Monday, March 2, 2009

I love Homeschooling

Yesterday, a lady at church asked me about homeschooling. "But, don't you worry about their socialization?" she inquired. "Yes", I replied. "That's why I homeschool. At school they learn 'social skills' from other kids who have no social skills".

She didn't know what to say to that as that fact had probably never crossed her mind.

I did tell her that they get plenty of social experiences through scouting and church activities, through our homeschooling friends, cousins, community events etc. and that no, of course not, I don't want them to be wierd. But, that I do worry about the amount of disrespect that is so common in our public schoolrooms as the teachers aren't able to discipline as they once were.

Most of us as parents care very deeply about our children, their education, their spirituality etc. We do what we feel is the right thing for our families. And, for many, that is public schools. Though I wonder how many of them even know (or feel) that there are alternatives to the 'traditions of the fathers'.

I've found that my children get along better when they are homeschooled. Sure, we still have our tifs and challenges, but, there is a better spirit in our home, we can discuss and study things that we otherwise woudn't be able to, and we know that the Lord is guiding our studies.

Because we've chosen this path, we have less of the worldly influences and also, less financially. But, I feel, the trade-off is worth it. The sacrifices on my part and actually compensated for in love at home and in more light and truth being available.


Jeannetta said...

Amen! Wait, that wasn't loud enough... AMEN!!! :)

Rick Carpenter said...

Sorry this is long. I tend to explain things to death…

I must admit that when I first read about your feeling the need to home-school in Utah, it made me wonder why. I can easily see the need in other parts of the country, where public schools routinely get a failing grade. For example, New York has the highest per-capita educational costs but yield among the poorest results. Utah is always at or near the top of the performance and efficiency statistics, so one might wonder why people there would choose to home-school. I think you are helping me become a little wiser… and the more I think about it, the more clearly I see what education in the ‘last days’ might be like.

At the jr. high and high school where my kids attend, the problems are rampant. Drug deals are made in the hallways, and gang activity is growing. Not long ago my son (who is now on a mission) went to give blood at a school blood drive. They ended up having to throw out more than half of the blood from the students because of sexually transmitted diseases. And we live in a relatively decent area! There is a sizeable LDS population at our school, so having the social sanctuary of friends and seminary helps.

Most of us know that in the future the church members will become more of a separate people in order to protect our children and our values. Our chapels are designed to function as education facilities – schools – as well as religious. They will be much like charter schools. In fact, the approval and advent of charter schools recently may have been a fulfillment of prophecy in that it paves the way for this separation in a legal sense – just like the religious freedom gained from the Revolutionary War set the stage for the restoration of the gospel. In time, we all will be ‘home-schooling’ our children, but it will be a the church buildings, which will more closely resemble charter schools. The quality of education will be top-notch for several reasons, including the fact that, as you stated about your home-schooling, that you feel the Lord’s guiding hand in your efforts. There also will be no silly ‘separation of church and state’, as we are blessed to know that there is no such separation except for those who want to expel God from their lives. Allowing the LDS youth (and those non-members who want to participate) to learn and socialize together in a larger group will help them have the group skills in a much more protective environment. I cannot see anything but positive attributes in this image of future education. The only grim view comes from stepping outside the protective environment of the Lord’s church and His people, and going back into the world.

So, Heidi, where do you fit in to this big picture? The way I see it, you are a pioneer in the area of the future education of our children. You are already doing what most LDS families will be compelled to do in the near future, and it is working for you. You are setting an example for those who will follow. You will have a lead position in helping families make the difficult transition from the public school system into the chapel-based charter schools, where the children will be taught by US, moms and dads, based on our own professional and educational skills. I can see how it would be great. People like you could teach Spanish, English, journalism, history, home economics, and many other subjects, where people like me could teach civics, social studies, science, vocation skills, etc. Pooling our experience and talents in this way would be very fulfilling and would give our children an education that is unmatched anywhere.

So for those who may treat you like you are ‘weird’, as you mention to in your writings, I see that you are proactive, anxiously engaged in your children’s best interests, and in the long-term scheme of things, you are way ahead of the curve that we all must eventually experience. You are leading the way for us, which will be a blessing to many who struggle with 'forsaking the world'.

Rick Carpenter said...

Another reason to love homeschooling - this is a quote from Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) about public education:
"That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."

So private schooling, including homeschooling, give the student a huge advantage in that it encourages them to excel rather than fit in to the lowest common denominator. More fotter for your cannon, Heidi!

Heidi A. said...

Wow -- Rick --- you hit the nail on the head!
And, yes, I hope for the day that we can use church building for those purposes. They are mostly empty during the week anyway! And, some of us have already hoped for that future vision which you have.
Can you imagine the wonderful things that could happen if the Lord's spirit were present in the teaching of true principles in all areas of science, math, music, languages etc?

My Dad is a visionary as well. We grew up thinking 'outside the box' and being willing to stand up for what we believed in.

My oldest brother is working with Microsoft and Intel on providing eLearning anywhere in the world. They have taken small wind-up computers to third world countries where these kids KNOW that their only way out of poverty is through education. It is changing lives and these children are availed truths that they had no idea existed.

If those in our govt. intended for the best education for our children; then Prophets wouldn't have spoken out so strongly against them.

My kids have done both public school and homeschool. We're prayerful each year as to their needs (and my abilities) :). I often wonder what the future will bring.

Here's a GREAT quote by Elder Packer. "The difference between being well-schooled and well-educated rests somehow in what you do with the knowledge you have gained."

Thanks, Rick, for your honesty. I appreciate the fact that you are open to things that go against the 'norm' because the accepted norm may not be the Lord's way! (especially since we know who claims to be the God of 'this world'.)

ash said...

Schooling is the best the way to learn anything that can be use to learn. Remember less knowledge is danger.

Heidi A. said...

You have a point -- but I wonder how much thought you really gave to it. There is MUCH to learn in life. Who said that it had to be while sitting at a desk? Have you read any of the studies on the brain or the differing ways that people learn? Not everyone does well in the same type of environment.

Of course we want to learn and know as much as we possibly can. But, not all truth is of equal value.

If you have an 'educated' person with no values; to what purpose did that education REALLY serve?

busdriver9799 said...

I had to add, a little off. I drive a school bus and today was the first day back to school. As I pulled away from a stop there were about 8 military wives who as I took their kids away started cheering and yelling yes freedom, etc. At first I kind of laughed, then I was disturbed.