What's the big deal about Young Living

Why Homeschool? Part One

I was going to start this series off with “Why So Many Kids?”, but I got quite a few comments in the last post about homeschooling, so I’m going to address that first.

Lene mentioned that she is curious, but doesn’t want to offend with her questions. I think there is a right and wrong way to ask people about their convictions. Let’s review, shall we?

  • Wrong – “Why, for the love of all that is normal and sane, would you do such a thing? WHyyyyyyyyyyyy?
  • Right – “You have such an interesting family! I’m curious what led you to homeschool. Do you mind sharing with me?”

I think if you have a relationship with the person, the question will be seen as showing genuine interest.

Can you imagine if I approached a stranger and asked, “WHY would you choose that hairstyle? Did you WANT it to look like that? Are you a licenced cosmotologist? It looks fine on you, but there are people running around doing their own hair who are not qualified! There should be a law!”

Which brings me to the next topic. It makes me uncomfortable when someone asks me if I have a teaching certificate.

I do happen to have a teaching certificate, and I think this must give the impression that I think it is necessary to homeschooling. Quite the opposite!

Do I need to be certified to breastfeed my baby? To potty train my toddler? To teach my preschooler to tie her shoes? Do I need someone to proclaim that I am qualified to do those things? Do I need to request permission if I decide to nurse my baby until age 2?

No!

Then why would I need to be certified to teach my own 3rd grader her multiplication facts? Or teach my 8th grader algebra?

When someone says that I am qualified to teach my own children, but there are those other homeschoolers who are not, I wonder what makes that person qualified to judge my qualifications or theirs.

One of my very dearest friends dropped out of school in 7th grade. She is now homeschooling her 13 year old daughter, who has tested above grade level in all but two subjects. In one of those subjects, she scored at grade level, and the other was slightly below.

Who of us would tell that dear mother that she is not qualified to teach her daughter? Should she send her daughter into the same system that failed her? The same school where the “qualified” teachers didn’t care that she dropped out, never inquired why, never bothered to make sure she was learning her lessons?

Those qualified to teach her never prayed over her as she does her daughter. They never went over her math flashcards time and time again. They never said, “It’s okay if you don’t understand. We will go over it until you get it.”

And in case anyone still thinks that having a system that requires all teachers to be certified will ensure ANYTHING at all, know that my friend that dropped out of school in 7th grade was 17 years old at the time. She had been neglected, overlooked, and failed since her early elementary years. All at the tax payers’ expense! (Thank you, Friend, for allowing me to use your testimony!)

If you think that is an isolated case, Google “high school drop out rate” or “high school literacy rate” and see how effective mandatory certification is before you say that homeschoolers ought to be certified to teach their own children.

My husband and I are libertarian leaning, which is to say, you mind your business and we’ll mind ours. We don’t believe that we need the government to legislate how we should live our lives. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence.

Liberty, as in freedom, to pursue the life we want for ourselves and our children, as long as we don’t infringe on another’s rights. That includes teaching our children as WE see fit. Not the government. Not our next door neighbor or our relatives.

We, the parents.

I know some of you disagree with me, and that’s okay. I still love you all the same. (You are all my favorites. Each and every one of you.)

I think Karen B. said it well in the comments here:

“It seems that no matter what choices we make for our children, there’s always someone out there that feels the need to tell us we need to do something differently. My husband got stuck in a conversation one night with another dad who insisted that we should be sending our children to private school instead of public school. I’m sure there were women back in the day who told Mary that she really should not have given birth to Jesus in a stable…”

Everyone has his own idea of what is best. Let each set of parents decide for their own children.

See also “Why Homeschool? Part Two”

and “Why Homeschool? Part Three”.

See more of my thoughts on the topic of setting standards for others.

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Comments

  1. Excellent post! Funny, too. ;-) I think your analogy of the cosmetology was dead on. I know there are people who would say that scenario would not be at all the same as the certified teacher/homeschool mom scenario, but I think they are VERY much the same. I may have to borrow that one…I’ll give you credit, if I do. ;-)

    I don’t understand why people think that things like public/private/homeschool, breastfeeding/bottle-feeding, cloth diaper/disposables, etc. have to be such debatable issues. To me, they’re all examples of individual parents making the best choices for their families.

