Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Could I do it?


The fighting.

The screaming.

The whines.

The "I'm bored".



What on earth is up with them today???? They really have been super good so far this summer but I guess they are "settling in" to their ways.

Which leads me to this thought.......could I ever home school???

The past two years, I've really been thinking/praying/researching and just getting other's insight to wisdom in this area.

I have to be honest. With three girls in private school, it's going to be really hard financially. Yes, I could go out and get a full-time job but where would that leave me with where I feel the Lord has called me into ministry? And I KNOW what you are thinking, "They are your ministry." And YES, they totally are. But you know what I'm saying, right???

I think I could handle the routines, the work and the organization of it all.

I don't think I could handle the day in, day out, day in, day out of being with them 24/7. I'm JUST being honest.

But, I also know that God would give me the strength to do it if this is what He wanted me to do with them.

I'm not against some public schools. I will just go ahead and say that too.

I feel like everyone is different. Everyone has different convictions. And those that think Christian school is the only way or those that think Homeschooling is the only way or those that think Public school is the only way.........we're all different. I don't think we can look down on what anyone chooses to do with their kids.

Now.....I know that these avenues of education are all VERY, VERY different.

Lately, I've heard more and more people leaning towards home school. And on Friday night I got to have a very in depth conversation with a mom who home schools from our Sunday school class. I keep hearing the same things, "We're done so quickly. They waste a lot of time in school with discipline, going to the bathroom, lunch ext..."

But, then I go........."Well what on earth would we do the REST of the day???"

And would I spend just as much money as I do on their school now filling their days up with "stuff" because they would be driving me up the walls just "being home". But would it be better to spend the money developing their "life skills" rather than their education if that part was something I was capable of????

The girls really don't do anything "extra" right now like lessons or anything because we can't afford to have them in school and do all the other stuff too. So are they missing out by not being able to develop some of their talents??

And what if I decided to home school and two weeks into it I felt like I do today???AHHHH!!!!

Have any of you home schooled and it NOT worked out for you? Have any of you gone from private school to public school? Have any of you gone from public to private? Have Any of you gone from either public or private to home school? Were you home schooled?

So......I want to hear from you. ALL of you. Good and bad thoughts about this. Where does your point of view stand on this whether you have kids at home, no kids at all, kids grown and gone.....I want to hear your input!! You can leave an anonymous comment too! I just want to hear from as many of you as possible. God says to "seek wisdom" so that's what I'm doing!! I want to hear your views!! As many as possible!!

A penny for you thoughts??? =)


My Army Brats and Me said...

I have had the three girls in public schools so far. It has been a total of four different school districts being active Army. I have stayed involved and everything has been great until this past school year here. k-2 and 3-5. It is not going to happen again. I am going to homeschool the 2 younger ones. I have done a lot of networking which this should be a great post to get some info from. It seems that you have to decide what is going to work for your family. I am choosing not to go out and buy all these expensive books or pick and stick to a certain curriculum. I know my girls and how they learn best. I am going to teach my girls a lot of theme days. I want it to be fun and exciting and not too strict and structured. I think you can get too overwhelmed with too much. I do believe that a lot of time is wasted in school. Just taking more time to read and more time on certain math concepts. I think they can excel. I am interested to hear what others have to say. Thanks for bringing this up.

Alisun said...

