Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We're not really crazy

I am pretty obsessed with all things baby right now. But there is one thing unrelated to diapers and carseats and breastfeeding (although still quite related to our daughter) that I contemplate almost as much: homeschooling.

My husband and I are both very intrigued by the thought of homeschooling our family. I've spent hours browsing the internet and reading about styles of homeschooling and its pros and cons and how other people are doing it. The whole thing fascinates me. And I think we could do it. And do it well, to be honest.

So will we? I have no idea. Which is just fine, since we have several years until this will really be an issue. Several valuable years in which we will learn how to be parents and in which we can discern how our children should be educated. Several years in which I can discern whether this desire is nothing more than the whim of a young woman who isn't sure how life as a SAHM will be and wants more meaning and spends too much time reading blogs, or whether this desire is an abiding call to intimately educate our children so that living and learning are synonymous. Several years to pray about our decision, and then continue praying about it every year after that.

Public, private (parochial), or at home? It's anyone's guess at this point! I would love to start making plans, but if there's anything we've learned in the past couple of years, it's that our plans really aren't the important ones.

The craziest part of this whole homeschooling thing is that I don't think we're crazy. Young and idealistic and naive, yes. But not crazy.

Have you ever considered homeschooling? Or some other crazy adventure that for some reason didn't seem crazy to you?


  1. We've thought of homeschooling. Sometimes, when I'm looking at my old teaching books and stuff that I still have, I think, "Oh. Yeah, homeschooling would be cool." But then other times I think I'd rather just send our kids to the great Catholic school in town and volunteer there/work part time there. As you said, who knows! But, you are def. not crazy. I think anyone with a college degree would be a more than adequate elementary (k-8) homeschooler, just my opinion.

  2. We considered it for a time. Financially it would never work for me to stop working outside the home and I finally accepted that. But fear not! Living and Learning are synonymous at our house and we use our parish school! :)

  3. I've thought and prayed about it but I just don't feel called to homeschool. The only thing we're concerned about now is if we can afford a good Catholic school! My friend from back home is planning on home schooling (her son is 1 year old) and she's been made fun of pretty bad by the folks in our small town, which I think is too bad!

  4. I've considered it, although it's a ways off seeing as we're not even married yet!

    However my fiance hated school when he was in grade school, and I do agree that a majority of their day is a waste of time. Compared to those who homeschool, they spend a lot of time in school that isn't necessary.

    When I told my dad that we thought about it, he was pretty surprised and rather put off by the idea. But who cares? It's our kids, not his. So we'll see..

    I went to a private Lutheran school all from pre-K to senior in highschool and for the most part enjoyed it. If we were to pick a school outside the home I know for sure it would not be public. Just because there are many good Catholic schools in our area.

  5. While I think that public (YAY!) or private schools are really a better option for middle and high school, I think that homeschooling is a reasonable option for some families for elementary school; however, I think one cannot discount the value of the socialization that occurs in a school environment. Even if not all social interaction is positive -- and it won't be, but that's true in life -- it is all an important learning experience. It's important that children learn at a very young age how to deal with adversity. We all do, as adults: that rude person in the supermarket, the driver that cuts you off, or the co-worker who is ALWAYS having a bad day and leaving early - the list goes on and on. I think it's hard for children to learn these life skills if always in parent-controlled/planned environments. Although, I think from all of this, you can see that I'm a big public school advocate as well since I think diversity is also a very important part of the educational experience that is hard to replicate within the home or private school. :)

  6. We chose public. Were asking my opinion? Oh well, my comment, my opinion :) Anyway, we chose it because 1) my husband is an elementary teacher in a public schools and believes in their potential 2) because when our oldest entered Kindergarten we needed two incomes and 3) now I think it would be a step backward to pull any of our boys out of public school. On that note, we are involved parents, which I think would make the difference in any situation you place your kids.

    Well, good luck when the time comes, there are lots of good choices out there. It's great that we can have all these choices and each family gets to choose the best for them!

  7. We have definitely thought about homeschooling since I was homeschooled for a year and my husband was homeschooled for most of his school years before college. I think it is a great idea.... sometimes.

    It didn't work for me, mostly because my mom and I clashed constantly and ended up mad at each other a lot. Since we had a small private international school that was also a good option, that ended up being much preferable to me! When we were back in the US I was in public school, and that was just fine. Perhaps it was only just fine because I only got it every few years, so it was a somewhat healthy dose of reality of what it meant to be a Christian in a very secular world.

    For my husband's family, homeschooling was ideal. Both of his parents were teachers before his dad took up the pastorate. They were working internationally and there wasn't a local school on the American system. As a family they are VERY intelligent and social and outgoing, so the whole withdrawn and clueless homeschool stereotype didn't fit them at all.

    I don't know if we will homeschool. I think it can be great if you can teach well, keep your kids socially involved with other kids, and eventually push them out of the nest, perhaps BEFORE college (the kids I know that were homeschooled straight through college have made me think it's better to get a dose of reality in a school system for a few years in high school).

  8. We're in the exact same place as you! We definitely WANT to do it and HOPE that it is our calling-but you're right in that we need to take the next several years to prayerfully discern. God has definitely placed me in positions and introduced me to people that make me feel very called (even "chosen" perhaps??) to educate our children in this way.

