My first Mommy Views interview.
I have often wondered how homeschooling Mommies do it?! I am not patient enough (check out her response to number 10 😉 ). I also think I would have a hard time keeping everyone focused. With four boys there is always a lot of stuff going on here. I know there are several good things that come with homeschooling, but I don’t think it’s a good fit for us.
This is a Mommy of three, will be a Mommy of four next year. Here is her story.
1. Were you homeschooled?
Nope. I went to public school for 12 yrs, and then 1 year of private Christian school in 8th grade.
2. Why did you choose homeschooling?
We chose homeschooling for many, many reasons and I’ll only touch on a few here. My husband and I both were public schooled and we both felt that public education is lacking in many ways. We don’t like the herd mentality, teaching to the test, the way many things are taught (including Common Core), the way that Christian values are not taught. We are creationists, so we do not like the fact that evolution is presented as fact. But the most important reason is because we believe that as Christians the Bible instructs parents to teach and raise up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This would be difficult if our children were away from us for 6-8+ hours a day. We also want to teach according to our children’s learning styles. Homeschooling usually has shorter days compared to schools. My oldest is only in Kindergarten, so obviously I don’t have a whole lot of experience yet, but it takes under an hour to do math, reading, handwriting, and read a few picture books. She has the rest of the day to play (or act kindly) with her siblings or we can go to the park or other outings. We don’t have to stay stuck to a school schedule, we can vacation whenever we want to, and take days off whenever we feel like it. It’s been nice since I’m pregnant with our 4th and very sick with morning sickness, I don’t have to wake up early in the morning to rush her off to school and they are learning how to help mommy when she is sick. We also don’t like how in school siblings are separated for much of their day. Their siblings are the people they are going to have around for life. I’d much rather their relationships be strong as opposed to school friends who may or may not be there year after year. Friends change, but our family is here to stay. I also want to instill a true love of learning in my children without pressure or the need to compete with classmates or to see how high they can score on a test, because tests do not measure true intelligence or knowledge, anyway. I felt like I didn’t truly start learning about the world until after I graduated college and it was only because I could then study what I wanted to!
3. Do you feel like your children are missing out on socialization skills?
Not at all. We disagree that young children should be around other young children all day to learn how to socialize. Proper socialization comes from learning from and being around adults that care for you and exhibit the positive social skills you wish for your child to have. My oldest, who is 6, is very social. She is shy when she first meets someone (like me :)) but that is not a homeschooler trait, many children, and adults, are like this. She has lots of friends. Neighbors, children from church, her siblings, our homeschool co-op. Eventually we plan on putting her in a soccer or dance class. But most importantly I want her around godly adults that she can look up to and learn godly behavior from. We disagree with the peer oriented socialization that occurs in schools.
4. Have they noticed they don’t go to school? Have they mentioned anything about wanting to go to school?
Oh yes, she knows. Our neighbor is in 1st grade and goes to the local public school so she knows that she’s away at school during the day. She also learned about it from references on TV shows and whatnot. A few of her little friends from church go to school. She wanted to go to school at first. I enrolled her in a 1 day a week program at a local Christian school specifically for homeschoolers. That only lasted about 3 weeks because she did NOT like it. She said they sat too much and she missed us. She started crying when I’d talk about it, so I nixed that. Ever since that, she’s had no desire to go to school. She says she likes being at home with mommy.
5. What is a typical school day like for your children?
Well, like I said, I am only homeschooling Kindergarten right now but I have an idea of how our school days will go even in the future. We get up, eat breakfast, and then they go off and play for about an hour. Sometimes we’ll go outside and they’ll ride bikes or whatever. Then we’ll come inside and do school. Like I said before, it lasts under and hour but I try to have it done before lunch time. She takes about 10 minutes to do her handwriting (it’s her favorite, I think). I have a small dry erase board that I use to show her how to write the letters. After that we do a little bit of math. We use Rod & Staff Math 1 and it’s technically for 1st graders so we are going a bit slow on it to stretch it out to 2 yrs. Right now we are just doing simple math and learning numbers up to 100. I have Unifix cubes and an abacus that I use for this. Sometimes I’ll find a math or numbers game online for her to play. This all takes about 20-30 mins, depending on how much she drags her feet, lol. After that she’s getting antsy so I’ll let her go play. After lunch and after I put B down for a nap (he’s a big distraction right now at 2! lol), we’ll work on her reading. Sometimes I’ll go through the Phonics Pathways book, other times I’ll have her read 2 Bob books to me. Takes about 15 minutes. But I try to always point out words for her throughout the day to read. She is not a fan of reading yet, but we are working on it. I have a feeling she might be a late bloomer and this area, and that’s ok because she can take her time and not have to worry about keeping up with other kids. 🙂
6. What is the biggest advantage to homeschooling?
The biggest advantage to us is that we can teach our children about the Lord day in and day out and we can shield them from negative influences, bullying, and beliefs that are contrary to ours. And the next biggest advantage is that I can be with them, watch them grow up, have those deep, personal moments with them. Children spend 13,000+ hours in school between K-12th grade. That’s a lot of time that we would never get back. Personally, I also love not having to wake up super early in the morning to run 4 kids (eventually) off to school!
7. What is the biggest disadvantage?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a disadvantage but it can be hard sometimes to not have that “break” that parents that use school have. I’m sure as they get older it will be easier, but it can be difficult right now since they are so young and needy.
8. What is the biggest misconception about homeschooling?
Probably the biggest misconception I’ve heard is that homeschoolers are weird, unsocialized kids, which has been not been my perception of them at all. Most of the kids in the churches we have been to have been homeschooled and they are just normal people and in most cases are very mature for their ages and can actually hold a conversation with an adult or person of any age, really. Another misconception I’ve seen from people with older kids that bring their kids home from public school is that they feel they need to recreate “school at home,” when it doesn’t have to be that way. Homeschooling is a lot more efficient and doesn’t take 8 hrs a day, even for most homeschooled high schoolers.
9. If they ask to go to Public school later for middle school or high school, is that an option?
10. How do you deal with negative comments?
I honestly haven’t gotten any negative comments. People have been pretty supportive, including our family, so that has been very helpful. Homeschooling is becoming very popular lately so people are beginning to get used to it, I guess. I have had several people tell me they just don’t have the patience for it and I think to myself, well, neither do I! But I know that God is going to pull me and strengthen me and grow me in patience over the years if I trust Him in this. I would never become a patient person if I didn’t have ample opportunity to practice.
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