Wisdom from a Queen

The other day on The Homeschool Lounge (THL), a member posted a forum topic entitled "Homeschool vs. Private School." She was seeking opinions about the relative merits of each as she weighs which option to eventually pursue with her young children, and a very engaging discussion ensued among several of us in response.

Fellow THL member, Queen of Carrots - whose wisdom I appreciate on a regular basis - provided the following rationale for her decision to home-educate her four children. My immediate, gut-level response to her thoughts was, "Amen, and amen!" because, honestly, I felt as if she'd read my mind. Now, for me - as for her, too, I think - there is a also a tremendous spiritual motivation to pursue home education, but her response that day succinctly communicates other reasons beyond that primary one.

She's given me permission to share her post...and, if you resonate with her thoughts as I feel confident many of you will, I encourage you to visit her blog, Introducing the World.

I'll let Queen's ideas speak for themselves without commentary - because, as I said, I really feel the same way. What is your reaction?

There are a lot of reasons why *I* choose homeschool over private school for my children. Most of them are fairly personal, but perhaps you will resonate with some of them--or realize some are quite different for you.
  • To my knowledge, there are no schools close by that are compatible with my educational philosophy. Most simply copy the institutional style and approach of the public school and add Bible verses and a more wholesome environment. Some are more academically driven and undoubtedly have much higher test scores. I taught a 12th grade government class once in such a school. I was saddened by how weak the love of learning was in those kids. They were headed for college, but they were only interested in the grades. I want my children to love learning for its own sake, not for marks. I want them to keep learning their whole life long, not just because it's on a test. There are schools that do follow the Charlotte Mason approach that I prefer, but I don't know of any nearby.
  • I think I, personally, can give my kids a better education than any nearby private school. Which sounds a bit arrogant, but there it is--most elementary school teachers are much nicer and more patient than I am and better at managing large groups of children and organizing craft projects, but they're not as widely read, they don't understand math very well (or enjoy it at all), and they don't have time to adapt their lessons for the individual children. I might luck out and get a really great one for one year, but not every year, certainly.
  • I *know* I can give my children at the very least an equivalent education to private school in much less time--simply because I don't have to spend time dealing with twenty other children. That leaves them more time to play as young children and to work or learn on their own time as teens (both the same thing--finding out how the world works and their own place in it). This time is intensely valuable to me, and I think it will make a huge difference in how my children handle adult life, although it probably won't show up on a test.
  • At least one of my children is intensely introverted, and would be exhausted by a group schooling situation, at least until he is quite a bit older. Even my extroverts don't react well to a full day of being around other children.
  • My children would be split up among different classes in a school--at home they have more time with each other, with people who will be there for them their whole life.
  • I really *like* teaching my children. It's my favorite part of interacting with them. And since I'm pretty lousy at a lot of other "mothering" things, the joy of teaching and learning together gives us a bond that we otherwise wouldn't have.

Photo Credit: foreversouls (http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreversouls/9337894/)

1 comment:

Conny said...

I think the core point of this essay is the last one ... this lady really ENJOYS teaching her children. For parents/mothers who don't share her enthusiasm or confidence, I think a good Christian school is a great alternative. My kids attend a Christian school (vs. PRIVATE school) where academics are high however with small classroom sizes and much more emphasis on godly character training and all extracurricular activities focusing on Christian attitudes, sportsmanship, and learning to interact with others in the RIGHT WAY, it is a ministry in its own right. I realize our Christian school is unusual in that aspect, but I'm thankful that alternative is there. That said, I do appreciate your & this woman's very strong conviction about your choice of schooling. I am glad God leads us all individually and shows us what is right for our family. :) I do believe strongly in Christian education - at home or at a school. God bless!

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