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All the Questions that come with Homeschooling

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I can imagine a thousand questions rattling around in your mind.  Questions like, what about socialization (yawn)? Are you qualified to teach? What about sports? How do you afford that? Will my child be equipped for higher education, and will the schools accept him even if he is? Is it even legal?  Well, I would love to explain.

Make sure you catch last weeks column of “Katy Said it” Homeschooling Part 1, where you get a peek into her mindset as homeschooling mom here in Lewis County, Missouri.

Dispelling Homeschooling Myths

  So, let’s start with the elephant in the room, the “what about socialization” question.  As a mom in a home education situation, life has become a school.  We row crop farm and own several businesses; our children have been a part of it their entire lives, which means, when we went to the accountant, they went.  When we went to the lawyer or the insurance office, they were right there with us.  So imagine my two children, who have never stepped foot inside a public school for education but have daily participated in life and business surrounded by other adults.  Do they have a far superior ability to “socialize” or communicate than most peers?  Think about it: when in everyday life do you ever see individuals all the same age, grouped together day in and day out? Never.  Is it better for communicating and maturing for children to see and interact with all ages of people, or just those of the same age?  I challenge you to think about the maturing process of a 9-year-old student surrounded by other 9-year-old children.  When it comes to the questions of life, will they be met with mature ideas and understanding from other 9-year-olds, or would it be better from a parent, a grandparent, or even a business professional? The socialization question is dead in the water; it makes no common sense.  You will always have quiet kids or those who are shy regardless of whether or not they are home-educated or sent to public school; some families and kids are just odd.  Don’t we all think our family is the “normal one” and everyone else is weird? That will never change.  In my thinking, “socializing” is when our homeschool coop gets together to spend the day at the state capital to meet our senator and representative or go to the local nursing home to pass out crafts we made as a group to the residents, or meet at the a lock and dam to get a tour, all of which we have done plus so much more.  

Teaching Qualifications By Embracing the Parental Role

I am qualified to teach, but not in the way you may think.  I don’t have a teaching certificate, but what qualifies me is that I am my child’s parent, and that qualification comes from a God-given natural right.  You know, the one endowed by my creator, the creator the founders talked about in the Declaration of Independence.  Do we realize that the system telling us that we are not qualified to teach is the same one that most of us graduated from?  Basically, they are saying that they can give you a diploma for a 12th-grade education, but you will need more education than that to educate your own children.  That speaks volumes of what they think of their own system.  Besides, did we stop learning when we received that high school diploma? Can we not learn along with our children as they learn new things? All it takes is a parent willing to figure it out.

Navigating the Sports Dilemma in Homeschooling

Sports is one of those touchy subjects that many get their panties in a twist about.  First, I am a Christian, and my God-fearing opinion on sports is that far too many families sacrifice their children on the altar of sports.  Look, I’m not a lover of sports so it is easy for me to say, however, what is more important? Sports or quality of education?  Even still, I have a daughter who loves volleyball and plays on a team with a homeschool organization with various activities and sports.  There are many ways to get your kids involved in sports; public school is not the only way.  Keep in mind, in Missouri, a bill is working its way through legislation, Senate Bill 411, which will allow homeschooled kids to play on public school teams. It has not yet passed, but I see this happening at some point based on the support.  You do pay taxes, so why shouldn’t your kids get that opportunity, too?

Curriculum Choices Offer A World of Options

When it comes to curriculums, the sky is the limit.  More curriculums are out there than one can imagine or put a number on.  Let’s just say that if you go to a homeschool convention, leave your money in the car because it can break you.  Curriculum can be free, or however much your heart desires to pay.  They are anywhere from online to textbooks and workbooks, teacher-led or student-led, live or at your own pace, biblical to secular, and everything in between.  It is truly overwhelming what is available today for curriculum.

Breaking Down The Time Requirements

It is essential to know that homeschooling takes less than 8 hours of sit-down instruction in a day.  I can certainly understand parents thinking there is no way they can sit with their kids for 8 hours teaching them every subject.  Homeschool doesn’t happen that way.  Most children are perfectly capable of learning on their own for the most part, especially from about the 3rd grade.  Before third grade, the primary instruction only takes a few hours daily.  Our kindergarten curriculum took 45 minutes a day to get through, and that was all of it.  It may take an hour and a half for a first grader, and it doesn’t have to take place all at once, and maybe two hours for a second grader.  As the children get older, they do a lot on their own.  Remember, homeschooling is not “school at home.” It doesn’t even have to look or resemble a classroom; there is so much liberty and freedom in the way it’s executed.

Homeschooling Challenges and Paradigm Shifts

Don’t get me wrong, homeschooling can be hard! Sometimes you just want to quit!  That’s when I remind myself that it’s a way of life. It doesn’t have to happen like we “think” it does or are programmed to think.  One of the hardest things for me was to deprogram my brain away from the idea of traditional school.  It’s a complete paradigm shift.

Come back next edition for, is it legal, how can I afford it and what about higher education?

Katy said it.

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