Twenty days from now is the first day of school, and my oldest baby is 5. I know that I should be getting all emotional about sending him off to school. I know that I should be worried about whether I’m going to have a weepy meltdown as I watch him board the bus. I know I should be planning my strategy for hiding the tears from my son who would be happily waving, “Bye, Momma!,” just before making half a dozen new friends before even setting foot in the classroom. I know I should be gathering school supplies and picking out the ideal clothing ensemble. But I’m not!
I’m not emotional in the least. I’m not worried about how he’ll do that first day. I’m not worried about what kind of teacher he’ll have. I’m not worried about whether he’ll make friends or not. I’m not even worried about whether he’ll do well learning how to read, write or add.
At this point you are probably thinking that I am a heartless mom or in complete denial. Actually, no, my son already started the “1st Grade” today. He already has friends, a great teacher, and is reading and adding up a storm. Does he go to some advanced private school? Is he a child genius? Not at all! He’s homeschooled, and we wouldn’t consider doing anything else despite the fact that I was anti-homeschool until our last presidential election. We figured that if America could make the same mistake twice that the schools that produced her citizens were really as bad as everyone told me. This isn’t part of our decision we ever really discuss with people although we get lots of questions about why we made this life altering decision.
So why did we decide to give up our second income (I’ve always stayed home with our kids, but I would have gone back to work eventually), sacrifice our time, emotional energy, and money to educate our children all while still paying our outrageously high property taxes to a failed educational system? Let me just hit the highlights for you:
1. My kids will receive a better education: It’s not a big secret anymore that children who are homeschooled are getting a great education. When you have the opportunity to individualize a child’s education and be taught by the person(s) that know(s) them the best, you can’t help but do well. Homeschoolers are being actively pursued by colleges. In fact, some universities have created new recruiting positions where the recruiters are specifically looking for homeschoolers. And homeschoolers are getting into every college in America–everything from local junior colleges to Harvard, MIT, and Yale.
2. My kids will learn the truth: This one is pretty simple. You don’t have to look very far before you find massive numbers of lies within the public school system. If my kids went to public school eight hours a day, they would NEVER sleep. I’d have to keep them up all night re-teaching them all the misinformation they learned each day. History, science, government, economics, humanities, health, tolerance, etc – I am suspicious of it all. The liberals own the educational system in America and have long promoted worldviews that do not align with the truth or even with our own Biblical foundations as a nation. I’d prefer my kids to hear the truth rather than someone’s propaganda. I can live in Cuba if I want that.
3. It’s more efficient: I’ve got several friends who are teachers, and I applaud their strength and efforts to teach. I do not envy them. I can’t imagine trying to maintain discipline during an era when parents allow the children to rule the home. Those children make for discipline problems when they get to school. Teachers spend more time gaining control of the classroom than they do teaching. No wonder it takes 8 hours a day to educate our kids. We, on the other hand, were finished with school work by 11am and ready to get out and play.
4. My kids will have better social skills: This seems to be everyone’s biggest concern. Really? My kids have tons of friends, and my son easily engages with kids ranging from ages 2 to 12. And, trust me; this is not unique to my son. I find most homeschooled children to be polite, kind, inclusive and able to function quite comfortably with both their peers (homeschooled and not) and adults. Now if you consider socialization the 5 year old boys teaching the 5 year old girls about sex (no I don’t mean having sex), and if you consider socialization to be kids’ being cruel and hateful, then, no, my kids won’t be well socialized. If you consider socialization knowing all the latest and greatest teen idols, then, no, my kids probably won’t be well socialized. But, hey, I went to public school my whole life and didn’t keep up with pop culture at all. No one thought I was not socialized.
5. I don’t want to contribute to our largest entitlement program: The very first thing that ever got me thinking about homeschooling was when I heard a woman speaking on the proper role of government. Just in passing she used the words “public school system” and “entitlement program” in the same sentence. I gasped as I realized I had never considered this despite my notions about social security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, etc. Despite what everyone thinks, the right to a free education is not within our federal constitution.
6. It’s lots of fun!: Since we have the freedom to do what we want when we want, my children are not stuck in a classroom in order to learn. We can do nature studies while hiking through the woods, science experiments in our driveway, take field trips daily, swim in our neighborhood pool for P.E., travel around the country to learn American history, start our own business for an economics class; and the list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong. We spend many of our days reading books, doing math problems, working on Spanish, etc. But every day when my son sits down to do his “school work”, I am the one that gets to see his eyes light up when he finally “gets it”. I am the one who had the satisfaction of teaching him how to read. I am the one he is talking about when he is saying, “Papa, Papa, guess what we did at school today! It was so cool….”
If you want to know more about why we homeschool, listen to the presentation on this link. It says it all for me. And I heard this long after we decided to be the ones who educate our children. I am certainly of the thought that all parents would make great educators and that the more families that pull their children out of public school the better off this nation would be.