I’ll be honest, making the decision to homeschool was not a quick and easy process. It took much time, research and prayerful consideration. After much thought, my husband and I felt strongly led to make a change in our children’s education.
There have been so many times that I have felt irritated, frustrated and angry over my children’s education. Not just my kids, but all kids in general. I have watched children pushed through by a system unwilling to address real educating issues.
My husband and I were bothered by many little, and big, experiences that our kids had. Bullying wasn’t really an issue. We only experienced mild problems from classmates. Luckily, none of these kids really grew into any sort of big problem.
It wasn’t a religious issue. Even though we are Christian, and God is definitely not welcome in public schools, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that our school was extremely diverse and the teachers embraced it. My daughter was able to share all about her Bible Quizzing Team and speak about the Gospel without any backlashes. She was also able to hear her friends discuss their Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths as well.
Some Christian parents would cringe at that idea, but I found it to be an incredible learning experience. We were able to sit down as a family and openly discuss different religions of the world. Maybe it’s because my hubby is a Christian apologist. I don’t know. But we never shied away from other cultures or religions. After all, when they leave the nest and enter the real world, they will be faced with so many different things. Would I rather my hubs and I teach them, or allow the world to show them?
The biggest issue I had came after my oldest daughter was repeatedly tested for the schools “gifted” program. Each time she missed it by just 2 or 3 points. Her teacher made the suggestion that she would like to see her tested orally and one on one. I was told she would discuss it with the test giver and get back with me. Well, she never did get back with me. When I asked her about it she told me that my daughter would just have to be tested next year.
As a result, my oldest spent much of her school day tutoring other kids and running errands for the teacher. Imagine what she could have been learning if she was given the chance. Now, I will give her teacher some credit here. She actually loaded some advanced math games onto her personal iPad in order to keep my daughter and a few other kids busy while her classmates finished the day’s lesson. But still, that didn’t make up for all of the extra time wasted.
The final straw came on the last day of school. While standing outside with some other parents, I was asked what I thought about the restructuring of the teachers for the following school year. I was confused! I was never told of any such thing!
I was then told that the grade my daughter was going into was actually losing a teacher the next year. This would result in the teachers operating at the maximum number of students allowed by their contract. It made me think, if my daughter was tutoring and running errands this year, then what would happen next year?
That sealed the deal. If I had any doubts about this decision, they were squashed right there and then. I began ruthlessly researching curriculum, reading every review out there, talking to other homeschooling parents and joining a homeschool co-op. It has been the best decision my family has ever made.
It is our duty as parents to protect our children. That protection manifests itself in more forms than simply warning of “stranger danger” or the necessity of “stop, drop and roll”. If my kids are not receiving the sort of education they should then it is my responsibility to do something about it. They must be prepared for the world, they must be ready to excel in their endeavors and conquer their goals. It is the responsibility of my husband and I to raise morally sound, compassionate thinkers and servant leaders who will dare to pursue their dreams and build a better world for future generations.