home schooling?

I had a moment tonight where I was reminded that Aaron and I are not the only ones that are teaching our kids stuff. As parents you hope and pray that whenever you are not with your child that they are not being taught things that you would not teach them.

A huge fear of mine is that my kids will get hurt physically or se*ually while in someone else’s home. I worry about people there doing things to them that are wrong. I worry about older kids teaching bad things. I worry about kids telling them things that their little minds are not ready for. I worry about lots. I know I need to give all those to God, but I’m just giving you a peek into my crazy little mind.

Tonight the boys and I were at Starbuck’s having a mid afternoon snack while daddy worked and I was listening in on my sweet boys talking to each other. I love when they interact and talk to each other. It is so sweet to me to hear their little voices talking to each other. I heard Cayden talking about his right and left hand. I listened and couldn’t believe it but he got them right. So then I thought it was a fluke and asked him again, and he got it right. I asked him how he knew that and he looked at me like I was stupid and said he knew it from The Pledge of Allegiance. WHAT? I vaguely remember that his class at school says this in the morning, but seriously he knows it. He recited it for me with hand on heart and everything. It was so cute. All the words at the end are jumbled up, but I think it might be the cutest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

So, in that moment I realized that although I am not teaching him everything I am accountable to where he is when he is learning stuff. Fortunately he has great teachers at preschool and I feel confident that he is being taught great stuff.

I had no idea he knew this. In one moment I felt guilt for not knowing something so big in his life but I also was so proud of him for being so big and knowing something so big.

It wasn’t but about 2 minutes after that when him and Deacon were goofing around and he says to Deacon, “I just fell on my butt”. My ears perked up when I heard the word BUTT. Even though we are not the freak out parents at words like BUTT, I still don’t like him saying it. I told him that I didn’t like that word and he should say booty or bottom and not butt. Where did he hear that word? We don’t say that here.

Another example that I can’t control what my child learns when they are not with me. Aaron thinks I’m crazy, but it is moments like this that I say that I want to at least pray about home schooling our kids when they are younger and so impressionable. I have always said that I would NEVER do this. I respect people that do, but it is not for me. Most of the times my reasons are very selfish. I don’t want to have to give so much. (Isn’t that awful to admit.) I will feel so tied down and not able to do whatever I want all day long.

The parts of home schooling that appeal to me are the family times. The fact that I will be influencing my children. I would be pouring into their lives and allowing them to learn how they learn best and at the speed that they learn best.

I would like to hear from any home schooling parents. What are your thoughts on my thoughts. Dumb? Normal? Anyone ever home schooled for a few years through elementary and then put your kids in school when they are older and have more of a foundation from you?

Is there curriculum for preschool kids? Four year olds? Of course I think my kid is super smart and could learn lots now, what could I do to “try” this out before he is actually ready for school???


20 responses to “home schooling?

  1. Hey Jamie,
    We homeschool here (and we’re really not freaky;)). Pm me anytime and I’d love to talk to you about it. Our main reason (besides feeling “called”) was the family bonds it’s building. Your story is so much like mine. I swore homeschooling was one of those things I’d never do, and now I’d never go back. Anyway, pm me if you want ok? rdzomer @ mtcnet.net

  2. your story resonated with me, b/c we had the same thing happen with our girls (Pledge of Allegiance), several months ago. The older one just decided to recite it one day, and the younger got in on it to….had no idea they recited it at pre-school every week!!! yes…it makes you think!

    as for the “homeschooling”….we feel pretty much the same way you and Aaron do, on all fronts. we have some friends who are in a program that homeschool’s 2 or 3 days a week, then go to a “campus” the other days with teachers, etc. I think it’s a pretty cool concept…we have a few years to decide and are still praying!

  3. That is the great thing about homeschooling…you can do it when they are little and send them off later, when you feel they are more mature and equipped to meet the challenges without your direct supervision.

    As to not doing what you want…you might be surprised by how much what you want can change when you start discovering things as a family. I was too selfish to have children until I had my first. : ) It can be sort of like that.

    I never thought I’d homeschool, either. And we have been for almost four years, now, with no intention of stopping anytime soon.

