Did you know?
Did you know that that fourteen presidents have been homeschooled including Abraham Lincoln. Twenty-eight head of state, including Benjamin Franklin; military leaders like Douglas MacArthur; Supreme Court Judeges, including Sandra Day O'Connor; scientists, such as Albert Einstein; artists like Da Vinci; inventors, such as the Wright brothers; composers like Mozart; writers, including Mark Twain; educators, such as Booker T. Washington; performing artists like Whoopi Goldberg; many business entrepreneurs, including Andrew Carnegie. There are a number of famous people who are currently educating their children at home, as well: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, and Darrell and Stevie Waltrip, just to name a few. For an impressive and more comprehensive list of famous homeschooled Americans and influential people in history, visit http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/famoushomeschoolers.htm
Found this in The Homeschool Handbook magazine, article Homeschooling...Transformed over the Decades by Carolyn West.
I am by all means absolutely no professional in the educational system, as in I have no degree to teach in it. I am a high school graduate with additional education and a nursing license. I've only been officially homeschooling since September of 2011. Our son is a Kindergartner and we have made the decision to homeschool since Tyler was 2 years old. Most homeschoolers do it for religious reasons and this was our main reason. The public school system has taken God out of everything and I don't think this can be argued, it's pretty much well known. I know there are some who have stated "well, you can't protect your children from the world, they need to experience it." Really? Think about this. First, if the Scripture offends you, then stop reading this now, because I use Scripture to speak for me.
James 4:4 "Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world's friend makes himself God's enemy."
1 John 2:16 "because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world."
John John 15:19 "If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you."
There are sooooo many Scriptures pertaining to Christians being the lights of the world, to live in the world, but not become of the world. So, this is one of the reasons why homeschooling families decide to homeschool and homeschooling is becoming more and more popular here in recent years. Also, Deut 6:6-9 says "These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates." A lot of us homeschoolers see this Scripture as not only teaching our children about God but also teaching them academics with God being the center of their learning. Curriculum's are usually chosen with Bible being the core subject.
There is also the option to "unschool" which is also becoming popular. I don't know much about unschooling because I chose not to go that route, but there are many who do it. And in a way, even homeschooling has its times of "unschooling". We incorporate activities, field trips, exploring, and everyday things with the topic being learned. For example, this week we are learning the letter /h/ and about horses. We have watched movies about horses and have incorporated "trust and obey" from the bible since horses "trust and obey" their masters, we should "trust and obey" God. It opens a whole new world of discussion with your kids. Some days we don't do "official" schooling, but still learn something on those days. Of course, whatever you choose, thoroughly research your options and do what you feel is right in accordance to God's will, then don't look back and work for God. God gave you those little souls and He expects them back. Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.
So with all this said, we chose to homeschool. The first reason was based on our religious beliefs and our second was on quality education. My husband and I both were publicly educated and feel we were not prepared for college or given the education we had the potential to get if taught the way we learn. Don't get me wrong, there are some GREAT programs and teachers in the public school system and I LOVE that there are those who do it. My son takes speech therapy which is offered through the public school system and the speech therapists are wonderful! However, our government keeps a lot of kids from learning to their potential because one can't be left behind. Or, with a class of 20-25 students, not every one of those kids learn the same way, but lessons are taught majority of the time for a child to learn it one way. There are 5 ways people learn: verbal, visual, tactiles, kinesthetics, and aurals. Most teachers tend to teach according to the way they learn and understand. So if you have a visual teacher and a tactile student, it makes it difficult for both to connect, unless that child has a blending learning style and the teacher picks up on it. This is VERY hard to recognize in one child, much less a classroom of 20 individuals! Hard, hard work for the teachers. Every child is different and it's even hard for homeschooling parents to give advice to other homeschooling parents because we only know what works for our kids with trial and error figuring out how each of them learns. One thing we might start out with, might not be what we end with, curriculum wise. As a mother who homeschools, I have found my son learns differently than me in some ways and I've had to change the way things have to be taught for him to gain understanding. The great thing about this, is that I learn to! It gives me better understanding of my child and how to handle him in all areas of raising him, even in discipline. Melanie Spiller shortly explains a little on the different styles of learning
If you are pondering the idea of homeschooling, do your research and go with what you think is right for your family according to God's will. Even though we homeschool, I am all for my tax dollars going to the public school system. Some of the teachers are awesome and are trained very well in what they do. They work hard and deserve every bit of my support for what they do. Some of the programs offered, such as speech therapy, are great and invaluable to the homeschooler as well as those attending public school. It's a personal choice and not for everybody. It's a conscience decision. Don't get me wrong, there are days where I scream "The things I could get done if Ty was at public school til 3:30!" Let me tell you, it's tempting! But then I have to turn to God and remind myself why I'm doing this. It takes discipline.
If you're wondering what curriculum we chose, we went with My Fathers World. It's supported by Focus Press, Inc. for those of you who are familiar with them. I plan on sticking with this curriculum for 1st grade. It's not cheap, but cheaper than alot of the others I've looked at such as Sonlight and LifePac.
There are a few magazines I highly recommend. The Homeschool handbook and Practical Homeschooling. I can get these from my local library. If your library doesn't subscribe to these, just ask, more than likely they will get them upon your request. These have wonderful articles for encouragement and valuable where-to-find information such as scholarship searching, ways to help kids learn, sharing and borrowing curriculum resources, and will keep you up-to-date on how homeschooling has changed over the decades.
Also, every state has different regulations, codes, and laws pertaining to homeschooling in that state. Fortunately, I live in a state that is relatively easy to homeschool in. Some other states are harder. So check your code for your state. And, join HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) as soon as you can. Do a search and review their website on what they offer. They protect us having the right to homeschool, plain and simple. They offer advice and counsel if you were to ever be put in a situation where you need legal counsel pertaining to homeschooling.
I have only skimmed about homeschooling. I speak only from my own experience. We feel that we have made the right decision for OUR family. Homeschooling is not for everybody and everyone isn't in a position to be able to make this choice, even if they want to do it. I feel very blessed by God for this opportunity and I'm very thankful to the Almighty for this path in my life. He has allowed me to live in a country where I have the freedom to do this and an abundance of resources at my finger tips. Whatever path you find yourself being led in, be content and again let your yes's mean yes and your no's mean no.