Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homeschooling Through High School

"I often think that I would've liked to remained home schooled simply because the influence of the world is not the best thing, and especially at that young of an age. "

I asked my youngest niece, Jenna, if I could use this direct quote from her own blog, and she graciously gave me permission. She is graduating from high school this year after having been homeschooled until the eighth grade. This statement of hers really impacted me because one often assumes that just because their child makes it through the public school system - without backsliding - that they made it through unscathed.

And I can't help but ask these questions (not directly to my niece, but in general): How much innocence was lost in those years? What kind of kinks were unnecessarily added to their character that might not have been there otherwise? Did "toughening them up" help their Christian character grow for the better, or for the worse?

My own husband and I do not see eye to eye on this issue, and I mean no disrespect to him. He uses examples of a bygone era of saints who put their kids into public school to "toughen them up" because it'll either "make them or break them". And again I ask the question - where are those kids now? Are they still living for God? If they are, I'd like to ask them if they would say the same thing as my almost 18-year-old niece.

Since the most vulnerable ages of kids (with their peers) are 12 to 18, why would it be so hard for parents who started out homeschooling their children to not complete it - WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE SO VULNERABLE AT THE TIME THEY WOULD ENTER THE PUBLIC SYSTEM? When their children are the most susceptible to falling prey to the influence of their peers?

I'm sorry, folks, but I just don't get it. A diploma on your wall is nothing more than a piece of paper since you can now enter university without one. If you can't in your area, you most certainly can in many other places. And, homeschooling through high school has NEVER been easier because there are scads of resources right at our fingertips. As well, there are so many ways we can teach our children to be a light and example to others without putting them into the public school system to do it; places where we parents are still the primary influence. There is honestly not one GOOD reason to put my children into public high school at all, in my opinion.

The less baggage from the world our children carry, the easier it will be for them to get in contact with God. And that's my goal.

11 comments:

Rachel Peterson said...

My diploma isnt even ON my wall.

Darla said...

Neither is mine. In fact, I have no idea where it is, which proves exactly the point I made.

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Wizzle said...

Phew! And here I thought Hanna was ready for HS work!

Darla said...

Yup, next week. Didn't I tell you, Mrs. Wizzle?

Julie Cortens said...

Home school them. You are absolutely right - there is NO reason to send them into the public school system for all sorts of non-biblical indoctrination from the system and from peers. 3/4 of ours completed their high school at home!

Darla said...

Julie: Thanks for the encouragement from someone who has "been there, done that".

Graceful Threads said...

Agree with you Sis, if God will allow I plan to school them until they graduate.

One big reason I plan to keep them home is because I know the day will come too quickly that they will be gone, my oldest is already almost 12 and I am a bit panicky about how little time I may have left with him, I want to savour every moment...I dont wanna share!;-)

Rachel said...

Sigh.... Can my kids attend YOUR school, Darla? I wish I had your patience....

Rachel

Darla said...

Rachel: (I think G.??) I really don't have patience like I should. In fact, if there is any reason to have second thoughts of homeschooling, it's that I am not patient enough. I really feel the need to clarify that.

When I am most doubtful, however, I come to the eventual conclusion that even in my most imperfect, impatient state I still believe that I am a better educator of my own children - as their mom, for all of the 9 million reasons I've stated in previous posts.

I also want to clarify (assuming this is Rachel G.) that this post was intended more for those who have begun the homeschooling journey and stopped it at high school, simply because I can't understand why one would STOP once they have started. The decision to BEGIN homeschooling is a very serious one, and one each family has to make with God's help. When I post on the benefits of homeschooling, I do so in the hope that it might encourage someone to consider it and pray about it because sometimes the only obstacles are our own doubts and fears. I believe homeschooling is possible for any God-fearing family, with God's help (in God's will). I am proof of that. However, if you feel you need to keep your children in public school (especially with the wonderful support system of your pastor and his wife as teachers) then believe me, I am not your judge. And I know you want the best for your children, as well.

Love you, Rachel.

Rachel said...

Dearest Darla,
This is Rachel G. First, please don't feel like I'm trying to get you to question your decisions. You, and you alone, know what's best for you and your family. And, for you and yours, it's homeschooling.

Second, if I could, I would. I am SO not wired to teach my children. We'd all end up dead after the first 10 minutes, if we made it that long! The kids would be killing me, too, not just me killing them!!

Third, I could not have accomplished with Hailey what her kindergarten teacher (hereafter referred to as Mrs. K) did. Hailey totally flourished under Mrs. K and learned everything she needed to very well. She is well grounded in kindergarten concepts. Not only does she know the work, she's blossomed as a child. She was a very shy, intimidated, not willing to do ANYthing in front of ANYone. Mrs. K coaxed Hailey out of her shell and helped her realize the world isn't always scary. (You know what I mean by that...) We also didn't really review during the summer last year. Hailey just remembers.

Mrs. F (the first grade teacher), on the other hand..... well, let's just say that I'm debating on having Hailey repeat first grade. I know that's the worst possible thing I could do for her morale, but she absolutely cannot go on unless she gets the first grade math and reading concepts. Reading is coming along now that Hailey realizes that she can't skip a word because she doesn't know what it says (her teacher said to skip the word if she couldn't figure it out, so Hailey was skipping every other word). She has grasped that concept in the last couple of weeks that my mom and I have been working with her every day on this...
Math.... It's still coming. Hopefully, by the time summer is over, she'll have the concepts of first grade down and be able to go on. (In case I haven't made myself clear, I do NOT agree with the public school system of pushing a child thru when they don't have a clue as to what's going on. They need the basic building blocks in order to have a good foundation.) I'm praying to have Hailey ready for second grade, but she will have a different teacher from last year. As of now, she's scheduled with the same teacher- I'm changing that as soon as I can get ahold of the principle the first part of August. Obviously (to me), it didn't work last year.

Janessa, on the other hand, will go to public school and probably be running it by the third week!

Phew! I apologize for the long post, but I appreciate you letting me vent. I understand why you do what you do, and, in a way, wish I could too, but I also value my sanity and the life of my kids!!!! I'm very torn over the issue still, but this works for us for right now- "for right now" being the key words...

All my love and much respect,
Rachel G