Sunday, January 3, 2010

The truth about Home schooling-

I don't usually use my blog to post opinions about things but this is a subject I've been thinking about posting about for awhile now and I finally decided that I'm going to sit down and write out my thoughts. Be prepared- This may be a long post.
I find that many people have very strong feelings against homeschooling, but I also find that those same people don't know that much about it and have misconceptions about it. For those of you who don't know, I was home schooled from halfway through 6th grade until I was done with high school. I have not home schooled my children yet, but I may. Last week as I was doing my visiting teaching (where you visit other women that you are assigned to in our church) one of the women said that home schooled children are some of the worst behaved children she has ever seen and they won't take instruction from anyone but their own parents and she felt homeschooling was awful. About 30 minutes later in the conversation, talk turned to how one of her sons who is in 1st grade had had a girl come up to him and say," I know a dozen girls who want to have sex with you." She thought it was appalling that he had to deal with that at such a young age. The conversation then went further about a middle school boy here in Anchorage enticed his girlfriend to the back of the school and stabbed her 22 times. Can homeschooling be so very awful when it keeps young children away from such situations until they are a little older and better able to deal with them? My parents chose to home school for a couple of reasons. 1- I was being verbally and physically abused by my classmates. 2- my sister had learning disabilities and the school district was not helping her at all. It was easier to home school than fight the school district. 3- It was the right thing to do for our family.
Now I don't think my parents did everything right when it came to home schooling but they were learning too. I would have responded far better and learned far better if my Mom had done what she is now doing with my younger siblings. But I now have that experience to draw from should I choose to home school my own children. It is a fact that home schooled children usually excel far greater academically than those who are in a traditional public school. Because we were home schooled we were given the opportunity to learn and experience things that we would never have done had we continued on in public school. My brother, not only played the violin but made one, he built a lathe himself  and explored working with wood and making all sorts of lathed items for use. We were on a farm for part of the time we were home schooled and he raised and trained a pair of oxen to use. We got more use out of eating them than actual work but the value of it was that he was able to explore what interested him and try new things. Does he want to be an oxen team driver for the rest of his life? He would tell you no, but it gave him experience, confidence, developed curiosity and knowledge. I learned to sew ( I made my own wedding dress), spin wool, play the piano, organ, flute and learned how to sing parts. I learned how to weave baskets and cook. I read a lot of the classics. Would I have been able to do all this or even most of this had I been in school? The answer is no. I would never have excelled musically as I didn't have the time until I was home schooled to practice. Public school takes up a lot of time. With Homeschooling you can get the work done and over with as fast (or as slow in the case of my brother Daniel) as you want. I wouldn't have spun wool, or made baskets. I still would have read as I was reading Dickens by the age of 10 or 12. That's just me. But would I have continued that or would other things have gotten in the way? I know that I would have never learned enough about sewing to make my own wedding dress. What did having the opportunity to do all those things give to me? It gave me the knowledge that I can do anything I set my hand to do with practice and patience ( I actually hate sewing). It gave me confidence and a sense of self worth. It taught me the value of work and of a job well done. Now I ask you, did you get a chance to learn and do things like this in school?
Another frequent complaint about home schooling is lack of socialization. And for all those who cry this as a reason for not homeschooling I say shame on you. There are plenty of opportunities to socialize. There is church and community activities that you can become involved in as much as you want to fill up your schedule. Can there be a danger of isolating yourself from everyone else? Only if you let there be. I don't know anyone who has met me who would say that I am deficient socially. I do tend to interrupt people when they speak as my husband likes to frequently point out but that is more a result of growing up in a large family where if you don't say something now and say it fast you won't get to say it. There are homeschooling families out there that can seem socially deficient. However I would say look at the parents, are they keyed in socially? Probably not. Or there is often other factors involved like autism, where it wouldn't matter where they were schooled there would still be problems and the parents are working as hard as they can to teach them social skills. My Dad likes to say that if you can learn to get a long with all your brothers and sisters you can get along with anyone. When you have 10 brothers and sisters I would say that is probably true. But everyone is not as blessed with that learning opportunity as I was. :-)
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. My hat goes off to my mother who despite having 10 children at home, a farm or motel to run and other family and life challenges still continues to home school my 4 youngest siblings. I learned so much that I could never have learned at school in a loving and caring environment that was not at all evident in the public school I attended. I learned things that were important like love of country, family, and home. Respect for others as well as my surroundings. How many of these lessons did you learn at school? Homeschooling is great because you can tailor it to fit your individual child's needs, desires and passions. Do you feel patriotism is missing in our country? Well there you go- There's one subject for your home school. Homeschooling takes up so much less of your day than public school. You go to public school for what 8 hours? Time riding the bus back and forth, homework, after school activities? There's your whole day. With home schooling you can get the book work done by noon and move on to other things, sports, music, drama, how about just playing. Kids most of the time now don't get a chance to just play and be kids. Research shows that that is one of the most important things for childhood development. Play. When was the last time your child had time to play?
Okay, I've ranted enough for now. Feel free to post your comments about how you hate or like homeschooling. I like heated discussion. I won't take offense.


  1. I will say 2 things. You didn't get the story correct. It wasn't my son, and it was 10 girls, not 22. And I never said that homeschooling was "awful." I said it wasn't right for my family and I could never do it.

    #2 - you do not have correct facts about public school. Maybe you should research public school before you rip it to shreds. My kids have gym, music, play time, free time and it's all done at school. You used 2 extreme examples to discredit public school. The high school (not middle school) one was someone making a bad choice. The other one was a broken home environment and we should be thankful she isn't home schooled. At least she will have some positive influence.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks Calleen for the post! Homeschoolers are generally given a bad name. I'll be the first to say that there are people who probably shouldn't be allowed to home school their kids(and they probably shouldn't been allowed to have kids in the first place...). In those cases I think that they probably would have turned out the same if they were homeschooled or in the public system. Perhaps it's not so much that homeschooling or public school is "the right way" but a matter of parenting??? The difference between good and bad parenting styles??? I've met plenty of families who've home schooled their children and they are very well behaved and extremely well educated. Home schooling isn't for everyone of course!!! Just my thoughts!