Thursday, August 26, 2010

If I was ever to........

home school.... this would certainly be an inspiring classroom to teach in. Honestly though, I don't think I am cut out for being a homeschooling mother. More on that in a minute. Firstly, check out these photos a home a home school classroom by the pioneer woman. Here is the link to her site:

I find these pictures incredibly inspiring. I mean, who wouldn't want to learn in this room. Over the years my views on homeschooling have changed. I was home schooled for a number of years, and it wasn't a horrible experience but it wasn't terribly memorable one either. I went to public school for kindergarten (which I remember fondly) and spent grades 1 through 6 either home schooled or in a small one room school our church ran in their basement When I think back about my time at home I remember my mother crying in frustration, having a lot of time to play outside, wistfully watching other children walk to school with their backpacks, helping cut firewood in the afternoons and hating math. I returned to the public school system in grade 7 and flourished there. I loved competing with my classmates, having projects, recess, art, gym, social studies. I loved all of it. Although I was only in grade 7 I remember that some of my classmates had already started using drugs and that a girlfriend of of my mine had started having sex with her much older boyfriend, but these things helped me grow in my faith and have more conviction in the things that I had been taught at home. Throughout high school and University I found that I grew the most when faced with adversity and secular thought. That being said, I don't think that exposure to worldly ways always has that effect of impressionable children and teens, but I do think that parents need to remember that they can't always protect their children and that some day their children are going to have to learn to make good choices... ie "when the rubber hits the road".

My parents were extremely protective and sheltered us from many things.
To list a few....

1) Secular music.... especially music with a syncopated rhythm (we all laugh about it now). I am fairly useless where classics are concerned and people are still shocked that I have never heard of certain movies or artists.

2) Television and commercials: (I didn't see a color TV until I was at least 7 or 8 and once we got a TV my dad ALWAYS muted the commercials. I actually still do this today (my husband hates it. he actually sits in front of the computer and watches funny commercials on YouTube.

3) Home schooled us: My parents didn't want us to have a secular education and because we lived in a small remote community, Christian school was not an option for us.

4) Being around drinking: my parents NEVER drank alcohol or spent time around people that drank. As a teenager I was almost always frozen in fear around a group of friends were drinking. I wanted to shrivel and die because I didn't know what to do with myself.

I think the biggest problem with these things is that it makes people unable to interact with the "real world. I know this from experience.I think that instead of creating a "bubble", it is important to talk to children about the things they see and hear, rather than avoid having to deal with "it".

I have to admit, I REALLY admire mothers who home school, although I don't think that ALL mothers are cut out for it. I don't think children school be home schooled to protect them from the "world". I think children SHOULD be home schooled if their parents feel that they can give their child a better education than the mainstream schools and if they think their child will do better in a one on one learning environment. In recent years I have met a lot of families that home school (for the right reasons) and their children are INCREDIBLE. Their mothers are attentive to their academic abilities and interests and have made it possible for them to skip grades study the things they are passionate about. That being said, I have also had many friends that have survived the public school system and are God fearing, intelligent people with strong convictions and faith.

What are your thoughts on home schooling?


Heidi and Steinar said...

Jocelyn!! How is it that we have been friends for all these years and I never knew you were home schooled until grade 7?!?!?!?!

I love the homeschooling room pictures you posted, it reminds me of the days when I was little and loved to play "school" with my cousin. We did this far more than every playing "house".

Ashley said...

This post makes me want to laugh and groan at the same time! I felt so many of the same things you did being home schooled.

Especially the crying, hating math, and the feeling you got around alcohol!

I did appreciate that I had alot more play time though, I remember being done school by noon alot of the times, and then we would play dress up or go climb waterfalls. Those memories are priceless. But like you said, I think homes chooling shouldnt be to field your kids from the world, but to give a better education.

I would definitely not chose to home school my children for the sake of my relationship with him. There were far to many battles over very unimportant things between my Mom and Me.

The Stiffs said...