Ok my two cents for what is worth, Forest was homeschooled at first and he is a kid that is kind of a freak of nature he was in preschool at a Christian school and we had a very difficult time with the teacher and him. So mommy pulled him home to protect him. Forest was the kind of kid who could excel way beyond most of his peers. He was doing multiplication at 4 years old, yes he is very smart and has this photographic memory that is truly God’s blessing. I could not keep up with him he was a sponge and needed a more rounded day with other kids and activities to give his mind a break. He went back to school at a grade lever higher than we left at homeschooling. He is still very young for his classmates and they wanted to bump him again I said no it was not what I felt God wanted for him to be exposed to kids that much older. He would still be a great candidate for online homeschooling now that he is 15. My sister in-law does this and has had great success with their daughter. He is too social for this and begged to left in his school.
Brooke is a whole different story she is a hands on girl and needs to have a very structured day, with mommy and daddy working at a business that needs both of our attention this is not in my life plans right now. I have considered bringing her home in a couple years when she has gotten the basics down better. She has needed speech, and help in area’s that I was not able to do well, we tend to butt heads a lot and then she shuts down. Brooke is best in school with the teacher she has who is able to teach her better than mom can.
We have both of them in an academy that is free with small class sizes and much emphasis on the environment, they have 62 acres to room and learn and the kids raise animals, do compost and take nature walks. It has been beneficial to them so far. I would have to plan a lot of outings to accomplish what they are taught at the school. We looked hard to find the right place for our kids and through prayer this is best for us. Forest was in public school for 5 years and we were very happy in fact I liked it better than the Christian school but when it came time for Brooke to go the public school had changed and we were no longer ok with that.
Sorry so long winded I hope this helps you, take every year as it comes and do not compare what your kids are or not learning to other s. My sister in law is very good at homeschooling I was not and it put pressure on both Forest and me mostly because I tried to be someone I was not. God will lead each day.

Tisha said...

Hey - I am interested to see all the comments. I too have thought about homeschooling. Kent thinks I am absolutely crazy, of course he does office out of the house and that would be A LOT of people in our house. But, I would like to spend more time with my girls. I do (sometimes) miss them during the day, but then I have days that I think I will lose my mind with them only around a few hours!! Plus I worry about ME being responsible for their learning. That's a little scary to me, ya know, me not being a road scholar and all!!!

Jenny said...

Meghan my 15 year~ started in private school, we loved it! Then we moved up to MA and the area we lived in didn't have a private school, except Catholic. I didn't think that would work for us, so she went to the sweetest little public school for 3rd grade. We had no problems, other than normal stuff.

When we moved back to GA, she and Katie started private school. Meghan really had a hard time, they were not as advanced as the school she had left. We checked into it and prayed ALOT, and let her go back to public school in Georgia. We kept Katie in private.

The next year Katie and Lauren went to private, Meghan went to public. But the next year, we let Katie go to public, and then Lauren the next.

My thoughts are I loved private school when the girls were little. It gave them a great start, they learned their ABC's right along with the Bible. But as they got older, it just didn't mesh.

Is our public school great? Nope, but it is good. Do they see/hear things that I wished they wouldn't? Yep, but my friends who go to private have the same things in the upper grades.

I wanted to Home School too! But my personality couldn't handle it, the kids would have drove me crazy! I think if I had one now, I might homeschool for the early years. But now I'm in my 30's verses 20 when I had Meghan!


Irritable Mother said...

I have struggled with this question, too.
My kids started out in a charter school (public school) and we moved last summer so now they are in a regular public school. (Just finished today!)
I have wondered many times, Should I home school them? because of the time-wasting-arguments, etc. that home-schoolers give. And, like you, I know God would give me the grace and strength I need to do it - because I KNOW I could not do it on my own. But I think my kids are right where they need to be.
At times I struggle with feeling like a "not good enough" mom because I'm not home schooling. I wonder, Does it mean I don't really love my kids if I'm not home schooling? You know, that kind of stuff.
But I'm trusting God will lead us and I need to listen to Him - and quit worrying about what other people think.

My Army Brats and Me said...

I found this thehomeschoollounge.com

check it out

Hope you get more input I am very interested.

Amy L Brooke said...

Since I don't have children, you may want to lower that to half a cent for my advice!

I did ministry with college students for 11 years. While I know you can't homeschool through college, there is something that saddens me about abandoning the public sector. I understand the thought of wanting what is best for your children, but still, it saddens me.

I have seen homeschooling done in good ways and bad ways. I think the best way is being part of a homeschooling group. I know the one here has had plays and dances and such.