  2. Pat's Place says:

    Great explanation about homeschooling. Bravo to those who choose that route! I have a friend who homeschooled her twin boys and, at 16, are way off the charts for high schoolers and headed for college courses now. They have even figured out career paths for themselves and are preparing for the courses they need to take. Such freedom they have–not a prescribed course mandated by the local high school. Recently the two boys spent two weeks birding in Big Bend with a bird expert and photographer. Guess what their career choice might lead to?? Bravo to homeschoolers!

  3. It’s crazy how people think that all children, from all types of families, need to fit into the exact same education mold. Kids are so different! Homeschooling may work for one, public school for another one, and private school for another.

  4. Homeschoolin' hot-rodders says:

    Boy do you have that right! I too have a teaching certificate and “cringe” when someone asks me that question….I also hate it when you say you homeschool and people act (or use it to threaten their children) as some type of punishment. We personally have a GREAT time (most days lol) schooling. Sure, we have our own issues, and sure I fit into most of the cartoons in “Lies Homeschooling moms believe” but hey, its our family,a nd we love it :)

  5. My typical response to the teaching certificate comment, is “No, but I do have their birth certificates and that qualifies me just the same.”
    Great post. Well spoken!!

    Julie P

  6. Looking forward to the rest of your series! It’s been a while since I’ve read a good post about homeschooling and it always spurs me on. I couldn’t agree more on every point.

    Blessings!

  7. Yes – great post with great points, Connie. You’re in my sidebar tags!

  8. You did a very nice job my friend! :-)

    (The seventh grade drop out!)

  9. Great post! I have also had a lot of people say to me, “Oh, well it’s really handy that you have your teaching license,” in regards to our homeschooling. I always let them know that what I learned as an elementary education major helped me more with setting up classrooms and classroom management than it actually helped me to learn any of the things that I’m teaching. I tell them also, “Sure — maybe it helps a bit, but I think I could have done just as well without the degree.”

  10. A while back, I was so blessed when you posted your son’s reaction to abortion; disbelief and outrage…that’s a very good reason to homeschool.
    Uncle Sam is WAY too involved in our public schools. There is way too much political conditioning going on and ‘education’ is a term to be used loosely.
    Suz in the Tules

  11. Great post!

  12. Well said…and true. We homeschool and just had a funny thing happen. We had our first “run-in” with someone. Rather they tried to have one with us. I was at the library one afternoon with my 5 children-3 of whom are school age. A woman said (pretty loudly, with great disdain, in front of alot of other people) to the librarian, “Why aren’t those kids in school?” I (solely by the grace of God) kept my mouth and just observed. The librarian who know us well very quickly replied to the lady, “Well it IS 3:00, but they are homeschooled anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.” I almost added, “We are in a library-last time I checked”. Anyway, thought that funny little scene might amuse someone. Looking forward to the post about having children. We also get intrusive questions about our reproductive choices. Nothing like a COMPLETE stranger asking you if you “meant to have that many children” or “if you are going to have any more”, and “by the way-did you use fertility treatments? etc etc etc. We have 5 children-two sets of twins and a singleton. We had them all in 2.5 yrs.-no no fertility treatments, just good old-fashioned marital bliss. Seriously, thanks for pointing out that we have parental rights, and that mommy is the best teacher for her children (certificate or not). We should all be praying that our parental rights (particularly, but not limited to education) are preserved in the upcoming administration!

  13. Oh my goodness. This is awesome Connie. I SOOO want to link to it on my blog. I hope that is o.k.!!

  14. I have a similar story to your Friend. My mom was a teenage mom (had me at 14), and a 9th grade drop out. She was arrested many times as a teenager, had my sister at 17, drug addicted, and more.

    But when she gave her life to Christ she had a complete turnaround, including the decision to homeschool. She schooled me. I graduated with high grades, went to college, and got a bachelor’s degree. I think I do fairly well. : )

    It’s the love, concern, and time the parent spends; not the education the parent has. Good post!

  15. Beautifully and perfectly written!

    I am on the fence about what is best for my children right now. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Reading this post could not have come at a more perfect time for me.

