Thanks, Mom and Dad

I attended public schools from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Then my parents made the decision to homeschool. Since I was the oldest, most of my siblings grew up without ever setting foot in a public school.
There are some distinct advantages to being a second generation homeschooler.

  • The resistance of grandparents and other family and friends broke long ago; they now wholeheartedly approve of what must have been a very shocking decision on my parents’ part 22 years ago.
  • Thanks in part to the fact that homeschoolers tend to have large families (why is that?) the homeschooling segment of the population has exploded. We now have far more political freedom and far greater resources and support than our parents enjoyed. We’re hardly even “weird” anymore.
  • I never had to worry that I wouldn’t know how to homeschool our own children. I’ve seen it in action and participated for too many years to suffer from those doubts.
  • I never worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford to homeschool. Dad’s income was not generous when I was young, and the family was constantly growing. Homeschooling can be carried on in any budget.
  • I don’t worry that our children’s education will stagnate when they know as much as I do in a particular subject. In high school, I taught myself 2 years of Latin and went far beyond Mom in math. I worked independently in nearly every subject. I realize that not every child will do so, but the parents’ level of knowledge need not be a barrier in any particular subject.

I like to think that I am a different person than I would have been had I continued in the public school system. As a homeschool graduate,

  • I was able to learn at my own pace. The public school system was mind-numbingly boring to me. Homeschooling was actually fun.
  • I have very little trouble thinking (or living) “outside the box.”
  • I faced few temptations in my early teen years, when I would have been most vulnerable and easily influenced.
  • Most importantly, my parents were unarguably the greatest influences upon my worldview. This was certainly not the case during the years in which I attended public schools. I clearly recognized this myself at the tender age of 10.

My hat is off to those courageous parents who made the difficult decision to homeschool against the advice of well-meaning friends and family. You are pioneers, and your children will thank you.

I am daily thankful to my parents for making that crazy decision 22 years ago.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think homeschooling is bad or do I think people who do it are freaks. But I think you can get a valuable education in a school setting. Hey it takes all types to make the world go round.

  2. Mom2fur says:

    I think as time goes on people won’t even blink when you mention ‘homeschooling.’ We all pick what works for our kids. In my case, we have excellent schools here and my kids have done great. But if I didn’t like the schools, I would have certainly considered what you are doing! I commend you. And I don’t think you are ‘downing’ public school at all. You are simply doing what you feel is right for your kids, and I say…more power to you!

  3. I think one reason why Homeschoolers tend to have large families is that one parent invests all that time and energy, instead of having a job and getting income. So you get more bang for your buck, so to say, to homeschool many kids than just a few.

  4. mom2fur,

    We lived in Oregon at first, and did hear of many of our friends’ legal battles. The teachers at my last school were very open to the idea of homeschooling so we experienced no direct hostility. Soon after, we moved to Texas which has always been a very friendly state to homeschoolers. I’m sure it also helped that most of my sibs were never in the system to begin with.

  5. Mama Squirrel says:

    Besides, it isn’t good manners to come stompin’ in to someone else’s shoe like that and then not sign your name.

    Great post, Kim–I hope my Squirrelings feel like that someday too!

  6. Anonymous,
    You help support one of my points in at least one sense:

    “I think a child is well rounded not just because of the school but because of what parents are willing to teach.”

    You saw and felt the benefits of having your mom involved in teaching you. Now imagine she was your primary teacher.
    Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
    Worldviews are not formed in a vacuum; to a large degree, children will assimilate the values of their teacher(s).
    It is important to us to pass on our values to our children, and homeschooling is a highly effective way to accomplish this goal.
    On a side note, all of the homeschool graduates I have known have done very well in the workplace and other aspects of “the real world.” To claim otherwise would seem to indicate that you are operating on ungrounded assumptions or on the opinions of others, and haven’t known many homeschool graduates in real life.

  7. Christy says:

    I agree with Carrie…I am pulling my 7 year old after this year is up..9 more days (not that I am counting LOL)

    Thanks for your words of encouragement! Also, congrats on the new baby….I never had an outie so I have no words of wisdom on the band-aid issue 🙂

    Christy
    Kelsie 7
    Mikey 5

  8. Anonymous says:

    I went to a public school and so does my son. I respect those who homeschool but there are a lot of positive things to going to a school either public or private.

    Even as a teen I was outspoken (in the correct manner) and believed in sticking up for what was right. I was lucky to have a parent who believed in me and the choices I made.

    I remember once in high school we worked in groups on a project for a final exam. The person in my group did NOTHING! and I refused to give her MY answers. I stood my ground even in the principals office and my mom stood right there with me.

    I think a child is well rounded not just because of the school but because of what parents are willing to teach. My mom was very open with me about everything I asked. I in turn am very open with my son about things. He knows he can talk to me about sex,drugs and other subjects that are very taboo in many homes.

    So please don’t make this that homeschool is so perfect. One thing it lacks is teaching children they need to learn to adapt to all types of people and enviroments. When we get to the work place.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We are planning to homeschool and this was so encouraging!

  10. Mom2fur says:

    Wow, your parents were daring innovaters (sp?) weren’t they? I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for them to choose homeschooling over two decades ago. Did they have to face a lot of rules and regulations from the state?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hope this is the kind of testimony my children give of their homeschool years as adults.
    What a neat thing it is to be a part of the first generation of your kind- homeschooled who are homeschooling.
    -Kathryn

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