    We're young and idealistic and naive too. But nope, not a bit crazy :)

  9. I have so many mixed feelings about such a thing! Not that I really have to worry about it right now, but there are so many plusses and minuses in all directions... One of my reservations about homeschool is that it can be a very insular culture, and I don't like that at all (and I speak from experience). But then again, I felt like I got a great education and nobody tells me I'm weird now! :)

  10. I was homeschooled 2nd grade through graduation and it was the best possible thing my mother could have done for me! She was a single parent and worked full time until I was in 6th grade and yet she always had time to do my lesson plans and check my work! I graduated a year early because I choose to put in the extra time.

    My husband too, was homeschooled from kindergarten to graduation and in his junior and senior year of high school he completed an associate's degree in the computer field.

    Homeschooling is a blessing in so many ways; you get to enjoy your children as they learn and grow and you are there to help them mature into godly young men and women... let alone give them a good education!

    As for socialization, many areas have homeschool groups that meet on a monthly or weekly basis, volunteer opportunities give kids a chance to give back to the community and socialize with all different types of people from all different walks of life and churches have youth groups. Socialization is not the kind of thing that needs to happen eight hours a day, every week day for an entire school year! ~Going to school does not a well socialized child make!

    Homeschooling is not for everyone... but this girl and her husband are (God willing) going to be 2nd generation homeschoolers... and very proud of it!

    For those that are thinking of sending their children to public school, please read this essay by the 1991 New York State Teacher of the Year:

    Thanks for letting me voice my view! (Sorry I took up so much space!)

  11. Once August is over I have more homeschooling posts in line, but Josh still hasn't written his yet!

    I realized that I know probably 200ish homeschool grads (in the would be friends on facebook level of knowing). And from them it is clear to me that homeschooling can provide an education which allows one to do incredible things, but it does not socialize children in the way that allows them to grow up to be balanced stable adults with normal jobs in our society. And so for me it is hard to grasp the innocent outsider view that doesn't even seem to consider the end result. Sure, the kids may be smart and the process may be fun, but what about the fact that so much of a happy, healthy life will not be an option for them?

    But I guess I know what you mean about crazy not seeming crazy-- most likely due to having been homeschooled! Moving around at "whim" or "randomly" choosing a new career direction doesn't seem crazy to me. Mostly "normal" seems crazy. :-)

    I'm sure you'll homeschool well if you homeschool. I just personally find the best of academic options to be something that does not merge all parenting with academic teaching and family with socialization.

  12. We're homeschooling. We're starting next month! Ahhhhhhhhh!

    I had absolutely no intention of homeschooling when we got married 5 years ago. My husband and I both went to public school and my dad was a teacher (mine for a year!) for most of my childhood. My grandmother was too.

    Our reasons are pretty common to those of others who are already homeschooling: we like the flexibility and potential to give our kids a quality education; the chance to keep them innocent for a bit longer rather than deal with some of the negative influences from the get-go; and of course -most importantly- the opportunity to really disciple them in a way that would be much more limited if they were away at school most of the day.

    I was initially worried about the socialization aspect; since then, I have stumbled across many resources helping to foster community amongst homeschoolers across the nation. I have already joined a homeschooling group that is close to 100-families strong at the Air Force Base we are moving to next week, and one search helped me to track down a Christian homeschooling family in the very remote country we will be moving to next year! Awesome! Besides these things, healthy socialization in a homeschool family obviously becomes a responsibility of the parents: it is a priority of mine that they have various, nurturing outlets to be with other children, learn how to interact with others outside their family, and tread in situations beyond the walls of our home. It is a priority of mine, so I will make sure it happens and in good measure.

    ... And I just wrote the longest comment ever. I guess I should have emailed it to you! Hope this gave you another perspective!

  13. DO IT!!

    -- From a teacher ;-)

  14. We homeschool. I met a few homeschooled kids when I was in middle school, and I was always intrigued by their situation. I had it in my mind as something that I might want to do with my own children someday. As I got older, it just seemed to make so much sense. We looked into our public school options- these seemed adequate, but nothing exciting. We were even briefly enrolled in a German immersion charter school. But I just couldn't imagine sending such a small child away for so much of his day (full day kindergarten).
    So far we have been very satisfied with homeschooling. Of course we did preschool and kindergarten, and we have done one week of 1st grade... so there is much more to come, I hope.
    I was interested to read Rae's comments here. I would be interested to read her further comments on homeschooling. Will you provide a link when it's available?

  15. Both my husband and I grew up completely homeschooled and we are not sure what we are going to choose for our own children. We both feel that homeschooling was isolating and gave our parents exclusive control and imput in every are of our lives. Not something we would ever want to do to our children. And yet we liked some aspects, so its never an easy choice.

  16. Young Mom-do you have any ideas or tips for making sure that doesn't happen? I want my kids to feel like they had a say in their lives, within reason of course. I would love your thoughts on ways to keep kids from growing up feeling like you did, with regards to the control and isolation aspects.

  17. Kaitlyn- I've been thinking about it alot lately, and while I still don't have all the answers, I think I will write about it on my own blog sometimes next week. (Yes it takes me that long to write something!) I'll try to cover what I loved about homeschooling and what I didn't like.

  18. Um, OK. I just thought I'd let you know that I FINALLY wrote my homeschooling post, in case you are interested.


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