Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Do We Homeschool Our Children?

Oh, well, why not? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do. The cool dude Tim Tebow (football icon) and Taylor Swift (what is she famous for, again?) were home-schooled! Oh, wait, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison were also home-schooled! A few US presidents were home-schooled like Wilson Woodrow! ***wink wink***

Kidding aside, here is a few reasons why we think home schooling is the best education option for our children. I hope that family and friends will find this post helpful. But first let us look at the definition of the word "education". According to Noah Webster, the man who is called "The Father of American Christian Education" and "The Father of Copyright Legislation of America" and the author of the 1828 Dictionary, Education is "The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties." 

Let us also look at the history of home schooling a little bit. Did you know that it is actually not a new fad in American culture? It's history can be traced to the founding fathers of America. In fact, most of them, if not all, were home-schooled. Can you imagine that during the time when education was primarily handled by parents and church, then tutors and apprenticeships for specialized skills, the founding fathers- the greatest group of men of character and reasoning of all time were produced! Another stunning fact is that the literary level in America was the highest than it’s ever been – virtually 100%!

Okay, so now our personal reasons for homeschooling...

1. Family time- 
Days when our children are little and dependent on us are numbered. Time flies! Before we know it, they are gone. Homeschooling gives us control over our daily schedule. We can be together during our children's best hours, which I also call "learning hours". As opposed to trying to be a happy family when kids are tired, grumpy and stressed out from school... plus, their painful anticipation of doing a truckload of homework.

I went to public schools and so I do know how it is to be away from my parents for at least 6 hours a day. By the time I got home, I was so ready to have a good bonding and interaction time with my parents, but of course, there were "other" activities... like Girls Scouts, Children Bible study, play dates with friends and homework. I found myself with "other" people again. When I finally got to see my parents, I would be too tired to even want to talk to them. At the end of a regular school day (that's 5 days a week), I spent very little (or none) of quality time with my parents. At least though, I slept with them, so when we were sleeping I felt them so near me. That was my bonding moment with them. As a child, it was such a big thing to me that I was near my parents. It gave me a feeling of being safe. Studies show that feeling safe does wonders for a person’s self-image and for their relationships.

In addition, because we control our children's schedule, we can go on vacation anytime we want and guess what, we bring their school with them. We can be a family even on school days!

2. Curriculum control- 
We have the freedom to choose our own curriculum from countless available materials! Our children will not be forced to study for over a decade subjects that they may not have aptitude or use for. We choose our own methodology (with carefulness) according to what we believe well suited to their personalities. We are not time-bound. We do not force our children to complete a certain project or exercise at a specific time-frame. They move on their phase and usually, faster than the public schooled kids because they get one-on-one instruction. There won't be any report cards that tell them how big of a winner or a loser they are. There's no comparing how fast or slow learners they are. 

3. No Homework-
Homework obviously choke up our children's time that is supposed to be spent on things that they like... time that they can use to put their creative mind and hands to work, unorganized and unsupervised. Time for them to discover their own interests, skills and calling. Homeschooling is making this time all available for their young minds. Did you know that when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs quitted school, they were able to start getting creative? And we know what happened to their creations!

4. Real-life socialization-
We want our children to experience the real-life socialization. We choose who our children socialize with. Sticking our children in a class of 10-40 for many hours a day, regardless of whether they have anything in common outside of age is subtly destructive to them. It would be easy for them to pick up habits and ideologies that we, parents, would never want them to learn. Any child psychologist will approve of me saying that there is something called "forming years" in life. It is important who our children spend chunks of time with during their forming years. Because at this time, they are particularly like sponges! Prevention is better than cure.

The issue of socialization always comes up when homeschooling is mentioned. People forget that we don't become social because we are constantly in a crowd. Being social is a by-product of family dynamics, personality and a little bit of training. Peers are in no way the best trainer in this area. The parents are! We, homeschooling parents, ensure that our children get social interaction and not only that but we have the opportunity to pick and monitor their social contacts. I actually smile when people ask me, "So, how do your children socialize?" We have neighbors. We have a church. We go shopping. We go to the park. We have play dates. We have parties to go. We go on trips. Sports. Dance classes. Homeschool coops. There are countless of avenues to meet with people. Ironically, I have seen so many socially awkward kids in public schools. I was one of them. My husband admits he was also one of them.

5. Bible and Character building-
Sadly, Bible is not part of the public school curriculum. If we seriously desire to raise up strong godly Christian children, we don't leave the solid teaching of the Bible in the hands of the church through Sunday School. I'm not talking about daily devotions either. This is a Bible study. This is a journey of knowing God, His power and His ways. Do you think we can still teach our children the Bible when they get home from school. They will be tired and they will have homework to do. Also, what does the public school say about the Bible, creationism, prayer and being a Christian? Go figure. My husband and I felt like we were a misfit at school for being followers of Jesus Christ. Such a struggle that we had to overcome. And at times, we wished we were not Christians so we could fit in. I'm not saying that we Christians should not mingle with those who are not. What I'm saying is that we are intentionally putting our young kids on a difficult spot of feeling they don't belong. Wait for the time when they are old and strong enough, well-founded to defend their faith and are fine living lives that are different than that of the world. They can only be the light in the dark public school when they know and are well-founded in the Light. Every thing is beautiful in its time. Do we send an army of young boys and girls with no military training to the war zone in Iraq and Afganistan? No. So why do we expect our little cutie pies to fight for their faith in a spiritually dark world without their mommies and daddies holding their hands?

Character building is one of the major reasons why we homeschool. That our children become men and women of character is every Christian parents' sincere prayer. Unfortunately, this not a priority of the public school.

6. Safety-
We lock our doors and close our windows at home. Don't we? We are even willing to go far as installing alarm system in our homes to make sure our family is safe, especially the little ones. Oh, and how about keeping a gun at home to help us defend our children from their attackers? So then why send the little ones to live with strangers for 6 hours a day? 

Yes, we do shelter our children from the real world… because the real world is full of bullies and will teach them how to become one. The real world will indoctrinate them the worldly ideology and if lucky they will become pluralistic. Some part of the real world will be invaded by shooters and abusers. The real world will teach them that everything in life is a competition and losers don't have a spot in it. The real world will show them overrated sensuality. The real world will turn the children's lives up side down. What if your child is one of the weak? During their forming years, when they are young and vulnerable, we shelter them from this kind of world because we are their parents and that's our calling and responsibility. Until they are old and strong enough to independently shelter their own selves, WE, THE PARENTS, SHELTER THEM.

8. Cost- 
It is much cheaper to homeschool than sending my children to private schools, which is just a little upgrade of the public school. Here's another word from Noah Webster, "The general institution of schools in this country is full proof that ...people never misapply their economy so much, as when they make a provision for the education of children.” 

9. Priority-
My children are my priority! Before I chase my dreams for myself... to make a difference in the world, I want to make a difference in my children's lives first. My children first! They are my priority. I feel like it would be hypocritical of me to teach other people's children (because I am a teacher) or be useful in other fields... to conquer the world and earn tons of money but leave my own children in the hands of strangers. It's not easy to have my profession/career (outside home) put on hold. But I feel like it is a "sweet surrender" for  me. Laying down my personal dreams because my children are so worth it! This is how I show how much I love them. 

I honestly can come up with more reasons, but this is all for now.  See you later...


Mary Grace Maliza said...

Thank you for posting it gives me more vivid vision...hope you update me with Izzy's lesson for Gwynnie

Mary Grace Maliza said...

amo yaon ang hinang mo hehehe