  4. Hi Jamie,
    We homeschooled both of my boys for 5 years. From 2nd and 3rd grade until they were in 7th and 8th grades. I LOVED it…they adapted so good when we put them in public school here. They asked to return to school but I wouldn’t trade those 5 years for anything!! If you want some information, just call me. I did many different curriculums throughout those 5 years. Good luck on your journey, I will keep you in my prayers:)

  5. Pingback: Principled Discovery » What are your reasons for homeschooling?

  6. Your questions are not ‘dumb’ at all. The idea of taking on the responsibility of educating one’s children is a bit intimidating, especially since most of us have been told all our lives that such things are best left to The Professionals.

    I have homeschooled for 12+ years, and my oldest son graduated in 2006. There are TONS of resources out there, you can often find local support groups, and if not, find an online support group. Ask your librarian for some ‘how to’ books on home education- there are dozens, and some really good ones that give alot of ‘a day in the life’ anecdotes to give you a feel for how homeschooling might look for your family.

    If there is one thing you need to learn about HSing, it is that no two HSing families are alike- in their schedules, methods, philosophies, or focus. And that is why HSing is cool- you are free to be yourselves in all aspects of life.

    I have posted some of my own reasons for home educating on my blog, and feel free to contact me if you like.

  7. Jamie,

    It is so funny, because I know so many homeschoolers that have said prior to homeschooling ” I would never do that”. It is amazing how God will bring that full circle. I think that the best gift you can give your children is to homeschool them during their elementary years, if not further. It gives them a firm foundation in the morals and Godly character that will last them a lifetime. I feel that it prepares them for the peer pressures that they will face, that the world will throw at them.

    I think you would be great at homeschooling! Call me if you would like to talk!

  8. Hi Jamie,
    I read your homeschooling post last night, but I didn’t think I was coherent enough to respond :).

    I thought that I would NEVER homeschool my kids. Yet here I am, homeschooling my girls (this is our first year). My husband thought I was crazy & rightly so, our oldest is strong willed & we but heads often. So I asked him to pray about it. During that time, I didn’t try to convince him or persuade him that homeschooling was best for our family. Well low and behold he did and said that he wanted me to homeschool the girls after praying about it (we prayed for 9 months). I even wanted to wait a year, so I could continue subbing at our oldest daughter’s public school (to save for our adoption).

    I do love having my girls at home. When our oldest was in public school, I couldn’t stand not knowing what she was doing all day long. Those thoughts are normal, btw :).

    You can email me also at chefabbylu @ hotmail. com. I don’t think you’ll feel tied down. Homeschooling a 4 year old should be fun. I know that with our youngest (who is slightly older) we are done with school work after about an hour, hour & a half at the most.

    Okay, I totally didn’t mean to start a novel in your comments section. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  9. We have experienced schooling on just about every level. We have done public, private and homeschooling. So, I have experience in everything except Magnet school, which my niece attends. Anyway, homeschooling is a calling by God. You will know if you are supposed to homeschool or not because he is going to let you know. I homeschooled our kids for 3 years and there are so many things that I love about that time. It was absolutely the most demanding and selfless time of my life but equally just as fulfilling and rewarding. It was all God’s timing. There are relationships that I formed and that God has worked through during the time that our oldest Savannah was in public school, so I can see God’s hand there. Then when we transitioned to homeschooling I have relationships there, mostly ones that have ministered to me. I made lifelong friends during that time and now that we are back in public school this year, all of our kids have made friends with kids whose families don’t go to church but they are searching, so I can see how God is working there. I think that homeschooling for the sole purpose of protecting your kids from something in the world is the wrong motivation, NOT that this is your reason for considering it. The fact that you are even thinking about homeschooling is most likely God opening you up to the idea. Just pray about it. Talk to other homeschooling moms. Shawnah, Anna Bailey and Angie Ebensbereger were a huge support to me while I was homeschooling. Each of them has totally different styles of schooling their kids, with the common thread of wanting to shepherd their children to follow the heart of God. I listened to the wisdom that all of them had to offer and blended them to create my own schooling style. Support and relationships are key. Tutorials are a wonderful venue for you and your children. Don’t buy into the myth that your children are going to be reclusive misfits. The majority of the kids are confident, respectful and outgoing because they have been taught who they are in Christ and know that they do not have to follow everyone around them to feel good about themselves. I just can’t say enough about the quality and character of people that you will encounter when you homeschool, in parents and children. I have three of our children “betrothed” (in my mind) to three homeschooled kids!! Likewise, I feel that your children are not going to be doomed if you choose public school. I am very connected to my children still and go to the school to help their teachers in the classroom and to have lunch with our kids. I think the key to successful parenting while doing public school is to stay connected and involved. I may not be done homeschooling our children. It is something that we have always prayed about & decided year by year. I have learned to never say never. About the time that you say I would never…God will call you to do that very thing! I hope this helps! If I can answer any questions for you please email me! Christi

  10. There is a preschool curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications called Horizons. It’s Bible-based and covers a vareity of subject areas.

