For the last couple of weeks, Kody and I have been thinking, talking and reading about homeschooling. You might ask “why?” and I would say I completely understand. I used to be a person who would do just that and was never going to even think about homeschooling, but my mind has been changed over the last two years – mostly because my son has been changed during the last two years.
Kristopher had a really great year last year, I was just disappointed with a few things that public school had to offer. I did love his teacher and his class though and he did too as far as I know. This year has been completely different and has made our entire family unhappy. That’s not to say that he has a bad teacher or class, but something’s not right. He has been getting into trouble for things that he knows not to do and has no reason to be doing and some things that I think are ridiculous. He cries almost everyday when I pick him up from school – something that didn’t happen once last year. I hear stories about how the other kids were mean to him on the bus or at recess or at lunch almost everyday as well. He is being pushed away from all the activities by kids who were his “friends” last year. This is my child who has lots of friends at church in all the age groups, can play with anyone wherever we go. He is nice, helpful and giving to people who need it. He is quiet and listens to instructions and follows them in other groups (almost all of the time – no one is perfect!) but for some reason at school he is having all of this trouble. His work however is great. He is reading on a much higher level than the others in his class, as he was last year. He wants to read everything he can and loves to learn. He is good at math and excellent at spelling. The only thing that he doesn’t do well (as far as I can see and have heard) is writing. He still writes too big, which isn’t the worst thing in the world to me.
That brings me to homeschooling. I think we’ve pretty much decided that we are going to do it. We aren’t going to take him out of school yet, but either for the spring semester or starting with his Second grade year we will be homeschooling. I want to try to address some of the arguments that I’ve already heard and know that I will hear from some of you.
First, the issue of whether children learn from their parents vs. other teachers. Parents are their children’s first teachers and the ones that God has provided them with. That should make them the best teachers for that particular child. That is what we are here for – to bring up our children and teach them everything that we know. Children will listen to their parents and I have actually noticed when helping Kristopher with his mountains of homework this year that he does listen to me and he asks questions and is learning what I tell him. And even in homeschooling, we would not be his only teachers or mentors. We attend church, where he has many different teachers, all of whom we trust to teach things that we agree with. There are many extra activities and sports and classes available to children who are homeschooled or who want extra in Murray. If that weren’t enough, there is also a homeschool co-op here. The parents who excel or are passionate about a certain subject will teach (or sometimes other trusted adults will help out with a class) classes for whichever kids want to take it. There are some really neat classes and they would count toward his schooling as well. So, he could still learn from other people, they would be people I know and trust in a well supervised environment with parental involvement.
Next, the issue of socialization has come up. Our research and watching what happens at public school has proved to us that homeschooled kids probably are more socialized and have better social skills than their peers. Children who are in public school end up sitting in silence for most of the day with little time for actual interaction with others. And when they do finally get to have that play time and do things that are supposed to be fun, some of them get hurt physically or emotionally by other kids. Homeschooled kids have interaction all day with siblings or with people at extracurricular activities. Homeschooled kids have more experience actually living life instead of sitting in one room with a bunch of other kids all day. That’s not what life is going to be like when they get out of school. Academics are important and we will be emphasizing that here, but learning how to interact with people in a normal manner is also important – I don’t think school teaches you that. If Kristopher is homeschooled he will still be around other children and will probably be much happier and better off than he is now. I firmly believe that and hope that we will have support with our decisions.
I’m not sure what else will be thrown at me, but if you have a question, please ask it. We have been reading and researching books and the internet and really think this is the right thing for our family right now. That isn’t to say that we will homeschool all three children for all 13 years of their schooling. Our decision doesn’t have to be permanent, but for right now we think it is the best one and are planning to go ahead with it. I have also joined a group called Lake Area Homeschoolers to get help and advice. I know many people around here who homeschool and Kristopher is friends with many of their kids too, so that is very helpful. We’re going to try to go to a meeting soon and find out more.
I feel much better now that I have all of that out. I’ve really been struggling with how to do this with a new house and new baby (who still isn’t here!!), but I don’t feel like it is totally my decision. God has a plan for our family and will get me through whatever I need to do to carry out that plan.
So, the baby…he hasn’t arrived yet. My c-section is next Wednesday at early o’clock. We have to be there at 5:30am. I am still hoping that Kameron will arrive in the next 2-3 days, but it isn’t looking like he will. I have been having contractions and pain for a week and have been checked out three times and all three they have sent me back home. So, probably the only way they will keep me is if my contractions are really close together and constant or if my water breaks. I’m praying that it will!! We are mostly ready around here. We still don’t really have a bed for him, but I do have a playpen that has the bassinet top he can sleep in. It doesn’t seem real comfortable or like something that I want to use forever, but it will work until we acquire a real crib! Kody has next week off – actually starting in two days That will be helpful, but would be even more so if Kameron came now, so I can have help when I get home from the hospital. I’m pretty nervous about getting home without him here to help me; I don’t know who will stay with me if he’s not here. My mom came and stayed for a week when Taylor was born and I really needed her help then, so I can’t imagine being alone this time. Anyway, enough rambling! I know everything will work out, it’s just hard to see how right now.
The house is still under construction! It is turning out very nice though and we really feel blessed with it. I hope to get pictures on here soon – I know some of you are waiting for them! The before and after thing that I was going to participate in got moved, which is why I haven’t mentioned it. Instead of in July BooMama is doing it on September 26, so maybe by then I’ll be ready with the camera hooked up!
I hope you are all having a great week! Hopefully my next post will have new baby information and maybe some pictures!