Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Homeschool bit

How much indecent and inappropriate exposure do our children need in order to have experienced a "healthy" dose of the worlds filth so they can turn out to be "decent" and "normal" people?

Is that a real question or are our minds slightly distorted to make it seem like a sensible inquiry?

My visiting teachers came over today. I always enjoy a visit from them. Today we touched on the homeschooling subject. One of the sisters said that once her eldest daughter is old enough to enter junior high she's going to homeschool her. The other sister expressed her disdain at the crud her son is witnessing at his junior high school. There are girls kissing girls in the hallway. Swearing. Fighting. Lying. Stealing. Cheating. Immodesty. Drugs. Sex.....I'm sure the list goes on.

But then she also talks about a child she knows who is homeschooled. This child is nine years old, she doesn't know how to read, and she's socially backward. (***)

So, which path am I choosing here and is there a pleasing balance between the two? For us, there will have to be.

The world is smudged in filth everywhere we go, and it'll be so throughout my children's entire lifespan, so they'll get their dose of filth and moral corruption which will give them sufficient opportunities to exercise their core beliefs and bolster their character.

Creating a love of learning in their hearts, always learning and understanding new things myself, supplying them with a plethora of educational materials we can work on together (or they can work on individually), reading and learning from the greatest thoughts and trials of humankind through scriptures and classics along with many other things will supply them with necessary academical and liberal education.

I'll admit, hearing about homeschooled children who are struggling does worry me. Will my children turn out to be that "type"? Will they be uneducated? Socially backward? "Protected" from the world? Lacking common sense? I'd like to think not with all the worry, concern, concentrated effort and energy I put into homeschooling my children. But, it's so easy to doubt my decision when other peoples doubts and lack of information slip into my consciousness.

Do I think everyone should be homeschooling their children? No. Do I think more people should? I'm not sure. Do I want my children to go to college? Yes. Do I know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing for my children? Yes. It was a hard decision to make but the spirit has never given me a more absolute and prolonged answer as it did, a while ago, in response to my doubting our decision to home school, letting me know that this is unmistakably what we should be doing.

It's not the workbooks, the "inspire instead of require", the healthy doses of learning, the teaching and practicing of values, that stress me. Just plain worrying is the hardest issue I face with homeschooling. But, what loving and devoted parent doesn't worry?

(***) I don't believe in the socially backward issue so I asked my visiting teacher, "What's the mom like?" "Psycho" she answered. Here's what I believe - if the child's parents are socially backward more than likely the child will be too. I believe that if school really is the most dominant place children learn social skills all of them would know how to associate only with children their own age and have little or no ability to associate with adults...is this becoming the case anyway?

Most young mothers I talk to have considered or do consider homeschooling their children.

To home-school or not to home-school...either choice is reasonably extreme.

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Tyra and Ethan's friends came over for a Martin Luther King activity at our house. It was lots of fun. Most of them stayed for 3 hours! We had a neat discussion and role play about slavery, we spoke of Martin Luther King, worked together on a couple worksheets where we came up with words to describe Martin Luther King, we discussed what difference each of us would like to make in this world, we ate cookies, the kids dressed up (the girls wore princess dresses while the boys armed themselves with weapons) and they all chased each other around. We ended by having lunch together and watched 15 minutes of a movie.

I can't wait to get together like this again!


Tif said...

Thanks for sharing your homeschooling experiences. It is a scary world and I absolutely agree that we need to be very in tune with the spirit to know how best to raise our children. Only Heavenly Father knows what is best for them. You are right to follow the spirit and I know your children will benefit. You are an amazing person and a wonderful example to your children.

Chris and Tara said...

That is really impressive that you are homeschooling. I think it would be so overwhelming. Great job. I would love to hear more stories on this.