Why homeschool?

Hello! My name is Tiffany and I am from Home Grown Families. I am so excited to be able to do a guest post for Village of Moms! Since it is Back to School time, I was asked to write about why I homeschool. That is such a hard question to answer because there are so many different reasons that roll into this decision for me. If you ask 100 different Mom’s, you’ll get almost as many different answers. But, for me, it wasn’t a hard decision at all.

I have always taken my roll as protector very seriously. I have been known to over-react to things when it comes to my kids. I feel such a responsibility to them to make sure their life doesn’t, well, suck. If they make bad decisions I want to make sure that it is THEIR decision and not something they do in response to damage I caused. I really think that God gave me three girls because He knew I would be diligent in raising them for Him. He has laid a burden on my heart to make sure they are not the typical girls that are released into the world today. Basically, to make sure they do not repeat my mistakes.

When my girls entered Kindergarten it quickly became apparent that one of them had some issues. I’m not going to bore you with the details but it turns out to be pretty serious learning/development based deficits. We moved to a different state just before Christmas and I enrolled them in the local school. It was quickly shown to me that they believed that she was “slow” and were going to treat her as so. During a meeting the school Psychologist kept saying things like “Well, she IS a low IQ child.” and “Who’s to say she will ever catch up?”

I’m to say.

The Monday after that meeting (within a month of enrolling her) I signed her out.

I realized that NO ONE cares for my girls the way I do. There isn’t one person in the world that is as vested in them as I am. So, why am I trusting them to others? Given the amount of time they are in school, they will be influenced by these people for the majority of their first 18 years! If the people that are responsible for their entire future (education wise) have the opinion “Well, she IS a low IQ child.” and I know differently, I CAN NOT leave her in that situation. (Note: one of the ‘things’ with learning disabilites is a gap in IQ scores and actual ability. She may score borderline mentally disabled but she really is not.)

But, how do people come to this conclusion when there isn’t an obvious issue like I faced? We are all in agreement that the public education system is broken. There is not enough money, too much politics and too many teachers that are beat down. I don’t know how we allowed the education of our children to turn into such a circus- but we did. You forever see news stories about sexual relationships between teachers and students (well, not relationships- rape) , bullying, gangs, drugs, violence and sex. Add in a bunch of progressives that think THEY know what is best for my child and *viola* a recipe for disaster.

Now, to throw in some statistics so I look smart, according to the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (yes, our federal government) Indicators of School Crime and Safety annual report for 2008 (latest sats available) says that there were 55.7 million students in public school in grades K-12. The key findings were, that of these almost 56 million:

  • the rates of theft and violence were higher AT school than away (among 12-18 year olds)
  • 10% of males and 5% of females (9-12 grade) were threatened or injured with a WEAPON at school
  • 85% of schools reported a CRIME that happened at the school
  • 62% of schools had to report a crime that happened at the school to the POLICE
  • 20% of schools reported GANG ACTIVITY
  • 22% of students reported that an ILLEGAL DRUG had been offered, sold, or given to them at school (9-12 grade)
  • 32% of students (12-18 years old) reported being BULLIED
  • 34% of teachers said that student misbehavior interfered with teaching

Wow!

Keep in mind that 100% of homeschool Mom’s I know would say that student misbehavior interrupts their teaching! (Ahhh, the joys of teaching little kids.)

Being a product of public schools I understand the ups and downs of the system. And I understand the pressure that is thrown at kids on a daily basis. They no sooner set foot through the door and they are being bombarded with people trying to make them forget every value and standard you spent years teaching them. The autonomy of the life they live in school is dangerous. How many times have we seen a news clip where the parents say “I had no idea!” I just wasn’t willing to take the chance that I could be one of those parents.

I understand that not everyone CAN homeschool. I hear from so many women, “I wish I could homeschool my kids.” I know that this opportunity given to me was given from God, Himself. He has a plan for my kids and public school does not fit into that plan. That, simply, is reason enough for me to homeschool.

But, outside of religion, I choose to homeschool because I am the best teacher for my kids, because I know they are safest with me, because I know that only I can teach them what they need to know for life and because I know one of them has special needs- and I know that there is still prejudice against kids like her.

For those of you that have already taken this step, I want to offer support and encouragement. We have a HARD job. There is a lot of pressure and sometimes we question the sanity of our decision. Just rest knowing that we are doing the right thing. If you are struggling with the decision ‘to homeschool or not to homeschool’ I hope this has helped you make your decision- either way.  And just remember, you will never regret it.


Home Grown Families
http://www.homegrownfamilies.blogspot.com/

Comments

  1. 1
    Kimberlee says:

    I SO needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 2

    I just finished our 9th week of homeschooling my Kindergartener. My DD is (only) almost 4, but already reading, so we decided to start K with her. I know it is the right decision, but this week has been tough! Thanks for reminding me about the big picture! No one knows my kids like I do, and who am I to split my kids up all day long where they can’t foster that sibling relationship that we all strive for, to be taught by someone who’s attention is divided 30 different ways (versus 2), who’s curriculum is dictated by the state and not what they want or should actually learn. I love homeschooling. It’s hard, but I love it!

  3. 3

    Wonderful and beautifully stated! I agree 100% – and I am planning on home schooling for those and some other reasons. I started out in Home School, went private in 7th grade, public 8th-12th….those last 4 years were TOUGH. The way kids are going these days I do NOT want my kids in public school – it’s getting ridiculous, and the education is going down the drain too. More and more schools are focusing on their state tests and studying for those than teaching the kids what they need to know, just so the school can get more funding! It’s like a glorified day care! Ok, sorry – kind of strong there. I understand some of the reasons people public school, but you have to admit…IF you could home school, it would be the BEST option, and don’t give me the “social” excuse. Most home school kids are very social and have much better manners than public school kids. OK, done! GREAT post!!!

  4. 4

    Thanks so much for the comments!! It is such a hard thing to decide and sometimes you do sit and wonder if you are doing the right thing. However, it is the ONLY question I have EVER asked myself where I have realized that yes, this is the right thing. EVERY TIME! If only other decisions were so easy!
    Elisabeth- you are SOOOO right! Everything you said. I am so sick of this stupid ‘no child left behind’ The only thing is has done is put pressure on teachers to teach only the test. So when our kids graduate they should be able to pass the test- but not much else!
    Socialization is the BIGGEST issue people have with homeschooling. It is the biggest comment I get! We have come a long way! It blows my mind that the people who make these comments are OK with the kind of socialization their kids are getting in public school!!! HELLO!?!?!?!?!?! The first statistic I listed- kids are safer away from school then at school. Sad. Thats enough right there!! We are doing a post about socialization of homeschoolers on 8/23. Come check it out!!
    Keep fighting women! We are a ‘grassroots’ fight against injustice against our kids! Wether you lean Left or Right, we are on the correct side of this fight!

  5. 5

    Great post!

    We are about to start our second year of HS’ing. I have an almost 5 yr old and a 3 yr old.

    Here is why we are homeschooling!

    If you get a chance….leave me a comment there and let me know you stopped in! I need all the support I can get!

    http://sweetviewfromthehills.blogspot.com/2009/09/homeschooling.html

  6. 6

    Great post. I am religious but my husband is not. We both want to home school our son but of course my husband’s reason doesn’t include God. It is nice to read a post that takes into account the disconnect in schools today. We were both in public schools and suffered from it. DH is incredibly smart because he loves reading. I got in with the “bad crowd” and barely learned a thing. I def. have more common sense than book knowledge. I don’t want our kid(s) to have to deal with the situations I fought through in school.

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