Angie will be in grade 00 next year, which means that before we know it, she’ll start grade one. It’s probably time to get serious about making decisions regarding schooling. She is not on any waiting lists, though there’s no way we could afford private schooling anyway. There are several good government primary schools in our area that we could send her to.
I have been thinking about home schooling for a while now; since Angie was a baby, actually. I had planned to home school her for the preschool years, but then Emmy was born and I couldn’t function on very little sleep, so I put the idea of home school on hold. I don’t regret sending Angie to school. It was the best thing for me and for her at that point in our lives. We’ll be sending Emmy to the same school in January.
Home schooling is still on my heart, though. Over the last few weeks I’ve started doing more research on it, and the more I read, the stronger I feel that this is the direction God is leading us.
I want the best for my children.
I love my daughters. I want them to blossom. I want them to be the very best they can be – to grow into the women God made them to be. I don’t yet know what their particular learning styles are, but it’s something we can discover together. If we home school, they won’t have to compete with 25 other children for their teacher’s attention. I can adapt the curriculum to suit them and work at a pace that they can thrive at.
I want them to be social.
In a school setting, they would be surrounded by children their own age. They would learn behaviour and language from these children. I have already noticed that Angie’s table manners took a turn for the worse when she started preschool. If we home school, the girls would interact with children of various ages, as well as adults, in a variety of settings. Which is more beneficial? I feel it’s the latter.
I don’t believe that home schooling will negatively impact their socialisation. There are so many ways to involve them in social activities – church, youth group, sports. They are naturally social creatures anyway and I know they’d go crazy if home school was limited to staying in the home.
I want school to be a safe place.
These days, schools are not necessarily safe. There have been two separate incidents reported this year of teachers accidentally showing pornographic material to their classes. Never mind the bullying, there is the concern that someone might rape my child at school, or that she could be offered drugs. She will undoubtedly be exposed to foul language and inappropriate behaviour.
I don’t want my daughters to be so sheltered that they have no idea of the real world; I want them to be so rooted in truth that they can stand firm when confronted with the realities of life. I want them to feel safe enough to ask questions, to try new things, to make mistakes – without having to worry about drugs or peer pressure or whether they’re in the cool group.
I want them to know Jesus.
When I was at school, Bible Education was part of the curriculum. That, unfortunately, is no longer the case. We try to incorporate Bible teaching into our daily lives as much as possible since we believe it is our responsibility as parents. I worry about what is being taught at schools, and it concerns me that some schools do not allow prayer or even Scripture Union groups anymore.
If we home school, I can choose or create a curriculum that has a strong Scriptural element. I can ensure that the books, plays and films we study have positive moral lessons. I can teach them that Jesus can be part of everything, even schoolwork.
So, will we be home schooling?
I don’t know yet. If we decide to go this route then it will be because we feel it is absolutely the best thing for our family and that it is what God wants us to do. We need to do more thinking, more research, more praying and listening for that still, small voice.
Do you home school? Would you ever consider it?