Home Schooling- 19 yrs after the fact

I was not in favor of home schooling our 4 children for several years…for the same reasons people  today who don’t understand it usually give –

What about Socialization– I didn’t want our  children  to turn into  nerds  unable to make it in the “real” world.

“What about extra curricular activities like band,  football, school dances?”

“How are we  going to teach the subjects we’re not qualified to teach?”

What about college?

In the end, it was the gentle persuasion of my wife that changed my heart to  take a year for the two of us to seriously research the idea and then make a final decision.  That was in 1991.

Here I sit 19 years later.

As Paul Harvey used to say…this is the rest of the story.

The first thing I discovered as I researched  the home schooling movement   was there was  more than one model on how to do it.  It was confusing.   The amount of information to assimilate was overwhelming.

If you were to come to me today and ask “where is a good place to start? – I would point you to Doctor Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s book  The Successful Home school Family Handbook  (it is a later version than the one we had back in 1991)- but from where I sit today, that is still the one I remember best for a general overview.  Get it you won’t regret it.

Secondly, our children ranged in age from 3 to 11 when we took over the job of teaching them.  Our oldest two had already completed the 4th and 5th grade in public school,  it took two or three  years for us  to find our rhythm.

Now feel free to duplicate a traditional educational model in your home, I know people who do- they get metal desks, they set up a room just like an elementary school room, the whole package,  like I said initially, that is one model of home education.

There’s also the classical model,   a  unit study model, a  dual enrollment model (where your kids take some of their classes at a local public or private school and some of their classes at home)

Lots of experts, lots of good ideas.   At the end of the day, you need to find what works best for you.
I will tell you this, when we finally did start home schooling, it wasn’t too many months into it  before we all started to burn out- we were putting a lot of pressure on the kids and ourselves.

Children  are naturally curious and love to learn (believe it or not) so when  that’s not happening that is just like the check engine light coming on in your car-  you need to pull over and figure out what’s wrong.

Our first year, we purchasing a curriculum package- put out by Christian Liberty Academy. http://www.homeschools.org/

What I liked about their set up (and they’re not the only one on the market), was the fact they gave us a complete set of books for each student.  They offered a payment plan- so we could spread out the expenses over time.  And you could either buy just the books, or for an additional fee, have the  kids actually enroll through their school long distance.  I liked it the first year, it felt like we had a  safety net under us.

Over the course of a couple of years, as our confidence grew, we began to design our own unit studies, and didn’t need that  net.

Here’s some final thoughts-  Home schooling is not for everyone….it’s not even necessarily for every child  in your home-   I can already hear  someone squawking about not letting the world shape your children- like I said, you need to find what works best for you.

As our kids got into the 9th and 10th grade, we involved them in the decision process, whether to home school, go to public school or do a combination of the two, which in our state is called “dual enrollment”.  All of them dual enrolled, except our youngest, who decided to go to public school full-time once he hit 9th grade.  Since the 3 oldest only went to the public school part-time, they didn’t have enough credit hours for a diploma- so they each tested out and got a GED through the local community college.

I don’t regret it for a minute that we chose the home school route, I wish I could have done it myself when I was growing up.

There is so much more I could say, so if  you have a question- I’d be glad to talk with you more about it-  just leave a comment w/ your e-mail address and I promise to get back to you.

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3 Responses to Home Schooling- 19 yrs after the fact

  1. Andrea says:

    Ha! an encouraging post.

    I too think that Dr. Raymond and Dorothy’s book is incredibly well written and a precious documentation of what homeschooling can be. Actually, a very encouraging book especially for those with limited incomes including single parent homes or family “industry” homes.

    *Sigh*, wish we could homeschool our five… (but here they still lock up parents for keeping their kids out of schools…)

    • ME says:

      only if they think you’re neglecting their education or serious allegations of abuse… keep records of books,tests and work samples used and make sure to submit your district intent to homeschool forms so they know you’re not just hiding in a hole somewhere. Look up local laws because they shouldn’t be able to do that to you!!!
      LOOK up K12 or Connections Academy for a free public online school that makes a great transitional program from public to home…. I know this post is four years later than yours but somehow I hope you see it or someone in the same boat does and they know they have options for the safety and sanctity of family!! My mentor homeschooled all 6 of hers and most got into college early . I’m on my journey for my five in my 2nd year. Don’t let fear keep you at the status quo!!

  2. barnraised says:

    Excellent article!
    Thanks! 🙂 DM

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