Same thought as Heidi, how did I not know???
First off, I love the little 'school room' you posted. How cute!
Homeschooling.....not sure how I feel about it yet, which is alright because E is just 2! We live in a small town with a great school. I have worked in the school, and feel from my experience that our kids would have every oppourtunity to have a great learning experience there. The median age and income in our town is very low, so this town is an interesting place. Lots of conservative Chrisitan families that don't even allow their kids to go to the Christmas tree lighting downtown because that would be too much like worshipping something other than God! I am not in denial about the fact that there are other influences at school too, but we are just in a bit of a unique situation with the high Christian population. I too believe that we are to equip our kids to be in the world and not of it, rather than trying to shelter them from all of the evil out there.
The only way I would want to homeschool is if we could be part of a homeschooling co-op, which would allow for lots of socalization, learning from other moms (maybe someone else could teach math!), lots of outdoor activities together etc.
Anyways, our kids are little, so there's lots of time to think about it. Gina, are you reading? You should chime in!

Anderson Clan said...

Haha! That's funny, typically I don't post much but since Tiffany specifically asked....

I wasn't homeschooled but taught homeschool co-op swimming lessons at the pool. We taught all the school groups and every instructor alway fought over who would get to teach the homeschoolers since they were so much better behaved, well mannered, respectful and there to learn.

Now, that's not why I homeschool my kids. My reasons:

A. Things here in Indianaq are a bit different. The public education system isn't great, our local public school isn't somewhere I'd send my kids.

B. Homeschooling here is very popular. We are part of a huge homeschool co-op and that is fabulous.

C. My husband, is likely to have to take a number of 1 year term teaching positions before landing a permanent job. This means moving every year and I don't want to be putting my kids into a new school every time. So homeschooling will give them consistency.

D. I love the opportunities that homeschooling allows. Piano classes in the afternoon, flexible schedules, family field trips mid-week instead of weekends, etc. It also allows for sports and activities in the evening without me feeling like I never see my kids and am just a taxi service. Imagine sending your kid off for school at 8am and then seeing them for 30 minutes before heading to gymnastics class. Another 30 minutes once they get home before they're off to bed. I enjoy my children and their company, if they went to school then I'd have to curb the afterschool sports that they both really enjoy. **side note** Theo is trying out for the swim team today - he's been practicing so hard and looking forward to this so please pray that he makes it!**

E. Hands down I know my kids are getting a better education than at any school. You can't beat the student-kid ratio. We can spend as much time as we want on any subject. If the kids are really into cicadas (they collect the dead shells and have a collection outside! yuck) we can do a whole unit on them.

F. Makiah was a early reader and reading chapter books at kindergarten age so I couldn't really send her to kindergarten where she'd be learning her letters and sounds. Theo isn't like this but he's in kindergarten now and is beginning to read. I can tailor lessons to meet their needs, public school really couldn't do this.

G. Lots of non-homeschool people through the world "socialized" around a lot when it comes to homeschooled kids. Yes, I'm sure there's something to that if you isolated your kids. But the homeschool children that I meet go to co-ops, are on sports teams, take music lessons, etc. Not only do they interact with their peers but they also know how to talk to adults and kids of other ages. School classrooms are a unique setup, no where else in your life will you be surrounded by a group of 30 people the same age as you. Work places, families, etc. aren't set up that way. Kids should be "socialized" or taught to communicate and interact with people groups of all ages. I think homeschool allows for this type of opportunity.

Okay, okay....I'm sorry. This is getting long and I might be up on a soap box. Not to mention the fact that Anderson Academy starts in 28 minutes!

One l more thing, we own a home business and homeschooling my kids allows us to work together as a family. It allows them to be involved. I love that!

Love y'all!

Caroline said...

I've enjoyed the summer break and today, am actually looking forward to starting up home schooling again next week ;0) This'll be our third year doing it and we take it one year at a time. :0)

Caroline said...

I like the flexibility of it and even though we try to start at the same time each day, I like that we don't have to rush out the door to get to school or to the bus on time. I think it's important for J&A to learn the importance of getting to things on time (like personal sports events etc, but when they are so little, it seems like it'd be so stressful to go through that each morning for school! ;0)