I had originally intended to write about the centrality of the family this week. In fact, I had absolutely no plans to touch on the issue of political correctness at all because I assumed I had it well covered with my post on values. Unfortunately, however, I woke up Saturday morning to read in the local newspaper that our self-apponted king president had issued a decree which threatens to cut off funding to schools who do not allow students to choose whichever restroom or locker room they feel like using, instead of that which best fits their actual gender.
Despite my admitted dislike of the public education system, I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought that our school system would be reduced to nothing but a social engineering experiment by the leader of our country. Our president has taken it upon himself to re-write truth and alter the moral fabric that has defined civilized society for centuries, and he is now enforcing it to the extreme in our very own schools.
Upon reading the article yesterday morning, I was fuming and, honestly, ranting and raving to my husband about it. He questioned why I was upset, because our children are homeschooled. I replied that I am anguished for the children in the public education system whose parents either can’t or won’t pull them out of school.
Obama claims his “decree” is to protect the rights of these students who suffer from a disorder that makes them feel like they were born the wrong sex. First of all, these people comprise less than 1% of the population. Secondly, and most importantly, what about the rights of everyone else?
What about the rights of our daughters and sons to maintain privacy in the most sensitive situations? Are you comfortable with the thought of a male student entering the girls’ locker room while your daughter is changing? I would surely hope the answer is no! This should not be allowed! Instead of focusing on the discomfort of 1% of the population, why not turn our attention to the other 99%? This is ludicrous.
Alarmingly, there aren’t even any limitations to this. Anyone can use the restroom of their choice. Anyone. There are no doctor’s notes or formal diagnoses required to be afforded this “right.” I’m going to say it again. Any student can do it- which puts children everywhere at risk.
The issue with Target is bad enough, but at least there a parent can accompany their children to the restroom. This isn’t going to happen in your children’s school!
And make no mistake that there is a political agenda to this. Think about it. Can a 16-yr-old say that they’ve always felt older and be served at a bar? What about Rachel Dolezal? There was an uproar when it was discovered that she had lied about her racial heritage and was a leader of the NAACP. She publicly stated that she identified as an African-American and gave her reasons. It was no use. Amidst cries of racial appropriation she was forced to step down from her position. For the record, I do not agree with what she did. I am making a point that simply because you identify with one group of people does not mean that you are one of them.
Why, then, is this self-delusion being forced upon our children by none other than our nation’s leader? Where do you draw the line? What is the real reason behind all this?
To be honest. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I do know one thing. There can’t be anything good that will come out of this. The changeover from a republic to an oligarchy has begun. It has been insidious, and it has been making its way into our schools for decades now. The only difference is that it is no longer being hidden from the public.
How has this happened? We have been conditioned to accept it for decades. And where do you think this training has occurred?
I am pleading with you to give some serious thought to whether you’re willing to be a part of this. Do you feel safe sending your children to school, knowing what they now must face? Please, reconsider the notion that school is the only way to go. Your children’s futures and well-being depend upon it.
The time has come for another installment of “Lazy Day Links.” This was my younger children’s last week of homeschool activities, and I.am.exhausted. So, yeah. I’m guessing this weekend will be very lazy for me. 😛
This Is My Home, This Is My School– Jonathan Bean (Note: This is a children’s book but definitely worth a mention because it is the only picture book I’ve ever seen written in a realistic way about the life of a homeschooler. I highly recommend this book.)
Choose what?, you may ask. I’m getting to that. 🙂 Since there are so many points to be covered today, I’ve decided to compile a list of:
Ten Choices Exclusive to Homeschooling
1. One of the greatest choices afforded to homeschoolers is when to school. While traditional school students are bound by the established school schedule, homeschoolers have the opportunity to arrange their days and years around their family’s schedules, or their own personal preferences. Most government and private schools operate around a late summer to late spring schedule (September to June) with a 12-week summer vacation. There are a great many homeschoolers who follow this schedule. My older children prefer to. But what of those families who cringe at the thought of so many months of school with so few breaks, followed by an extremely long summer break? They get creative! Some will operate around a 6-week on, 1-week off schedule with 6-week breaks at Thanksgiving/Christmas and spring/summer, as my younger children do. Others may do 3- or 4-weeks on and 1-week off. Still others may not even do an official count of school days because, technically, homeschooled children are “in school” everyday!
Determining what time of the day is also a benefit to homeschoolers. Study upon study has shown that many children, especially older children, do not function well early in the morning. How have most schools reacted to this? By making school even earlier! High school students in our district must be in school by around 7:30 am, whereas when I was in school, our day officially started at 8:25. There was a recommendation for our schools to begin later, but most of the teachers protested because they didn’t want to get done at a later time.
As the primary facilitators of our children’s education, we are granted the sovereignty to determine when our days will begin and end. My younger children don’t start school work until mid-morning, followed by our older children who begin about 30 minutes to an hour before lunch. We then take a two hour lunch/chores break until 2pm, when it is time to read a devotional with my teens, who up until this time, haven’t even thought of their assignments yet. After the devotional I finish up any work the older children haven’t completed. My teens don’t even start their school work until about 8pm; sometimes much later than that. Since they are night owls, this is what works for them, so it works for me. You can read more on a detailed plan of our day here.
