I had graduated with an education degree and a chip on my shoulder knowing I knew all there was to know about education. I was totally against homeschooling.
Public education was THE way to do things. While young in my field I would listen to other highly respected veteran teachers poopoo-ing homeschooling and slowly I began to say the same things myself. I didn’t think much about why those teachers said what they did, but the arguments sounded logical. Arguments such as: Homeschool families pull out the “good” kids so testing scores and classroom behavior become skewed. Another one was: Those homeschool kids have no socialization with other kids and won’t be able to get along with others. Another argument: Homeschool kids are always behind public school kids.
I bought into it all. And what lies from Satan these are.
I’m not quite sure when my heart started to change. I received my graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction realizing that I knew nothing about education and that I had a lot to learn. (Graduate work does that to a person!) But I received this degree from a Christian university which holds a different worldview than FSU. I had quite the “crisis of belief” as Henry Blackaby calls it. My belief about the church and education radically changed during those years. I was growing in the Lord by leaps and bounds and He was revealing Himself mightily.
And then I took a position with an educational content company.
This opened my eyes to another whole realm of education. It was interesting to watch “state adoption” processes that major textbook companies go through and what motivates them (money!) as they create these public school textbooks. It was fascinating to see the evolution of state and national standards. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of fantastic curricula out there, but to see how these big names went about getting content published, what was allowed in, what was definitely left out, what cultures are ok and which are not, was eye opening. And it made me ask the question, “If my kids are in public school, what happens if I don’t approve of the textbooks the school uses?”
And then I had to deal with infertility and miscarriage.
I don’t want to state that going through infertility gives a woman “more” love for her children than a woman who does not have that experience, because I don’t think that is the case. But I will state that it gives a woman a different perspective. And as I get older, I have more of an urgency to spend time with the people I love.
I’m not guaranteed tomorrow.
I want to know my kids, the good and not so great, parts of them. I want them to know me, my struggles, and my God. If I was to send them off to school for 6 hours a day, what am I going to miss??? What will they miss by not being around me???
My attitude has changed 180 degrees. I am 100% FOR homeschooling. But it is not for everyone. There is definitely a need for wonderful Christian families and teachers in the public schools. It is a mission field, absolutely.
If you are considering the idea of homeschooling, here is my advice: get on your knees and pray to the One who gives all wisdom.
Allow Him to guide you.
Allow Him to develop a passion for homeschooling in your heart, if He wills it.
For those of you who have been at this homeschooling thing a while, make sure you are mentoring a “newby.” We need all of the encouragement we can get.
And to my wonderfully patient sister who has homeschooled the last 12 or so years and had to listen to my “know-it-all” arguments: I am deeply sorry I did not support you in your decision. I love you dearly.