Sunday, May 30, 2010

Calling All Home Schoolers!

It is getting close, really close, to "that time". The time that this Mama needs to figure out what to do about school. (excuse me for one second while I have a panic attack about the fact that my "babies" are getting so grown up............ okay, panic attack over!)

I am completely torn up about their educations. I am like a yo-yo that just goes back and forth, back and forth. Home school, public school, home school, public school..... The cycle of craziness in my mind never seems to end. I have even been staying up at night unable to sleep because I can't squash the argument going on in my mind!! My wonderful husband is no help...he just says that he sees pros and cons of both, and for me to pray and he will support whatever decision I make, as he is sure it will be the right one for our family. Gee, Honey, thanks!!! :)

I thought I had it figured out. With husband being laid off so much this past year, I decided public school was the way to go. I have the children both signed up for preschool starting this fall so I could work. I have even already started looking for part time jobs that I could do during the time they are away.

Then the doubts creep in....I start to think that I should home school. I can actually picture my computer room with desks/table, shelves, and even with a wall painted with that chalkboard paint!! I find myself reading about different ciriculums. I am torn.  All I truly want is the very best for my children.  I love the idea of spending so much time with them and helping to monitor what they are and aren't exposed to, and I think that if I were good at their schooling, it would just be another bond that holds us that much closer.  But what if I am terrible?  Will they hate me?  Will they not be able to get into college?  When I first started thinking of all the ways I could potentially mess my child up for life while I was pregnant (and please tell me I am not the only one who has those doubts....) schooling was not a concern.

I know that there are a lot of mommies out there in blog land that are homeschooling right now. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE advice!! I have some questions that I will post here in case anyone feels like answering. And if there are any super brave souls open to potentially a GAZILLION more me at so I can thoroughly be a pain! :)

Biggest questions/concerns:
  • Are there books to teach you to teach?  Reading and Math scare me to death!!
  • I don't have a college degree....should I truly think that I can educate them?
  • Does home schooling affect the ability to get into college?
  • Are there "lesson plans" for you to follow?  How much time do you spend preparing?  
  • How many hours a day do you do school?  Or how does that work?
Okay, I think that's it for now!  :)  Thanks in advance for anyone who feels like offering some advice or answer any of my questions!



Melissa said...

You sound just like I did when God told me to homeschool. I still argue with Him. I felt like I was not smart enough to do it and therefore passing my "dumbness" on to them. Scared me to death. I am now finishing up my 3rd year of schooling and I am so thankful He called me to do it. The first year was horrible until i just trusted myself and did what worked for me and not other people. I still have bad days though.
On to some of your questions. Yes, there are teacher books that teach you how to teach the material. Then you will figure out a way that works better for you. I loved this! Colleges LOVE homeschoolers because they are self taught and self motivated, something colleges LOVE! They also have millions of scholarships just for homeschoolers. Also when your kids are 14 (if you feel they are mature enough) they can go to a junior college and that counts toward their highschool AND AA degree. So they could possibly have a degree or close to it when they graduate highschool. I could go on forever. Feel free to email me

Julie said...

Wow, Jenn!!! I can't believe it's already that time for you. I could never home school, I don't have the patience. But, Jenn, I see you doing a wonderful job home schooling you kids. You are such a wonderful, loving mom.
I think the public school thing all depends on the kids. Luckily the Lord blessed us with 4 years of private school, for 3 of my kids. Now Emma and Brady are going to be heading to public middle school for 8th grade. They are wanting to go to public school. We were able to get them into one of the better middle schools in Salem.
Alyssa has thrived in public school, all 11 years so far. She will be a Senior next year. (We let her choose when the others went into private school.)
Hanna will still be attending Salem Academy, for now. She will be going into 5th grade.

Good Luck, Jenn!! I know the lord will guide you.

Lara said...

Hello dearie,

I am not a homeschooling mom, but I am a Reading Specialist and public school teacher of 4 years. Here are my thoughts: when I was first a teacher, I was so offended by homeschooling. I thought, "I went to school for 4 years to do this job and THOSE people think they can do it better than me?!" But now that my children are growing, I have completely reversed that thinking. I admire homeschooling moms a lot, and I know some who do an amazing job.

That being said, there exists this pressure within Christian circles to homeschool or private school our kids and keep them out of the evil public schools. Let me tell you something about the public schools: your kids will meet all kinds of kids from all kinds of backgrounds. I, for one, don't want my kids only exposed to peers that look just like them! Another thing you should know is the person you are handing your child to everyday spends hours above and beyond their paygrade to make sure your child succeeds. Finally, in the Elementary setting, your child will probably not be exposed to anything that is contradictory to your faith. Kids are by and large very innocent at that age, and if your child does hear something and ask you about it, I would view that as an opportunity to have a teachable moment at home.

Either way, don't feel guilty, because clearly you want the best for your kids. Thank you for reading my manifesto.

Connie said...

Hi Jenn,
I ventured over today because Rachel highlighted you on her blog as the Radical winner. Congrats! I noticed your call to home school folks while here and read the comments others made. There are many resources available to those homeschooling today. You do not need a degree. I'd recommend RC Sproul Jr.'s book When You Rise Up heartily to help you understand what is at stake in the decision you are wrestling through. I don't agree with his point that everyone should homeschool, but he has so much of value to consider that if at all possible, you should read it. There were two main considerations, among many, that guided our decision to homeschool. One, God places the responsibility of education on parents not the State. That alone doesn't solve anything because responsible people can delegate, but it does make clear who God will call to account for the arena of education. Secondly, what education (within the specific options available to me) will best nurture my children to love and serve Jesus with their lives? Lara's comments above indicate that elementary children are innocent...REALLY? The Scriptures teach foolishness is bound up in the heart of children. You have children...are they innocent or do you spend a good amount of time correcting? Multiply that by a classroom of 20-30 kids. Again, that alone doesn't mean a classroom environment isn't an option, but at least let's be honest about the scenario. She also indicated your children wouldn't be exposed to things contrary to your faith at that age in the classroom. THAT is assuming that subjects taught are neutral. Is math just math, or does it teach us the wonders of God's order in the world? Is art just art, or does it communicate the beauty of our God and His creation? Is history just dates and dead people or does it communicate the story of the world...Whose story is it? The teachers in the State system are not allowed to teach the Scriptures or pray with your children, are not allowed to direct their hearts to can they rightly nurture and train your kids in the faith? And if they are not nurturing in the faith, is there really such a thing as neutrality? THIS kind of questioning is what lead us to homeschool. It was also this reasoning that led me to leave a teacher's college after 3 1/2 years where I was studying to become a public school teacher...I came to the place of seeing I could not in good conscience teach in this fashion. Homeschooling is hard work, but I compare it in my own mind as I fall into bed tired each night to the farmer who works hard all day, but has the hope of a mighty harvest. My kids are 9,7 and 5 and already they are bearing much good fruit. The Lord provides what you need for your kids...each day His grace proves sufficient. I wouldn't trade the privilege God has given me to nurture my kids, to lead them through the journey of learning about God and His world and their places in it for anything. If you want to interact further, email me at May God direct you as you wrestle through decisions regarding your children's education...and may He enable you to trust His leading.