Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Facade

I have been pondering this entry for several days now. I'm not sure I can get this message across how I would like, but I'm gonna give it a shot.
Again, I must say, I am not writing this to offend anyone, that is not my intention here, I'm just explaining my position.
Last week, my neighbor and I were talking. She told me that Dillon had gone over to her house to ask if her daughter was home from school yet. She wasn't. When he was told this he said, "I wish I went to school." Well, this started her on a whole long explanation of the fact that she knows she would abuse her daughter if she homeschooled because she gets frustrated just doing her homework with her. She then went on to say that of the 3 homeschooling families in our little area, only R seems like she is ok to homeschool. Why? Because she has never heard R yell at her kids, so therefore she must be good to teach! I told her that R is never ever outside to yell at her kids, and that that makes no difference whatsoever. She didn't get it.
At any rate, it got me thinking. Homeschooling is so foreign to some people. I think when a lot of people think of homeschoolers, they think of this nice quiet atmosphere where everyone gets along all day and no one squabbles or gets irritated with anyone else. I think it is the same with parenting, no one wants to show the true side, but that's another post.
That's the facade. You can go online and read about homschoolers, and you will, inevitably, hear almost nothing but the good. No one wants to talk about that bad. Which is fine, I personally don't want to talk about the bad either. But the point is, there is bad.
Homeschoolers are human. We squabble. We lose our tempers. We raise our voices in front of other people.
I think that to tell me that because you have heard me yell at my kids, I should send them to someone else for most of the day is absurd.
God has called us to raise our children. We don't feel the need to send them away for 7-8 hours a day for someone else to influence them. They are our responsibility to protect. We have seen the influence the neighborhood kids have on ours, we can't fathom what a whole day at school would do.
Even for families who don't believe God has called them to homeschool, the advantage of keeping them home far outweigh the disadvantages. My best friend homeschools. She has a 15 year old daughter. I have a friend with a 15 year old daughter, also. The difference in the two is amazing. The one is public school is sexually active. The homeschooled one doesn't really have a huge interest in boys. The homeschooled girl spends time with her family and enjoys doing so. The public schooled girl spends most of her time "hanging out with friends". Now of course, this could be due to family dynamics and the way they were raised. But it could also be due to peer pressure issues.
I don't care if my children are "too sheltered" why in the world would I want them to be exposed to everything kids are exposed to these days? Yikes!
This post is getting off track I think. My original thought was that we aren't perfect. But still able to homeschool. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to be patient. You don't have to be organized. "I'm not patient enough" and "I'm not organized enough" are the two main reasons you will hear people say they don't want to homeschool. The funny thing about that is that I don't even have to ask. I simply say, "oh, we homeschool" and the response if one of the above statements.
I'm not saying that I think you should homeschool. Everyone has to do what is right for their family. I am simply saying, I don't judge you for sending your kids to school, please don't assume that we must not be doing a good job if you hear my raise my voice. Of course my kids annoy me. Anyone would annoy me if I spent 24 hours a day with them. But we have such a great relationship, regardless.
We are a family. And we enjoy being together.
We don't plan on changing anything anytime soon.

I'm disappointed, that whole thing was worded badly, and didn't really say what I wanted it to. More of a tangent. Oh well.


Crayonsetc said...

Well I will say that I do completely understand what you are saying... and yes, I am one who says 'I am not organized enough' ;) but they have no right in saying you shouldn't homeschool just because you raise your voice. Oh my... I raise my voice and my DD DOES go to public school ;)

Vicki said...

Bek... you are doing what you feel is best for your family and nobody has the right to judge you on that. I admire the fact that you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to homeschool your children. Of course you are going to raise your voice from time to time, you are human after all. I think that your post was very well written, it got your point across very well. I have to admit that at the beginning, my thought was.. I really admire you, I wouldn't have the patience to do it myself... and then when I got to the part of your post which says those reasons, I was shocked at myself. You really made me think. Keep up the great work.

Shell said...

Bek, I am so proud of you! You did a great job getting across what you want to say, and you are doing a great job! It's great to hear you "say" what you feel, I know the doubts you and all of us have, but you are doing a WONDERFUL job, and you know down inside you are doing whats right for your family! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

This is from Bekki's dad, Papa.
We all want what is absolutely the best thing for our children. This means the best socialization and the best education.
The difficult decision is what is best for the children. Certainly there are really crummy schools and teachers, and really crummy home schoolers that treat home school like one giant recess.
Sadly, it's really hard to know and decide what is best for each child.
Truly, the important part is being engaged in the process of agonizing what the best for our children is.
One metric we might use is the children's performance on standardized tests. If they are ready at grade level, and there math is at grade level, then we're going good.

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