Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 6- Centrality of the Family

Children spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. Why do we let it continue?

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Did you ever wonder why most parents of public school kids don’t question the fact that their kids are in school more than they are with their own families? The average school student will spend about 30 hours a week minimum in the school building. This does not include the endless after-school programs designed for test-prep, art enrichment, chess club, organized sports, and so on. Nor does this include the before-school breakfast programs or the hours many children spend at a child care center until their parents are done working, which- to me- is simply another type of school. Until everything is said and done, a good portion of children will not see the inside of their homes until after 6 pm, after which there will be a rushed dinner, an hour or two of homework, and quite possibly some unwinding in front of the TV before bed. The next morning, the cycle will begin again.

I’m not pointing the finger. I did the same thing when my kids were in school. I signed them up for every after-school program known to man, for fear they might miss out on something otherwise. I sent them to school early for breakfast because, hey, it was a lot easier and my house got quieter a lot quicker. I told myself that I was doing the right thing because…well…school is good, right?

But then once my children finally came home for the day, I’d be shaking my head, thinking, Why can’t my kids just get along? Why are they so wound up? Why won’t my middle schooler come out of her room?

When I began homeschooling, this problem was certainly not one of my reasons to pull them out of school. I still hadn’t seen the connection. In fact, I anticipated that things might get worse having the kids together all the time.

But I was wrong.

Things started getting better. My kids started playing together and soon became the best of friends. My daughter who never left her room initiated movie nights and marathons of TV shows and animes with me almost every day of the week. She’d follow me around the kitchen after she awoke every morning, telling me about her dreams and wondering what they meant. The chaos that I expected simply didn’t happen.

I eventually asked my daughter what had changed that made her actually come out of her room. Had she been going through a phase? What she told me was very straightforward. She said that after being in school all day, she was drained, but she couldn’t rest because she usually had at least two hours of homework. By the time she was finished, she was so tired, she would just lay in her room, vegging out.

Is this the kind of life we want for our kids?

I slowly began to realize that the root of the behavioral problems at home was school.

  • My kids weren’t getting along because they weren’t together enough.
  • They were hyper because they had been forced to sit all day long.
  • They were stressed, exhausted, and cranky, but it wasn’t because of being home. It was because of school.

Additionally, since my children weren’t with my husband and me very much, we were not as influential on them as we would have liked. If your kids spend 6-8 hours a day with their teachers and peers and only a few with you, who do you think they are going to emulate? If your kids have teachers and friends with the same values as you, it may not be so bad, but, how often will that be true in this day and age?

What will happen, inevitably, is your children will likely begin to look up to their friends and their teachers, instead of you, their parents. Where do you think the ‘My parents don’t know anything’ idea originated?

Family will soon become a mere nuisance to those who have learned through experience that there will always be other people who are around them more. Siblings will be brushed aside, parents will be ignored, and family harmony will be a thing of the past.

But none of this has to happen…

I learned the effect that schooling can have on children the hard way, but it was so worth it, because when my 14-yr-old rests her head on my shoulder during church, or my 16-yr-old says, “Bye, Mom! I love you. Love you, Dad,” in front of his friends, or I see my younger children happily playing together, I know I made the right decision.

Like I said before, I may not have started this journey because of our family relationships, but the Lord knows that, in this case, homeschooling was just what the doctor ordered.

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

26 thoughts on “Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 6- Centrality of the Family”

  1. This is all so true! One of the reasons I hated homework when my kids were in public school was because it extended the school day and took away precious family time, even on the weekends and holidays. The bottom line for me is that I want as much time as possible to enjoy, teach, and influence my children while I have them at home. Now with 3 adult kids, I know for a fact how fast the first 18 years go by. School shouldn’t take up the majority of that time. There needs to be more balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I didn’t include this in my post, but the whole homework thing is actually a part of the hidden curriculum- surveillance. I found that out in a John Gatto book. It’s pretty insidious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I believe it! I do know studies have proven that homework is basically needless. I just don’t understand why parents put up with it. My husband wrote a note to a second-grade teacher once who expected all our son’s spelling words to be cut out of a newspaper. He lost his patience with that nonsense.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There is so much beauty in the unexpected areas of homeschooling, isn’t there? We’re finishing up our 13th year of homeschooling this year, and graduating our 2nd child. Crazy how quickly the clock moves. Our youngest goes into high school next year, and we’ve been praying about sending him to a local private school, so this could potentially be our last year of homeschooling. Good thoughts this morning, thanks for sharing.🙂 ((grace upon grace))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really interesting perspective. I wish my daughter had siblings close to her age. She is basically an only child. Her closest sibling is 21 and well out of the home. She seems to need the friendships at school, but I do worry about the socialism and lack of Christian focus. I am praying about this daily now as we draw closer to high school. One of the reasons I let her stay in school was because close to 90 percent of the teachers in our local public schools are born-again Christians. We go to church with many of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were also very blessed to have some born-again Christian teachers in school when our kids went, as well. The problem was that their hands were often tied with certain things the schools were doing that they didn’t agree with. In fact, they often used to approach me and ask me to complain to the principal every now and then because, as teachers, they couldn’t. I understand your concern with your daughter being an only child. One encouragement I have if you would ever take her out of school is that between neighbors, co-ops, homeschool groups, and outside sports and activities, many homeschoolers have no issue at all with spending time with friends. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. This is one of the key reasons that has persuaded my husband to choose homeschooling. Our two are only little, but the few mornings a week our son has been going to kindergarten has really changed his home behaviour. This just wasn’t acceptable to us, so we have pulled him out. Scary decision? Yes! Because it is so different to everyone else. His teachers were very kind and supportive but I know they don’t understand. But the joy of seeing my three-year-old caring and playing kindly with my almost two-year-old is just so worth. My gut just says, “Yes. This is how it is supposed to be”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I would have noticed it as early as you! Our oldest was in 9th grade when we finally pulled them out of school. Better late than never, though, right? Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. That was so helpful to read! We are in the throws of discerning whether or not to homeschool… and this tipped me further toward a resounding yes! Kids can learn at their own pace, they develop way better relationships with one another, and they have the opportunity to really go deep on what hey find interesting! My only fear is still the massive workload for moi! Really appreciated reading this🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it helps at all, I homeschool nine children, and my workload is very manageable. I think some people make it very hard for themselves by trying to imitate traditional school, but homeschooling doesn’t have to be that way! I actually recently wrote about this here. Thanks for reading!

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  6. This was great, it is so true. I have always homeschooled, yes my children fight. However, I see that they get along and know each other really well. It makes my heart rejoice when they comfort each other as well as enjoy the company of each other🙂 Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this reason for homeschooling! Back when I was in the classroom, I truly felt like my students were “my kids,” but it made me sad to realize that I actually did spend more time with them all than their own families! That led to some very special relationships with some of the families that have continued over the years, but definitely had something to do with the decision to keep our daughter home with us! So happy to see you linking up with us again at #FridayFrivolity

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son and daughter’s first grade teachers are now retired, but we are still very good friends with them 10 years later. My kids help them with gardening, babysitting their grandkids, helping out at the fair, etc. They are wonderful ladies.

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  8. Makes so much sense. But I think the key is how much ‘unscheduled free time’ is included.

    For e.g. my son spends 5 hours at pre kinder, which has two breaks for snacking and two breaks for outdoor play in the playground. He’s much happier here than he was in his previous school which was for ‘only’ 2.5 hours, but was tighly scheduled. He did love the extra 2 hours he spent in the school’s day care- because of the unscheduled free time!

    Thanks for sharing, insightful as always🙂

    #practicalmondays

    Liked by 1 person

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