Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Are You Afraid To Homeschool?

Are you afraid to homeschool? It is time to allay those fears. This from Deborah Weuhler, Senior Editor at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:

I meet many moms who are nervous about homeschooling based on one thing: higher math. Or others believe that because they are not good at math, they can only homeschool through elementary or junior high, but never through high school. I have living proof that children can learn math even without our help. I have two boys who learned algebra on their own at home, without me teaching them. They both had computer CDs that walked them through every math step because I couldn't. They then went on to take college algebra and both received an A.

If you are one of those moms who thinks you can't teach your children, believe me, you will do just fine. There are tons of resources available to help you with math and every other subject out there. We have had math products reviewed by moms just like you and have found hundreds of wonderful helps.

I believe that as you obey God and teach your children at home, He provides the wisdom, direction, and help you need. And I believe He rewards obedience with results. He truly is a rewarder of those who obey him, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. May we be both, as we trust God with algebra and everything else that makes us anxious.
Is algebra too hard? Make it simple, by trusting God to lead you to the right tools, and then dig in.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7

~ Deborah

I speak with many parents who are beginning the thought process toward the decision to home educate. (I prefer the term "home educate" because we do not bring a "school" environment home. Home education is an entirely different approach. More on that in another blog.) The comment I most often hear is that the parent doesn't feel qualified to do the job. They fear not only higher math but the very idea of spending all day, everyday, with their children. Fears about some very personal and complex issues surface.

Do I really have enough control over my children to not only spend all day with them but to be able to hold their attention and teach them? Many people exit the thought process right here. They don't want to face the fact that they really doubt whether they are able to keep their own children under control all day. That's usually when I hear something like, "Well, that's great what you do, but I'd never have the patience to do that. I'm just too impatient." Or, we hear this fear: "I just don't have the self-discipline to make school happen everyday." I often wonder at how a parent who finds the self-discipline to get up early and take their child to school can't find enough self-discipline to get up early and do it themselves, or better yet -- sleep in a little like we do and then get it done on a less strenuous schedule.

The weeks in which we have outside obligations and are up and out of the house early on a daily, or almost daily, basis make us exhausted! That's when I realize that the home-educating family really does lead a blessed, slower-paced lifestyle free from the many stresses of the way our culture lives life.

The actual question really lies within the framework of how we view God and life. Is the Lord pleased for us to yield the education of our children to others, particularly others who hold a God-less worldview? Who really does the best job of training the next generation? I agree with Dr. Ruth Beechick, who believes that home is the best place to learn and that parents don't give themselves enough credit for being the best teachers!

Education from parents to children enables learning to take place within context of need and experience, and that is real learning which isn't forgotten. Home education also enables the real purpose of education to be realized, and that is to know God and make Him known, and for parents to mentor their children and reproduce in their children who they, the parents are, themselves. God passes intact the Lordship and worship of Him from one generation to the next. This is perhaps the overarching reason for overcoming all fears and following the Biblical directive to train (teach) our children found in Deuteronomy, chapters four and eleven.

"Homeschooling naturally is natural. Don't work too hard on making it artificially schoolish." -Dr. Ruth Beechick, Author, Educator, Curriculum Developer & Advocate of Natural Learning

Would you like to know a little more about Dr. Beechick, one of the grandmothers of home centered education? Read about her here.