It’s that time of year. Packages are rolling in with new school supplies and curriculum. Maybe you’re pumped from attending a recent homeschool convention. You are either brimming with excitement for the upcoming school year, or you are having second thoughts. Doubts are creeping in. You may be asking yourself, “Is homeschooling still the right thing for us?”
Something has been bugging me for a long time. So much so, that it is the primary reason I started a blog in the first place. More often than I would like, I know someone choosing a public or private school for those later years. Just this week, someone asked for advice to “talk her off the ledge” of putting her son in public school after homeschooling for several years. Why do parents who began a good thing change their minds midway through? Is it out of financial necessity? It is selfishness? Laziness? Have we been led to believe that once something gets difficult we are not qualified to teach our own children?
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If you are thinking of jumping off the ledge, think about these things first.
- Missing Out. Many parents are under the impression that their kids are “missing out” on the high school experience. Missing out on what? The prom, graduation ceremonies, sports? Most homeschooling groups have got that covered. Even if they didn’t, is it really that important? Be sure to remember the other things they are missing out on: mean girls, bullies, drugs, alcohol, sex, sex ed, multi gender bathrooms, lock-downs, school fights, school buses, bad language, name brands, peer pressure, STD’s, common core, even the common cold. I’m not saying it’s nonexistent if you homeschool, but I believe it is much less.
- Socialization. Talk to me about how effective that is in a class full of kids the same age that are not even supposed to be talking, and I’ll be happy to give you my best eye roll. The socialization card has been played way too many times.
- Real World. They need to experience the real world. Same as above. How is public or private education even similar to the real world? Believe me, it doesn’t get much more “real world” than homeschooling.
- Opportunities. Even the best schools can’t even come close to the customized learning you can provide. If you’ve got a budding chef, athlete, musician, or even a daughter who enjoys learning home ec skills to become “gasp” a mom herself one day, homeschooling provides opportunities for anything and everything.
- Qualified Teachers. How about the need for “real teachers” when kids get to higher grades? I can’t do it all, and don’t do it all. My kids learn math from a program developed and taught by a Harvard graduate. We took an online science class from a real rocket scientist. I am able to find curriculum that closely matches my beliefs. They are not being indoctrinated by whatever the government thinks they need to know. You may (or may not want to) check out The Parental Rights Foundation. There is a steady trend by the government and the courts to remove the influence of parents from the public schools. As a parent, there is no one else more qualified to teach your child.
- Oh, but “it takes a village”. Check out what that actually means. Does that sound like school to you?
It takes a village to raise a child is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The villagers look out for the children. This does not mean an entire village is responsible for raising your children or the children of a crowd.”Wikipedia
- Environment. Did you see that? A safe and healthy environment? Are you certain your kids are safe in school? How about being in a healthy environment? From what I’ve heard, it’s toxic out there.
- Money. Public school comes with a cost – in more ways than your wallet. Just because you’re not paying tuition doesn’t mean you can check all school-related costs off your list. Private schools also have a big price tag. Much of what they do, you can do yourself at home. Private schools are also not immune to some of the same issues in public schools. My small town made national news recently for banning at LGBT Club at a Christian School, among other drama over the years.
- Remember the flexibility. Flexibility is one of the top reasons people choose to homeschool. Being in charge of your own calendar, choosing curriculum that covers the topics of your choosing, and not having to ask permission from the school to take your family on vacation should rank high on anyone’s list. If you’ve been here before, why on earth would you want to go back to anything but homeschooling?
- Why would you let someone “undo” what you’ve worked so hard at? From birth, you’ve impressed on your child’s heart the morals, values, and truths you find important. During those middle years, all that you hold sacred will be ridiculed, mocked and compromised for the world’s twisted agenda. These impressionable years are so important – to give those years to someone else at this point would be a disservice to your child.
The hidden agenda is not so hidden anymore. Parental rights are constantly being stripped away, as parents are giving away the most precious gift they have. Don’t hand them over to just anyone. You can get yourself back on track and have a successful school year. Don’t let hard things scare you. Don’t let a bad day determine your family’s future. I would highly recommend you checking out a previous post I wrote on a documentary last year. If that doesn’t talk you off the ledge, you might as well jump. (If I just put the Van Halen song from the 80’s in your head – your welcome!)
There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
I came across some statistics that shows not everyone is giving up on homeschooling in upper grades. I even ran my own poll on Facebook. When asked if you were in it (homeschooling) for the long-haul, 85% responded yes. That’s fantastic! Keep up your good work. I really do think the best is yet to come!
The tween and teen years are actually some of the most fun years! Things like the Bible, history and science are much more interesting, with older children. You can discuss books together, and may find out you enjoy some of the same things. Big projects can be tackled at home as another way of learning life skills. Things really do get better as they get older. If you are close to jumping off that ledge of enrolling your children in school – don’t do it! You know jumping off ledges never ends well. I have never heard anyone say they regretted their time with their children. If there’s ever anything I can say or do to help you keep going, I’m here to cheer you on!