to the Letter B. I'm already excited about the fun ideas I've found to share with them.


Jess said...

I am glad it went well!

LB said... glad you are enjoying it. I think this is very well written--good thoughts. It is such a hot topic!!!! Send your B ideas this way, please. We have only had one day of school this week b/c it's been a crazy week, so we are going to continue w/ B next week. The one day we did was focused on Bumblebees and Noah building a big boat. Seriously, will you send me an e-mail with ideas?

Erin said...

As someone who has taught with you and someone who was homeschooled for most of my school years I think you are making a great choice! I KNOW being a former homeschooled kid myself that you can get some really mean comments and some people who just want to argue about how you are screwing up your kids - it was even worse 20 years ago when I was younger - but just take it a year at a time and do what is best for YOUR family. Send me a FB message if you want to talk about it any more because this is getting really long!

travelingstacey said...

I can very much relate to what you're saying! I was very pro-public school growing up (lots of teachers in my family...and I went to public school until Berry). But once I experienced Thailand and homeschooling the kids there...I loved it! I saw all that we could do with the kids, how many things they could learn, and how fun it could be! I also saw how we could pray together, discipline using God's Word, teach God's Word, etc. I knew before we even had kids that I wanted to consider homeschooling. I've definitely enjoyed it! I've heard the perspectives about socialization, lack of discipline, fact, there was a time I even made those arguments myself! But I am a changed girl! I just want to encourage to keep up the good work and seek the Lord. Either way (public or homeschool), the Lord will guide you! Wish we were closer...we could combine and homeschool together : ).

Jessica said...

Thanks guys!!!! Your words are encouraging. Erin, I don't thin I ever knew you were homeschooled!! I'll send you a message later. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts! Stacey, as always, I love going to your blog to see what you're doing. It helps me!!

Courtney said...

hey Jess, well I think you know that we're totally going the homeschool route (this was something I was leaning towards before I even got married). I've read a lot & am pretty pumped about it....and I tend not to care what other people think, haha, so if you ever want some encouragement, please call! :) :) :) I love you & your sweet spirit of wanting to do what's best for your family. that really is what it's all about. praise the Lord!

Mary said...

I'm so happy that it's going well, and that you are liking it! I think it's great that you are getting a trial run in this year because I really think that the first year is the hardest in some ways. Next year you'll have a good feel for how your family "runs" with homeschooling in the mix!