RECENT HOMESCHOOLING NEWS
Why Are You Homeschooling? Your Answers Are Important.
by Jane R. Boswell
December 6, 2006
MAINE -- As veteran homeschooling parents know, some difficult times will come. One day you’ll wake up to piles of laundry that your children are using to play hide and seek in. Ice and snow have locked you inside for days and your teenager seems to be in a comatose state until the phone rings. Life Happens! You will wonder why on earth you had the idea that you could homeschool your kids, run a household, and maintain your sanity.
Now is the time to pull out your list of “Why We Homeschool Reasons”. What? You didn’t make a list? This is a tool that is imperative for all homeschool parents. So determined was I that people would not stare at us when we played outside or went to the corner store, that I wrote a letter explaining that we were homeschooling and outlined all our reasons for doing so. Then I made copies and circulated them among neighbors, friends and family. I filed a copy away, so that I could pull it out when my courage needed bolstering.
To help get you started, some common homeschooling convictions (which you might have forgotten) are:
- You, the parents are the first and the natural teachers of your children. You’ve taught your children from birth. You love and care about them more than anyone else and have the greatest interest in their success in this life and for eternity. Additionally, the state or government does not “own” you or your child. Alarmingly, this truth has been argued and challenged lately by those who believe that children are a commodity of the state. So, it’s important that you hold tightly to your parental rights.
- You want the best character training for your children. Your family has an important system of beliefs and values to instill and a heritage to pass on to your children. Through the golden opportunities provided by time, role modeling (values are caught not taught), work involvement and encouraging service to others, values are learned and character is built.
- You want your child to have a positive socialization experience while avoiding peer dependence. Children in a traditional, institutional setting who spend more time with their peers than caring adults become socialized by the culture of their peers. (Most of us have a struggle with peer pressure which is revealed, for instance, in the way we feel when we are confronted by our friends about homeschooling -- and by the way we want someone to tell us how to homeschool -- what materials to buy, how many hours to spend, etc., and why we tend to cast side-glances at how others are accomplishing home education.) This might be unconscious, but it is real, and it is at the root of many of our own self-esteem issues. We want something better for our children. And, today, the school-setting is rife with competition, and worse, bullying. There is now a very real safety threat to consider that did not exist 20 years ago.
- Remember those academic bonuses: You have the opportunity to create a custom-made program for each child. Good homeschools are families that encourage a relaxed environment, the learning style of the child, real-life experiences, hands-on experiences, field trips, much open discussion and a life of balance. Good homeschools become relationship and student centered as opposed to book, teacher, and peer-centered. Now, this can be hard to see on those difficult days, so make sure you are writing in a journal at some point, noting the good days when that ‘light goes on’, or when you all had a good, long laugh with a humorous book or game.
- That brings us to this important point - You are homeschooling because you want the time to renew your family relationships. Homeschooling is ushering in a restoration and healing of the family in this country. The whole family is key to a healthy society. Homeschooling provides vital opportunities of growing together and learning life-skills as a family.
These are just a few to get those creative juices flowing and give you the encouragement you need.
Take a minute to reflect and to seriously consider the reasons why you have chosen to homeschool your children. What are the prime motivators - are they positive or negative? It makes a difference in your attitude.
Write down your convictions. It will reinforce and strengthen your resolve and it will help you clarify your discussions when someone asks,”Shouldn’t your children be in school today?"
About the Publication
Home Educator's Family Times is the homeschool publication perfect for new or veteran homeschool families. This anthology includes articles by well known homeschool and educational experts and includes:
- Research on Child Development, Family Issues, Learning and Homeschool Issues
- Successful Family Learning, Research and Homeschool Strategies
- Practical Tips and Resources
- Special Concerns - Gifted, Special Needs, High School, Learning Styles, and Developmental Issues
- Home Educator's Resource Network - Recommended Curriculum (Online Issue)
- Serving homeschooling families since 1986
- Prepared and published by Experienced Homeschoolers and Educators
- Editor - Jane R. Boswell