2. As the facilitators, we have the choice of what curriculum to use, or even whether to use one at all. Traditional schools have hundreds, sometimes thousands of children to educate. As such, they’ll typically choose whatever curriculum is cheapest and most efficient, no matter how it will resonate with the students. As parents, it’s easy for us to see that what works for one child may not work for another. There is such a vast array of homeschooling resources out there, that it can be overwhelming to a new homeschooler, but all the same, it is such a huge blessing, because brick-and-mortar school students do not have that luxury. There, if a student has difficulty with the learning style catered to in the text, they’re out of luck and have to deal with it. As the primary educators of our kids, we want our children to be genuinely interested in what they’re learning. We all know what happens when there is no desire to learn about something- it is quickly forgotten. The curriculum our family’s decide upon are those that will best meet our family’s needs, even if that means each child uses resources from different publishers.
3. Just as we choose the curriculum, we also choose whether or not to change it if it is not working. Similarly to #2, where I discussed the plight of a school student who does not mesh with the mandated curriculum, homeschoolers sometimes find that, while it may have seemed like the perfect fit at first, the chosen curriculum may not be the one for them, after all. Unlike the average student, homeschoolers are free to change resources anytime they choose to- the beginning of the year, the middle of the year, sometimes even the end of the year. In the end, our child’s education matters more than what books we use.
4. The homeschooling methods we choose are completely up to us. Traditional schools are acclimated to the auditory learner. Surprise, surprise- some children are not auditory learners. The only way public schools can deal with this is to place them in “special classes,” which often produces a stigma a child carries with them for the rest of their lives. There are just as many different ways to homeschool as there are families. Homeschooling will look different in each household because each family utilizes the methods and routines that work best for them. Some prefer a more structured, schoolish atmosphere. Others rely on reading good literature and real-world math or unit studies to fulfill their learning requirements. And still others may use life as their curriculum and not separate their everyday lives from their education at all. I’d wager, though, that the vast majority of families are like us, and use a giant mish-mosh of each of these. Again, our goal is to meet the needs of our children. And that’s what we do.
5. The topics covered in our children’s homeschooling endeavors are our choice. Conventional schools have set syllabuses for each year- certain subjects and skills are to be covered in certain years. Not so with homeschoolers. We have the freedom to allow our children who might have no interest in reading at the age of 5 to blossom and develop before forcing something on them they are not ready for. Or maybe our middle schooler has a passionate fervor for biology. Who says they have to wait for high school? To the flexible homeschooler, the answer to that is no one! Each child can learn about something when they are ready, and not a moment sooner.
We also have the option of taking the interests of our children and planning lessons around them. As I said before, children learn best when they are interested. Take advantage of it. My oldest daughter loves Japanes manga and anime. Allowing her the freedom to pursue her interest in that has led to:
– drawing and painting anime style characters of her own design using mediums
such as watercolor, chalk and oil pastels, acrylics, and gel pens
– taking flash animation, narrative illustration, and drawing and painting classes at
the local art school
– learning to sew in order to make her own costumes for the various conventions
– learning the Japanese language through Rosetta Stone, anime, and online
– learning both styles of Japanese writing characters
– researching Japanese culture and geography
– creating a storyline for her own future online webcomic
I don’t think anyone could sufficiently argue that no learning happened there. 🙂
6. Homeschoolers have the choice of dropping everything for the day in order to pursue something other than school work. This could be anything from taking a walk to the playground to visiting a museum to even vegging out on the couch for a movie day. When you’re a homeschooling family, the world is at your feet.
*These last four are suggestions from my oldest daughters, so here’s their input!*
7. Homeschoolers can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. The current school system has classes packed in so tightly now that most students have to practically inhale thier food before the bell rings. Our lunch break at home is two hours long, and as for school lunches…need I say more??
8. Homeschoolers have the option of doing school in their pajamas. We often do. Looking out the window in the morning and seeing all the kids walking to school in their uncomfortable uniforms makes us love our jammie pants all the more!
9. Homeschoolers can decide where to do their work. No need to sit at cramped desks all day. Homeschoolers can do their assignments on the couch, at the table, in the yard, on the porch, at the park, at Grandma’s house- anywhere!
10. Homeschooled students have the option of working at their own pace. If something doesn’t make sense or just isn’t clicking, there’s no need to move on to the next chapter. There is no law stating that each textbook must be completed. As a matter of fact, there’s no law stating that we have to use textbooks at all. At home, we have the option of moving slowly through a difficult area and not surmising that our children are behind, simply because they took a week to learn something, rather than a day.
I know this post was super long today, and I thank you if you made it to the end! I’m just so passionate about encouraging future and current homeschoolers because, for every difficulty you may face, multiply that times ten and you’ll receive that many blessings! Remember to tune in next week, as I discuss how homeschooling emphasizes the centrality of the family.
There’s No Place Like Home is now on Facebook and Pinterest! Like and follow for new posts!
On the fence about homeschooling? Follow along with my new series, “Why Should We Homeschool?”
(Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and it is during this time that many parents may begin to seriously ponder the idea of homeschooling. Let’s face it. Our schools are in trouble, and if the past tells us anything, it’s a pretty sure thing that no amount of reform is going to change anything in the long run.
Having said that, the benefits of homeschooling are so much more far-reaching than academics that I’ve decided to write a series of posts on many of the advantages of educating your kids at home. While I could easily cover this topic in one very basic article, I don’t think I could adequately do justice to the myriad of blessings that come along with this very important decision of keeping your children at home.
My hope is that this series will enable parents who are on the fence about homeschooling to see the big picture and realize that this commitment is not simply about academics but so much more. I invite you to follow along on this journey of why we should consider homeschooling.
What about you? Can you think of any additional benefits I haven’t mentioned? I would love some feedback on this!