    We have five boys- only two are school age. Our 9 year old is dyslexic and is being ‘left behind’ at school. They have already held him back once (against our will) and suggested holding him back for a third round of second grade. Yes, I am serious!

    Thank you for posting something so honest! I would love to know more about the curriculum you use. :-)

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      A third round of second grade?! You couldn’t do any worse than that with both hands tied behind your back! You know if you try out homeschooling that doesn’t mean you can never go back to public school if it doesn’t work out. I would encourage you to give it a try for a year. Honestly, you are pretty much guaranteed to do better than they did!

  16. I was home schooled throughout elementary school. My parents made the decision to put us (my brother, sister and I) back in public school when I was in middle school.Before we could go back we all had to be tested for placement. Each of us placed well above our grade levels and were enrolled in honors classes throughout the rest of our schooling. Goes to show homeschooling has some very wonderful benefits.

  17. I don’t even know where to start. This post was amazing! Like you friend, I too wasn’t all that educated. I didn’t drop out but my life style wasn’t good and I chose to not care. I finished high school cheating my way though but I’m guessing I only have a 8th or 9th great eduation. My kids all have tested well above their levels! It was such an encouragement to see their scores because I always question if I’m “smart enough” to be schooling them myself. I’m not so hard on myself with this anymore but at the begenning I spent many nights crying “knowing” I was going to screw them up for life but wasn’t willing to but them in school to do the horrible experience my first 2 kids had in school.
    My daughter was exsposed to graffic sexual information at the age of 5 from her best friend that was being sexually abused. My son, in the autism spectrum, wasn’t getting the help he needed.
    We now have 7 kids with one on the way. Ages 9 to 1. It is a joy to school them at home!
    I also enjoy when people come up and question why we have so many kids and if we home school. My favorite one is “are they all yours?!” My main answer to people that ask if the kids are all mine and why we have so many is “yes, we love kids, so why not?!” They don’t have much to say after that :-) For why we home school I normally say, “God gave them to my husband and me to raise, that includes their education.” It takes a lot of patience to not say the mean things that run through my head when people are obviously rude, but God is working on my heart daily ;-) Thanks for you wonderful post!

  18. I enjoyed your post a lot. I hated school with a capital H and at age of 15 and 3/4 quit. No one came looking for me, no one called the house nothing. I regretted it at about 18 and went back for the GED. I got my GED when I was 20. Since then I have gone on to get an associates degree in Medical Assisting and have 2 boys. My oldest will be 13 soon and is on the autisim spectrim. My other son just turned 7 and may have a few issues but not like my oldest. Anywaymy oldest has been bullied in school sice kindergarten and then in 7th grade it happened by a teacher (the one person I thought would never BULLY). He then hated school, never wanted to go, so I decided to homeschool him. Everyone said it was a bad idea and I shouldn’t do it. well, I am still not sure if I made the right decision. He still hates school, we have to go to a learning center 2 days a week. He needs to be around people but he still crys to not go to school. He is a hard one to deal with sometimes. I told my little guy he could stay in public school until he started having problems.
    I think some people are better at some things then other people are. I have a hard time being a mom to 2 kids. If a mom can handle a lot of kids and each one gets what he or she needs (love, alone time etc) then have a million. Just make sure you can take care of them is what I think. I am a good mom to my 2 and maybe could handle a third, but I don’t want to mess up and it be too late. My children are a wonderful gift from God, just as all of yours are, I feel NO one has the right to judge another person.
    Sorry if I bored you but I think your post was amazing and right on the money, every family is different in the way they take care of their family.
    Thank you and I can’t wait to read the rest!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] for why we homeschool, you will find my 3 part series titled, “Why Homeschool?” filled with more detailed information than you probably ever wanted to know about the [...]

  2. [...] we decided homeschoolingwas the education we wanted for our children, even though we didn’t know any homeschoolers at [...]

  3. [...] when my husband reminds me of why we started this homeschooling journey in the first place, and he encourages me to keep pressing on toward the goal of raising our children [...]

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  5. [...] have made some observations in my 8 years of teaching in the public schools, 17 years of parenting 8 children, and 12 years of being involved in homeschool [...]

  6. [...] our family first began homeschooling 13 years ago, we didn’t know anyone else in our town or our families who did it. We were going against the [...]

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What's the big deal about Young Living