Thursday, November 30, 2006

Making Change, part 1

As a comment to this blog, Indiana Jane asked, "so how do we do it?" I primed everyone for the responses in this entry, which I posted last week.

Instead of talking politics, we'll tackle another topic, and show how it relates to Jane's question. That topic is homeschooling. Even if you don't homeschool, you probably know someone who considered homeschooling or does homeschool their children, so hang with me.

This topic is too big to cover in one post, and my thoughts are still being formulated for subsequent entries. This ride is, after all, a pay as you go deal; just in time processing, if you will.

Everyone take your positions.

On your mark...get set...


Homeschooling. It's not just for whacked out, isolationist Christians any more. Okay, it really never was, but had that reputation. Approximately 2.0 million children are homeschooled. Not much, you say? Understand that the movement has grown between 7%-12% annually since the turn of the millennium. (I wish my stock portfolio would consistently grow at those rates.)

So, while the percentage of children being homeschooled is trending up, it is still a small minority of the full population. Homeschooling parents are still bucking the trend, and doing what others won't do, won't consider or could care less about.

So, if you are reading this and are a homeschooling parent, you decided to do something that the majority is not doing. But you did it anyway.

If you homeschool, why did you decide to buck the trend, when maybe even parents, relatives and close friends disagreed with your decision? I am not asking what your reasons were for homeschooling. I am asking what your reasons were for not caring what others thought.

There is a difference. Let's see why you, or your homeschooling friends, distanced yourself from the peer pressure of sending your kids off to school. I am ready and eager to read your comments.


Jonathan said...

Hi Rick,
We don't home school our kids although we momentarily entertained the idea at one time. It's a matter of priorities I guess. In an ideal world, I'd make enough money to have my wife not work at all (she does part-time, mostly at-home stuff) so she'd have the time to do it and she'd feel up to the task. We are not really pushed to do it because we are in a good public school district and we also reinforce our family and Christian values at home and through our regular church involvement. Hey, I grew up through the Philadelphia public school system and I didn't turn out all that bad (if I say so my self!). :-)
Anyway, you may be interested in some posts at Susan's Pendulum about Home Schooling here. This one is listed as 'part 5'. If you search within her blog, you can find the other parts.
Hope this lends to the conversation.
See ya,

Anonymous said...

"Not caring?"

It's not that I don't care, and I can't recall anyone disagreeing or advising against our homeschooling when we started (with the possible exception of my wife...).

But ultimately, I am the head of the household. It is my responsibility to see to the kids' education, and I weighed the options and made the decision.

Anonymous said...

By the way, if we lived in a small community with good schools, we probably wouldn't home school.

Favorite Apron said...

Homeschooling for me was an extension of an attachment parenting lifestyle.

We had much resistance from family but proceeded because they also had been objecting to every other parenting decision we'd made.

We looked at it as a way we wanted to live rather an an educational choice.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

My reasons for not caring what others thought: because it was and is the best option for our girls' education at the moment. If there was a good school around us, we might not homeschool either, but this is the best choice right now. My family does not agree with our choice, but they don't like anything we do. :P

Presbytera said...

You'll be surprised to hear this but I have always been a non-conformist...marching to the beat of my own drum appeals to me. Having my dear husband on my side is all the support I need so I pretty much don't care at all what my peers are/were doing. The only 2 things I took into consideration were would homeschooling benefit Nick and was I up to the task. Once I answered in the affirmative to both, there was no peer pressure in the world which would have changed my mind.

Susan said...

Now, I would say that my reasons agree largely with Mrs Apron's comments. But originally, the "not caring" was primarily because of one thing. I wanted my children to learn to read. I was not happy with the reading skills of kids even in the best school districts, and the skepticism (or outright disapproval) of family wasn't going to get in the way of doing what was best for my kids -- that is, ensuring that they learned to read well.

Marie N. said...

I wanted to keep my children from the liberal political-social agenda in the local public schools. I was also *very* intrigued by the notion that if my child didn't "get" the way one publisher presented information (math or spelling, for example) I could stop the program and try soemthing else. The other benefits are gravy.

History is revised so quickly these days -- much more quickly than when I went to school.

Jonathan said...

One benefit of home schooling is that you don't have to deal with this 'stuff' (unless you teach this cr#p at home):

I will be contacting the school principal about a "Welcome Dewali" coloring paper my son brought home. Of course, doing something about 'baby Jesus' (ooh, I said the 'J' word!) as we approach Christmas is way to offensive.
BTW - Dewali is a festival to welcome 'Lakshmi, the goddess of good luck and wealth.

Jane said...

Chiming in late, because I've hardly read blogs since Thanksgiving....

Deciding to homeschool was hard for me. Dh and I both come from very conventional upper-middle class families AND my mil and four aunts are/were teachers. There was almost unanimous family opposition. My own reluctance was also a big obstacle.

But when it came right down to it I *knew*--even though I'd never met a homeschooler--that this is what I needed to do for my child, just like I knew that I needed to nurse them and that making them "cry it out" wasn't necessarily the best idea in most circumstances.