Friday, September 10, 2010

Home Schooling... or Public Schooling?

Hi! :D The public schools started up again in our part of the state of Idaho this week. As you know... we do our learning AT HOME ~ and ABROAD - not at the public schools. So it came as quite a shock to me when my sons began begging me to send them to public school. Since I have been going through my own internal struggles lately - I've been like a zombie. So it wasn't too hard to twist zombie mom's arm into considering the change of schools. And I really can't blame them for not wanting to stay home with the zombie. :O

But then last night I began to feel better. Like magic, my outlook
improved. Life was again seen through the eyes of a clearer view. I wasn't depressed any more! My brain started working again!! Suddenly, that break I would be getting wasn't the only thing I saw when I thought about public schooling!!! I wasn't a zombie any more!!!! :D And so, this morning I said to my husband...
"Miles, I've been thinking about the decision to let the boys go to public school, and have been wondering why we decided to let them do that?"
Miles was somewhat wishy washy, and sluggish with his shoulders in his response...
"I don't know. You said they could."
I took a double take over the word "you" but ignored it and went on with questions.
"Yeah... I know I considered it; but WHY? I've been weighing it out the pros and con's... thinking of the things I planned to teach them that they will never learn at public school. Thinking about the mommy influence I have to teach them things of an eternal nature during homeschooling and of the leverage I will lose if they go to school and are sure to come home and say, 'no mom. I'm NOT reading that, I already went to school today!' I've thought of the wasted time in public school, and the lousy social environment in which you "get what you get" rather than choosing a positive environment. I think about the time I am looking forward to spending with them while their friends are all at the public schools, and of the blissful fact that during this time... I get to have them all to my self. :) I think of the vacations we can spontaneously take as a family - while we home school. I think of the educational opportunities I have in mind for them which are not offered in high school, and which they won't have time for if they go. I think of all this, and I wonder... WHY are we considering letting them go to school full time?"
And all he could say was, "I don't know; I guess because they wanted to go to be with their friends." And then I thought about the fact that they AREN'T even going for the academics, and of the fact that they will learn better if they are doing something with the intention of learning. I remember when I was home-schooled and then decided to go back to public school just to get to know kids more quickly after my family moved to a new location.  I wasn't going for the education either. I was going to SOCIALIZE and believe me, it showed with my grades! I skipped classes to hold informal private counseling sessions for my friends. I didn't care what it did to my grades... I had friends to help, and they were a much higher priority. I don't recall doing a lick of homework. Not a lick!... until I went to college; because when I went to college I was going for the education, and I loved it! And believe me, it showed in my grades! ;)

All of this quickly ran through my mind. And then I remembered times in my youth in which I loved home schooling and taking just a class or two at the local High School (fun classes like cooking). So I thought about the Honors Government and AP Government classes offered at the local public college prep Charter school and suggested to my husband that maybe we could home school them for the most part, but let them go to charter for these classes. Miles looked at me with big eyes.
"Government class. Are you sure you want to do that? What views do you think the teachers will be coming from?"
Oh my gosh! My wheels started turning... My mouth fell wide open... and then I looked at him with big eyes and asked,
"and we were talking about sending them there - full time!"
 We both laughed.

And then there were the boys feelings and desires to consider. They are thinking of going to socialize, so they need fun relaxed classes while there. I decided to stick with the original plan of enrolling them in fun electives at high school, and/or just getting them involved in other activities outside of school for their social life.

There are opportunities for my kids to have good social lives; I need to look for them, and take them! Another thing I can do is continue welcoming the kids' friends over and making our home the "neighborhood hang out station". ;) There are kids here at our home constantly during the summer months, as well as after school and on the weekends during the school year. It is very cool.

So... what do you think? Will my kids be OK if they don't go to public school again this year?

(Above photo taken on line from bing images.)


  1. om my gosh, I am so happy you posted about this today. It is JUST what I needed. I've been seriously considering homeschool and have really been looking into it the past couple days. I've thought about it off and on over the years, but now think I'm REALLY ready to take the plunge. My daughter is actually still in pre school this year, but she turns 5 next month and I think she is totally ready to start kindergarten. I loved all your reasons for keeping them home, those are my thoughts exactly. I too worry a bit about the social life, but I loved your ideas. Let them take a couple classes for fun, invite friends over all the time and get them involved in other things outside of the home like sports.
    So now I have some questions. Do you have any advice for me just starting out? And what website to you go through to get everything you need? I really don't even know how to go about it.
    I'd appreciate any information you can give me.
    Thank you!

  2. I do not homeschool my kids, but I do supplement their education. They don't get enough of that in the public school and we live in a very small town. I think it is totally your preference. You do need to make sure that they get social interaction, but I will tell you that there are a lot of kids out there that I don't want my own kids interacting with! Put them in something that interests them. Music, sports, acting, cooking sewing, pretty much anything that they love and want to try. You can also put them in kid groups like classes at the YMCA or Boys and Girls clubs (if you are near any). The most important thing is that they get to spend some time with their peers and that they get a good education. I wish I could stay home and teach them!! I think it is wonderful that you can!

  3. My niece and nephew both are home schooled and have been since pre-school. The nephew graduated high school last year and it hasn't hurt him a bit.

    As to the social aspect. Sports are an excellent way to be social. Or how about a home school study hall with other children in the area?

    Hey, I don't even have children why am I even in this conversation?

    I'll leave it to you, the master :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. Crystal - Hi! :D I'm so happy that this post was a help to you! I would be happay to answer questions and help in any way that I can. If I can get your e-mail address I can send a list of websites and a little direction your way. You can feel free to email me as well. Just go to my profile for a link to my email address, send an email, and I'll email you back - or you can leave your email here. :)

    Patty Ann - Hi! :D ...great suggestions, thanks for sharing. I totally agree. PS I think you're my biggest fan (or at least, by biggest commenter!), and I love you for it! Thanks! ;D

    Jules... Don't worry about not being a mom; you still have ideas to contribute. THANK YOU! I do understand though, and feel funny giving advice to mom's with twice as many kids as I have. Oh well... we all have our own insights to share from our experiences, regardless of our lack of experiences. ;) - So, PLEASE keep joining in on the conversations!!!! :D I am planning actually trying to talk the twins into joining the high school swim team; they are amazing swimmers! Thanks again! :D

  5. I think that public education is pretty awesome, but I am pretty biased, too...

  6. Of course, I can only speak for my own class. I think that I'd probably have to keep changing grades each year so as to always be able to teach my kids...

  7. Hi Jason. :D ~ I'd say your ADULT job experience has everything to do with your biased opinion. ;) I'm sure you're class is a fabulous class to be in... one of the few I dare say (I'm terribly biased, too). :O I do recall you telling me (back when we were both in high school) how lucky I was that I didn't have to go to public high school. :) Do you remember that? :D I will admit though, that once I went, there were a few classes and experiences that I ended up loving... just as I loved being a homescholar.

    Thanks for stopping by. :)


There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you add so much insight and brighten my day! :)