Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School

I feel as though I could write pages of pages about home school. The good, the bad, and the depressingly ugly. Let me start by noting a few questions or comments I have encountered in the past three years...
- Do you think you can create the classroom experience and educational tools that Israel would need in your home? (and mostly added on - WITH a two year old around?)
- Don't you love your child? Why would you want someone else (meaning teacher) to be around him and have more hours of the day with him than you?
- What do you want more for your son? An education or character? (by the way I think that it can be both!)
- Does he have any friends beside his sister?
- What in the world are you going to do with all your time if you don't home school him?

* These are just a few. They mostly make me laugh. They have made me think, and sometimes they have made me cry. Home school itself is a tricky subject. My opinion is that it is definitely not a mandate from a Biblical standpoint. It is an option that can be a great possibility if it fits for your family as well as the type of community that you are involved in. For us it was a good alternative to allow time for Israel to work on things in a calm environment, and build up his confidence as well as developer his character in the process. I am glad we did it and I am glad that Israel is now in public school. I firmly believe that character is built in the home and can be shaped in any environment. We have already had some awesome talks about things that have gone on in the classroom as well as the playground. Israel is distinguishing things that are in line with our principles of the home and he is making strides to choose these ways. In the past few days of school I have watched him walk these things out with an awesome heart. Here are somethings that I think help a home school situation:
- lots of siblings (Israel being four years apart from Aubrey although he LOVES her he craved playmates)
- financially stable (home school is a great opportunity to take field trips, outings etc. Gas money is expensive to do these things along with the cost of them)
- working (home school is a full time job. the planning it takes to run a smooth schedule along with running the household takes its toll. I worked avg of 20 hrs a week on top of this and it made things a bit scattered)
- Co-ops (Israel had a weekly music class which he loved, but between working and doing the actual work of schooling plus a two year old I did not join in any co-ops.)
- Reality of what your child needs (I believe this is the most important. Many kids excel in home school! With Israel he just needed more structure, more schedule. I knew I could not provide this at home. I needed to accept this as a positive and not a failure on my part. So my encouragement would be to constantly be evaluating not only your situation but your child.)

And be encouraged! Do what is best for your family. Don't be pressured to become what you are not. Home school is not a ticket for Holiness. It is a choice. Public school is not a ticket to all things unholy. It is a choice as well. Both can be done well and in both choices we need the help of the Holy Spirit to help us and our children.

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