  11. We have been homeschooling for seven years, since my daughter was in second grade and my son was four. We have a unique situation which made the decision easier, but faced, and continue to face, significant pressure from relatives about proceeding down the HS route.

    A factor in homeschooling that is often overlooked is the education that takes place through watching and participating in real life. Everything from running errands, to being part of adult discussions, to overhearing mom on the phone, they all serve to inculcate the student for real-life application of their studies. Simply put, it prepares and matures children to develop the life skills that they need to survive in today’s culture.

    It really doesn’t matter what curriculum is used, as long as it’s one that works for both the student and the teacher. DON’T try to do public school at home eight hours a day.. what misery! For homeschoolers, education becomes factorial. The more they learn, the more they will be able to learn on their own. It’s amazing to watch! A good homeschool ‘program’ is one where students are constantly being challenged to accept increasing responsibility for their own education, and the teacher gradually moves from leader, to mentor, to counselor.

    I say this with fear and trepidation, but I think my now 11 year old and 14 year old could easily hold their own in public school if they had to. They know who they are and what they believe, they understand the purpose of education, and they understand where to find the resources they need to meet their objectives. To me, that’s true success in the homeschool environment, for students to have the maturity and resourcefulness to succeed in any system, even a broken one like the public school system if necessary.

  12. Hi. I am a friend of Tamara’s. We just started homeschooling our oldest two kids. We LOVE it. Yes, it’s hard. I am not a disciplined person, so I really have to work at it. But it is so worth it to me. I’m not saying that this is the only way to school by any means, but for us and our family, God led us here. I still get “me time” when the kids are doing their individual reading. And the housework has actually lightened some because they do a lot of it. Jordan, my oldest, is learning to do laundry, while Claire is helping with the babies (one is 2 and the other is 8 months.) My husband is also very supportive and gives me time whenever I need in the evenings. It can work. Just pray about it. If this is what God wants for your family, it will be clear. And He will equip you to do whatever He calls you to. This is what I have learned. I never thought I would do this either. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  13. You might want to look into homeschooling until…, and play it by ear. Your family dynamics are going to change hopefully sooner than later. I am not sure how the timing will play out with Cayden starting school, but you might want to keep Cayden and Deacon home to soak up as much time with them as you can before Amos and Story come home. Then you may want Cayden and Deacon to go to school so you can get more one on one time with the new arrivals. It might be nice to have some time where you don’t have to be everything to everybody. That’s not being selfish…that’s just trying to survive as a family! πŸ™‚

  14. I think a lot of parents probably start with “I could never do that!” then find they love it so much they couldn’t imagine not doing it. πŸ™‚ Keeping them home when they are young can be a great experience. You don’t even need any curriculum or packages. Just being alive is a solid education for preschoolers.

  15. I’m about to start home schooling our 5 year old, and the plan at this stage is to follow with the other two as well. You sound just like me when I was beginning to think about home schooling. I was having some concerns with the kindergarten (equiv to your preschool I think) teacher and it made me question the status quo of sending our kids off every day. Please feel free to have a look at our home schooling blog at: http://www.sitwalksleeprise.wordpress.com . We haven’t used a curriculum for preschool, and will probably only start using a maths one beginning next year. I wish you all the best in your decision.
    Oh, and yes it is a sacrifice in one way, but I figure the benefits far outweigh the perceived disadvantages. I have a pro’s and con’s list on my blog too. I went through the same thoughts as you about not having those days to myself once the children start school. Now, I don’t really mind.

  16. I think your questions are normal. I intended to homeschool my children, at least in the beginning years, but was still intimidated. I’ve written a bit about how I faced that fear in this post entitled No Degree Required

    As you can see there are lots of homeschoolers online who are very willing to help. I enjoyed Summer’s line, “Just being alive is a solid education for preschoolers.” Love them and play with them. That is enough. They are learning so much about life by being with you.

