Ok, as Melissa’s husband and the head of our household, I have been sitting on the sideline today watching and reading the commentary between parties. To shed a little more light on who Matt is, he was my roommate in college. I have a lot of respect for Matt as a Christian leader in his household and as a true friend of mine. Knowing that he has a true relationship with our Savior gives me a lot of respect for his opinion.
As far as homeschooling goes, I would like to give a little perspective from our journey that we have traveled to get to the place we are today.
When our oldest was nearing school age I started to become convicted to homeschool. My wife and I talked about it, but being in a small community and having her dad on school board for years made it very awkward to come to the decision to do so. Melissa started teaching music in the school where our two oldest were attending and immediately found it helpful to be at school along with two of our kids. However, as the year went on it became absolutely clear to Melissa that the intent of school was no longer being accomplished. We believe that a vast majority of school administrators and teachers have the child’s best interest at heart.
But seeing kindergartners coming to school talking about sex, talking about pornography, talking about R rated movies greatly disturbed us. You see, as Christians we talk about being salt and light, but there is no reason we should expect our six year old to combat Satan in an arena where the teachers are not allowed to say that there is right and wrong.
The next year our family began to teach from our house.
Sometimes we hear that we are sheltering our kids. I ask, as parents, is that not our responsibility? Do we allow our kids to run into a busy intersection without trying to stop them? We know that no matter where our kids are there are influences also. We need to be the number one influence in their lives under the authority of Jesus Christ. The government school makes it very clear that we as parents are not the number one influence. The government school system has given up on families. There is no way for us to be number one when our kids are in school for eight hours, on the bus for another half hour, winding down at home after school for another half hour, doing homework for another hour, (why do kids have homework when they were just in school for eight hours?). I do not see the common sense in this approach.
I have the greatest wife I could have imagined having; there is no one who is harder on herself to make sure our children have the best education possible, but education is so much more than school work. Our kids know how to take care of a family. Isn’t that what it’s about, knowing how to raise a family? One thing I noticed from the discussion today is that sometimes we give opinions on things even though we actually have not experienced both worlds. We sent our kids to public school for four years – my wife taught as a pubic school for a year, a number of teachers and the superintendent told us that we were making the right choice to home educate. Our observations are not without merit.
As home educators we get comments all the time that we are going to ruin our kids, so why does everyone comment on how good our kids are? As home educators we face a lot of negativity; it was interesting to read one of the person’s blog today to learn that she felt attacked for doing what she loves to do. We know what that is like.
I know this was long, but I felt I needed to share my thoughts.