Friday, November 18, 2011

Home School vs Public School

   When I was young I had a vision for my children when it came to school. I wanted them to be dressed in great cloths, but not the most expensive, I didn't want them to be boastful. I wanted them to be liked by all, and I wanted them to be nice to everyone even the "unpopular" kids. I wanted my girls to be cheerleaders, and my son to be the star quarterback (or at least on the football team) I wanted them to play soccer and basketball. I wanted them to be on the honor roll and just be great students all around!
  Boy was I ever shooting high. however we were on our way to reaching my 'idealistic" student. The kids were in public school and the girls were social butterflies. Jakob played football in the 3rd grade, the girls were cheerleaders, they all played soccer and swam and did gymnastics through the YMCA. They also played basketball at our church through Upward. They all did very well when it came to grades. I volunteered whenever I could for anything I could at the school and was on the PTO.
   I met a few people who home schooled at church or other parenting groups I belonged to. I thought they were crazy! Why in the world would anyone want to home school, I thought. I always said "more power to ya" but it's just not for me. I was certainly an on-the-go kind of mom, we were hardly ever at home. I loved the way things were, or so I thought.
   Then I began my training in Midwifery. It was very inconvenient to be so far away and get a call from the nurse to come and get the kids, or just the simple fact that I had to arrange my schedule to work around their school schedule. The wonderful Midwife (my spiritual mother) who was training me spoke often about home schooling. Suddenly half way through the school year I forcibly talked Jamie (my husband) into letting me pull the kids out of public school and do one of those computer public schools at home. It was AWFUL. they did not tell me, but when we got all of our stuff, they wanted them to catch up with all of the work from the beginning of the year, that was insane! We tried but then to incorporate the computer with their work and type in their answers, well after about 2 months I was ready to send them back to public school. The following year they stayed at school. The whole time though I was feeling the pull toward home schooling. I talked Jamie into letting me try once again, only this time buying the curriculum.
  That was a hefty expense. We went with Abeka Academy with the DVDs. It was terrible, it did not work for us at all. After about three months or so we stopped using the DVDs all together but still had to pay the rental fee. The kids and I fought all of the time, because of all of the dredge work. Abeka told me if they could do the first little bit skip the rest, well I just couldn't do that. We never went anywhere unless it was a scheduled break, because the kids were working from 9:00 am until 5:00pm some days. Not that I didn't know several people who loved Abeka books.
  We then went the complete opposite and went with a Charlotte Mason styled school My Fathers World. That was more group oriented year. (did I mention we moved 2 hours away) We did alot of the classes all together. My reading to them mostly. I loved the thought of it, but it didn't work either. I have a couple of kids who can not pay attention very well so I don't think they got alot from that. So the very next year we tried Switched-on-Schoolhouse. A downloadable computer school that would actually grade most of the kids' work itself. That seemed ideal, I mean I didn't have to do a whole lot. I really do not like grading at all, and I do have troubles myself sometimes trying to teach them. I have to learn some of it over myself. I  didn't think it had enough meat to it though, so four laptops  and a year later. We were back to the drawing board.
  This year we are doing what is called eclectic curriculum. Its a variety of classes rather then one curriculum bought with a manual and all. Guess what they are even in Abeka english and history, imagine that, Ha! This year really seems to be working out for everyone but my first grader. who I sent to public school a couple of months ago because we didn't have the money to shop around and I do not feel like what we had for her was teaching her enough and at that point i didn't know what to add to make it better. Everyday I wake up wishing she was staying home.
  Every year before I order their school I make a list of pro's
My Reasons For Home Schooling                                   My Temptations For Public School
*Christian curriculum                                                                           *  More friends
*Less pressure, drugs and sex                                                            *Easier on me (selfish)
*No Bullying here                                                                                 * More time for me (selfish)
*Safe with us                                                                                         *Ability to play sports (not allowed  here)
*We are raising them rather than the "system"                               * More exposure to things earlier on, to where  
*We get to choose what they are exposed to and when               * I can be here to help guide them through
     (by the way we are more open with them                                      rather than later in life when I'm not around
          then most parents                                                                       * More computer training (able to with home
       including public schooled kids)                                                    schooling, just haven't did it yet)
*We are a stronger family unit for it                                                   * Dances
*They have more time to just be a kid                                              *Tend to mature quicker
*We have the ability to gear their courses towards their interests and abilities
*They tend to learn more life skills

   So even though it is a close list between the two I also have always been the kind of parent who listens to how they feel on the inside. I like to think that is God, guiding me in the direction i should go and that feeling has clearly been telling me to home school for several years now. I do want everyone to know I am not anti public school at all. I know it is needed and I wish that people would give the schools, teachers, the recognition they deserve really. Its just that it is not where we are in our lives right now.

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