  17. Jamie–Wow! I totally relate to this post. I too share your same fears concerning my children’s safety and was somewhat relieved to know that I wasn’t the only one out there. Being raised by a mom who was extremely overprotective and being a victim of sexual abuse (my party days in college before I was a christian), I can’t help but worry about these things happening to my own children…I want so much more for them. Yet at the same time, we are not called to live by fear. Funny, how I never knew fear had such a hold on me until I had children of my own. It’s a process that I am working through and am learning how to release this to the Lord and trust in Him.

    I too was also skeptical about the whole homeshooling issue. However, a few months ago I began researching and read this great book by Lisa Whelchel called, “so you’re thinking about homeschooling.” It really helped answer some of the preconcieved notions I had. I also learned a great deal of benefits of homeschooling, some of which include the children receiving teaching that fits their individual learning style, effectively tackling problem areas, higher test scores, stronger family bond, and much more, etc… While it’s not for everyone, I am convinced that it is definitely something worth praying about.

    Tim and I have decided that we are going to give it a try and will reevalute at the end of each year. You might also sit down and meet with other homeschooling mothers if you have the chance. This was so beneficial for me. I also recently discovered a co-op group here in my area that I am looking into for our soon to be 4yr old!

    I know this is a difficult decision. I will be praying for you as you explore this a little further! πŸ™‚

  18. jamie, i think home schooling is fine! Syd has a GREAT school and I don’t mind her going there. We did some manner of home schooling for preK. We have done the “everything for learning” grade level books from Walmart. Its a big thick one for $10. Syd actually brings home worksheets from those books for homework.

    I know what you mean though about what they learn from their little friends and what they teach in school. I think that we’ve done a great job not teaching them anything regarding race. I love that my kids don’t notice that at all. That is until just recently. Syd came home from school saying something about shes bad cause she’s white. What? ok MLK day they learned about stuff. and what her little mind walked away with was that the white people are bad and black people are good. While I think she should learn about MLK jr and what he stood for, it got all mixed up in her head and I had to work to correct that. First that there are good and bad people everywhere, nothing to do with how dark or light your skin is, and secondly to correct that we don’t group or talk about people based on their skin color. Its hard because I guess she should learn about this stuff but I loved that she knew nothing about differences in skin color and now they are teaching her that at school.

  19. I’m going to be brief. You have had a lot of responses to digest. I have 5 children. 4 bios and 1 adopted.

    My oldest daughter is 19. She is a sophomore at Baylor in Honors.
    My oldest son is 18. He is a junior at a university mode high school.
    My middle daughter is 16 and a sophomore at the same high school.
    My youngest daughter is 14 (adopted at the age of 10) and is a special needs student at a public school.
    My youngest son is 12 and is homeschooled when I can hold him down long enough.

    We homeschooled our four oldest children until 6th grade and then found private schools that fit their learning styles and were university styled. Our oldest attended a classical high school. Our daughter from China is a social butterfly and special needs. She made it very clear that she was going to go to the school down the street and it has been the best choice for our family. My youngest is in 7th grade and hates anything that seems structured. He pushes me to my limit almost every day.

    All that to say, every child is different.

    And yes, there is more than enough curriculum out there. Enough to cause great sensory overload for a first timer.

  20. Jamie,

    I think that if you do decide to home school your children, you would want to do it when they are young. I have had friends who were home schooled -one up to 8th grade and two all the way up to 9th grade!- and they absolutely hated it. One girl isn’t religious and said she had no regular interaction with people besides her family and some of us that she left behind in Jacksonville when she moved to Connecticut. Of the two who home schooled until 9th, one is religious and one is not. The religious one says that the youth group are her only friends besides her sister and mom that she really interacts with, and the non-religious one has a few old friends from her previous elementary school, but she went to a regular school for the first time since 3rd grade this year, and absolutely loves being a sophomore with all kinds of dances and stuff.

    On the flipside, if you want to home school while your kids are young to capture these family moments together, you might accidentally miss an opportunity to interact with kids their age at a time when they are developing motor skills. I do not remember much about being a kid, and I cannot tell you what to do for your children, because I am merely a 13 year old girl, but I do believe there are benefits to both home schooling and having your child attend a school.

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