Tuesday, August 3, 2010

School Again, School Again. Do I Homeschool?

*Insert sad sigh*

I'm not one of those people who enjoys sending my child off to school. Just sayin. Now, don't get me wrong. I understand the value of school... of the obvious academic beneifts and social venues that it brings. I am in NO WAY advocating schooling in one certain way, as I have friends whom I love and respect that are schooling their children successfully in many ways. That's one of the many beauties of our nation. We are free to school as we deem necessary.

Here I am, less than three weeks until the big day... school starts back. And I, like every other mom, wonder where the heck the summer went. Did I spend enough time playing with her? Did I read enough books to her? Did we swim enough? Did she get enough summer fun to create good memories? Will she be sad when school starts back, or glad to get a reprieve from Mom? Is she counting the days because she's excited, or dreading it like I am?

We fully intended to homeschool. I'm not interested in starting a debate as to the whys we chose not to for our child(ren). Let's just suffice it to say that Abigail would have been miserable, and it would have been near to impossible because of our lives and work. That's the short version.

But it recently hit me. We all homeschool to a certain extent, don't we? Maybe not in academics, even though I had read "Go Dog Go" fifty million times before Abi was three. We school everyday in the things that last much longer than any book knowledge will.
Everytime we show our children how to keep a house clean and efficient by cleaning instead of lying on the couch like we'd like to. (Home Economics)

Every day that we pray over meals, we are teaching them thankfulness and an awareness that our very lives depend on the power of a loving God's provision. (Bible Class)

Every "I'm sorry, thank you, and yes ma'am" that we give to people in our community, adult to adult, is teaching and modeling good manners. (Ethics Class)

Every time we answer questions like, "How do bees make honey?" (thanks, Google)... "Did I come out of your belly button?" and "Is it lying if you just don't tell the truth?" we are answering the questions of future leaders and inventors. (Science)

Every time we bathe them, make them eat a healthy meal, or take them on walk, we are showing them the importance of taking care of our bodies (Health Class).

Every time they ask for a toy in Wal-Mart and we remind them to start saving their allowance, we are teaching them to manage their finances. (Business Math)

Every time we celebrate a holiday, cook a new ethnic food, or befriend someone who is not from our race, we are teaching them to broaden their horizons and get out of their comfort zone. (Social Studies)

When we teach them how to argue with their siblings without engaging in manual war, we are teaching them how to communicate. (Debate Class)

When we correct their language, teach them that "turd" is not a name and therefore cannot be what they call their sister, or help them pronounce words they've never read, we are teaching them the power of their speech. (English 101)

So, I guess we all homeschool after all, don't we? Reminds me of the verse found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

I'm a homeschooling-public school Mom. There's forty weeks of school ahead of us. That means 40 chances for me to volunteer and be involved in Abi's school life. But even more than that, I get 365 chances every year at home.

Here's to a great school year for ALL of us, whether we public, private, or homeschool.


  1. so very true!! I was a homeschooling mom for 7 plus years..I LOVED IT!! I miss it! BUT now as a working mom with kids in school , I understand that every minute I have with them is mine to 'train them up in the way they should go'. This post was an encouragement to me as every school year I feel sad about years past..and wonder what might have been! Thanks for the reminder that in so many ways , what 'was' still is!

  2. I was just thinking about this ALOT today. I won't be making a decision about kindergarten for one more year, but we had the opportunity to do Pre-K and I passed...just thinking about making the "right" decision and change my mind daily.

  3. Heather, I did the SAME thing. I went back and forth, back and forth... It was maddening. But in the quiet, He speaks. Follow your heart. xo

  4. This had to be the most balanced blog I've read yet on this subject. I've never quite understood why how we each individually chose to educate OUR OWN children seems to be a topic that can get so heated - what's even funnier is parents who send their kids to public school generally seem to not give a rip what anyone else does, those who send their kids to Christian school generally think sending your kids to public school is like sending them to the very bowels of hell and those who home school act like anyone who choses any other form of schooling are horrible, neglectful parents who must not love their kids and that's why they want to send them to someone else. Now I know those are generalities but those have been my general experiences and it leaves me scratching my head! I went to college for four years to become an elementary teacher and instead I became a nanny for one family for 8 years then became a stay at home Mom for our own 4 kids..all four of our kids go to a Christian school (baby goes to Kindergarten this year - boo hoo) and I have zero desire to homeschool, even with my degree...and I don't think less of my friends or family who send their kids to public school and if someone wants to homeschool their kids I think it's great and I hope it goes well for them....but those aren't real popular trains of thought and it really stumps me. I will say the church I attend (lots and lots of families but not a megachurch) has a pretty wide variety of all three and I don't hear the parents arguing about this subject but boy do I see those trains of thought on blogs and FB - very, VERY strong opinions. It was refreshing to read one that follows a balanced train of thought!

  5. Oh Jill how I hate when you make me cry...but I also love it just the same. I have stuggled with this for years. I so want to home school my boys but to be quite honest I have NO patients. Please pray that I'm a working progress :)