The bad way is to homeschool in isolation.

A friend of mine has said, that it is sometimes for a reason and a season. She homeschooled her two oldest in 5-7 grade or something like that. The older two went on to a smaller public school that is run by one of the Universities in town.

The younger three went to a private Christian school. The middle one transitioned from there into a LARGE public high school. The younger ones stayed put another year until the school started cutting scholarship and it just wasn't feasible.

One has adjusted well to junior high. The other has struggled.

This spring the middle one (a junior in high school) asked to come home to school. It was a huge decision, but it seems to be the right one for her. it took a lot of thought.

With as much as the youngest is struggling with public school, my friend is considering home schooling him.But that would be much different than what she is doing with her daughter now.He would not be as disciplined and self motivated.

We were actually talking recently to a public school teacher. It all came up. The teacher said that academically the homeschool children coming into public school are heads above the others. But with 85% of them they do not have the social skills for interacting with their peers. The kids do great with adults, but . . . .

I will pray for your decision.

I do like my friend's thought of with a reason and for a season....

ValleyGirl said...

I'm SO torn on this issue. I've looked forward for so long to having the house to myself and yet now that my oldest will be starting Grade 1 in fall, I'm not so excited about it anymore. My two girls (please don't hate me for saying this) play SO well together and so obviously miss each other on days when the older is away at school and I know Fidget's going to be so lonely with her big sister gone ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Plus, it seems so wrong for kids that young to have to be sitting inside at a desk for 7 hours a day. I know that's the way it's been forever ~ and that's the way practically everyone we know grew up ~ but for whatever reason, I find myself really wishing that they could concentrate on the basics, fill it out with studies in their individual areas of interest, and play the rest of the day. Like little kids SHOULD be able to.

I also really like the idea of controlling what and how they learn, of being able to incorporate our values and morals and beliefs into their education. I like the idea of taking them with me while I run errands in town and teaching them about currency and math. Or baking bread with them to teach them about chemistry. To explore the trees and undergrowth in our windbreak/shelter-belt to study biology and creation.

Not to mention the added benefits of schedule flexibility and time off.

BUT, (and if I could have made that BUT in larger bolder type, I would have. It's a HUGE but!!) I also know myself. I know they drive me absolutely nuts some days ~ not necessarily even because they're fighting or whining, but just constantly hearing their little voices all.stinkin'.day makes me a little crazy sometimes.

I'm also not a patient person. Helping Peanut with her homework now often reduces her to tears and me to fuming. I get frustrated so easily when I feel like she's not thinking things through. And then I get frustrated with myself for expecting a 6-yr old to process things like an adult. And then I try to explain it a different way, but by then I've gotten louder and harsher and she's crying because she thinks I'm mad at her and.... it just gets messy. Would that really work differently if I had to do it every day?

Another personality flaw working against me here is my tendency to be enthusiastic and excited about something at the beginning, but quickly lose interest once I realize how much work is involved. I envision realizing we're only two months away from the end of the allotted time to submit progress reports to the Department of Education and realizing that I still have about 4 months of material left to cover.

Oh, and then there's the lack of support from hubby, who knows my short-comings all too well.

Still, I'm conflicted. I'd really like to try it. Even if it would just be from September to Christmas. Just to see if I could handle it. And I guess there's really no reason why that couldn't be done. Up here, it's no big deal to re-enroll your kid in school if they've been pulled out for whatever reason. There are a lot of transient, low-income families who do it all the time, switch their kids from school to school often a few times in one year.

My life as a mother has always been quite selfish ~ like my girls are kind of invading my territory ~ and I think this is really the crux of the matter for me. I imagine my focus shifting from ME and MY AGENDA to revolving around them and including them in everything I do. But then I think, if I haven't done that up till now, what the heck makes me think it's suddenly going to start once the curriculum arrives in the mail and I NEVER have any time to myself?

I don't know, Nicki. I'm sure this hasn't been at all helpful. Just rambly. But you asked for my thoughts, and so here the are!!!!

