However, shortly after I graduated from school I encountered my first homeschoolers when my neighbors decided to homeschool. My opinion of it at that time was not so great. Then about 15 years ago when I was teaching CCD, I had some homeschoolers in my Saturday class and still thought it weird.
Fast forward 10 years and I started thinking that homeschoolers might be on to something, of course I didn't have the most needed ingredient at the time -- children. We were still exploring fertility possibilities at that time and finally elected to adopt. It was at that point I knew we would homeschool one day.
At that time G-man was not so keen on the idea -- he didn't see how we could survive on one salary. He was right, living the way we lived at that time, there was no way to afford one salary living. However, since then we have made great strides to reduce debt and expenses so that now we can afford it. We have a few last debts to pay off and God willing that will happen by close of summer and will open our homeschool in September.
So why would an average family from Los Angeles want to homeschool? Lots of reasons, but here are the main two reasons - we want the best education for our children.
There are several other reasons I will share with you. They are not in any particular order but are ideas that came up as we made the decision. First of all, we live in a school district that is infamous for budget cuts. At this point most area schools don't offer any form of art, music, or other creative outlets. For me, I think creative classes are just important as academics.
Next, we feel as parents we need to invest in our children's academic and moral education. As Proverbs 22:6 says "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." The average child spends 6-8 hours a day at school and 8 hours a day sleeping -- seems to me they can wind up being trained by someone other than the parents if we're not careful. I know Proverbs is referring to moral education, but when you live in a school district with perpetually low school scores you have to worry about the lack of training your child receives academically too.
Also, as a homeschool family, we will be able to spend more quality time with our children. With me staying home, I will have more time to do chores (and teach the children to help) during the day and that frees my evenings up with G-man and the little ones. Then there is the fact that G-man works Tues-Sat and I currently work Mon-Fri. This leaves me at home alone with the children on Saturday and our only family day as Sunday. So for us we would homeschool Tues-Sat giving us more time as a family.
Additionally, we believe it is our duty to shield our children as much as possible from what is going on in the world and let them be kids. In today's media centered world our children see/hear so much more than we ever did as children. Don't get me wrong, we are not talking about raising disconnected children but protecting them from some of the evil in this world today. Example, my niece's school was locked down last month - turned out to be nothing but just the fact that children become use to such things is sad. If our children become use to metal detectors, campus police, and lock downs what do their children become use to? Instead of accepting such things we should find solutions so we don't need lock downs.
Lastly, there are just so many things going on in schools today around us today that we can't imagine subjecting our children to this. Just in the last week, we have heard/witnessed the following situations:
- A high school boy was asked to leave his school because of being falsely accused of selling drugs by a girl who had a crush on him. He wasn't nor did the school find any proof (because there wasn't any). Also, his sister (3 months short of graduation) was asked to leave as well so she wouldn't cause problems because he was asked to leave. Later the accuser was heard bragging about what she did but nothing has been done about it.
- A teacher friend (a good teacher) gave up teaching due to limitations put on her in dealing with special needs children. Instead of giving her the freedom to help the children she works with in any way she can she is being boxed in so she has decided to switch to working with disabled adults. Great for the adults but sad that our school district uses yet another great teacher.
- Princess B and I went to a local elementary one morning last week and overheard the principal dealing with a 1st grader wearing makeup when we arrived and saw two boys with black eyes as we were leaving. All before 8:30 in the morning.
So there you have it. It basically comes down to the need to provide our children with the best education possible and shield them from any undo influences. There is much more I could say about the morality taught in our local school district that parents have no control over and all the frightening news stories it seems weekly coming out of our local schools but I won't.
I know homeschooling isn't for everyone but I encourage anyone who has ever entertained the idea to really consider why it would be a good fit for your family.