Whatever decision you make, you can always change your mind.

Anonymous said...

I have had my children in both private and public schools. Private to give them a good foundation with discipline in learning. I fell into the trap of believing that private was better, it was not, especially in jr. high,high school. Private school kids are not exempt from peer pressure, pregnancy, drugs,and making bad decesions. They are teens. You get that in all schools. All schools are not created equal. Public always falls short. Your taxes are paying for those schools and teachers, some in which are christian, they are under paid and over worked, but many of them are good, loyal and dedicated, hard working and credentialed, and even christian. If you dont like the public school spend your time and energy to change them. Get involved with your city council, and school board to bring about change for a better education for your children. Change may not happen in your generation but perhaps the next one to come, perhaps for your future grandchildren.
The problem is, there are not enough active involved parents supporting our public schools, trying to change what is bad.
In CA. you cannot home school unless you are a certified teacher.
If I could do it over again I would not choose private beyond 1st grade. I would choose to get involved and fight to change what is bad in the schools. I would not spend my time volunteering to make a good school better. I would not make the sacrifice of tutition instead of family vacations and doing fun stuff.
The schools are spending your tax dollars. Make your voice be heard. Have the courage to take a stand and Let your light shine. Your children will be light in a dark place.

JenB said...

Don't have much time, but here goes. You know we've been homeschooling for 2 yrs and love it. I don't really know anything else (except my own public school experience which was great but in a very small town). HSing is VERY easy in our state, and city for that matter. Lots of options and resources. And friends who homeschool!;) You really can spend as much or little as you want on curriculum.
Got to go, but I saw someone recommended homeschoollounge.com. I'm a member. Great resource. Amy C is a member too (from HGBC). Email me if you don't know who I'm talking about.

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

the only thing i have not done is homeschool. I have gone from public to private. then we went private to public. and then we went public to bigger public.

i left public to go private becasue the school was getting too big. I left private to go public becasue i had to - we moved - but have not regretted it. Oh yes, i do miss things and our school is very small, but I don't regret it. I guess i would have a hard time doing public if i could not be there for everything and get to know everyone. I am not so concerned with where they stand with Christ - i mena i do care, but i realize their hands are tied. But more than anything i want them to know where I stand and what they can and should expect from my kids. and I want to know and them to know i want to knwo when there is less than what I would expect of my kids.

any way you look at it schooling is the parents responsibility.

i still would love for you to move here!!! i won't give up!! love, Leigh

Room for Grace said...

Hello! Just found your blog, and I don't have time to fully respond - my 8 yr old wants to make his birthday cake! But just wanted to say, you are asking great questions. All those concerns you have turned out to be real issues for me when I homeschooled for 1 year, just trying it out his preK year.

I just wanted to throw in a teachers perspective here, I taught in a public school for 10 years before having kids. Young kids do not sit in their desks for 7 hours in school!!! Huge misconception there. As I 2nd grade teacher, I often wished we had more time in our classroom, and even there the kids are in centers, and moving around the room. My son is in 2nd now and attends PE everyday - loves it, art, music, Spanish, recess, lunch, in addtion to great science experiments, math, reading, writer's workshop and amazing centers. Homeschooled kids, for the most part don't experience those things on a daily basis. I just wanted to make sure you don't think the public school choice means your child standing in a line and going to the bathroom for 5 hours a day!

I have wonderful friends who do a great job homeschooling. I think I'd be a nutcase. It's just not for us. Hope you find what's just right for you and your family.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Hi Room For Grace! Thanks so much for your feedback! I tried to click onto your blog but it said error. I'd love to stop by and visit with you as well!

Room for Grace said...

Hmmm, I don't know why it won't click over. Seems like everything around here is out of order, so I guess the ol blog just joined in!

Here's my site:

I have been reading your She Speaks posts, and just enjoying them so much. You have a great "voice" in your writing.

Have a great day!