Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Opportunities and Blessings of Homeschooling

In the nine years that we've been homeschooling, we have found that homeschooling allows and offers so many opportunities and blessings.  As our children do not have to be glued to a desk or even to bookwork all day long, they have more time to explore other things.  We are normally finished with school by lunchtime and they have the rest of the day to go out and explore the back yard, shoot some basketball, kick the soccer ball, or any of many other activities.  They also have the opportunity to pursue their interests.  They play in organized sports with a homeschool group we are a part of, and I mean, they even play games against other homeschool group teams or Christian school teams.  They take music lessons:  our oldest takes piano lessons and he's taken a couple of years of mandolin lessons (most kids don't even know what a mandolin is).  Our middle son takes drum lessons and our youngest has just begun piano lessons.  We regularly attend church, and they are active in our church.  Our two oldest boys play their instruments for worship services and our oldest has taught a Sunday school lesson or two.  We've participated in serving our community through donating items or donating our time to help at a local center that packs health kits, school kits and some other things to send to needy people in other countries.  They've attended a couple of summer camps.
Our oldest just graduated high school this year, and he has had an amazing year.  Last summer he had the Lamplighter Guild, which you can find more about here.  He came back with a new focus, and he had grown spiritually.  He was so impressed and inspired by the Lamplighter Guild that he wanted to get more involved in Lamplighter, so he contacted Mr. Mark Hamby and became an intern/apprentice with Lamplighter Ministries.  After about four months, he had the opportunity to go to London, England with Lamplighter for the recording of one of their audio dramas.  It was on this trip that he also became an actual part-time employee of Lamplighter Ministries.  He's been reading excellent quality literature, studying his Bible, and he has helped Mr. Hamby with research for his dissertation, and he has done some writing and editing for Lamplighter Ministries.  He has made phone calls for Lamplighter Ministries, and last month, he went to Florida to help at the Lamplighter booth at a homeschool conference, as well as helping to hand out some items for Mr. Hamby's seminars.  Now he is preparing to go to this year's Lamplighter Guild, which takes place next month, and this year, he will not only go as a student but as an employee.
Our oldest son has also almost completed his sophomore of college already.  He is taking the College Plus program online, which is a money-saving way to receive a bachelor's degree in two years.  He is studying Humanities and will be taking online classes through Thomas Edison College.  He is on target to graduate college in October of 2013, and then he plans to work full-time for Lamplighter Ministries.  He hopes to have a long career with Lamplighter Ministries.
Our middle son is interested in architecture and building, so this past school year, he was able to take a class at our homeschool co-op that taught Home Repair and Maintenance.  He also has interest in maybe becoming a pastor, so this coming school year, I will help him with speech to work on his presentation skills.  We will also work on bettering his writing skills.
Our little guy simply loves all kinds of things at this point, so I simply plan to have fun with him this year reading great books, taking fun field trips and doing fun and some messy art projects.
We simply have the freedom and time to truly pursue their interests, which leads to valuable opportunities that allow them to grow healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  We are truly blessed through our choice to homeschool.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reasons to Homeschool

For those of you who have been following and visiting this blog, I am sorry that I have neglected this blog for so long.  This past school year I was busier than the last few as I was working more diligently with our youngest son, and he has now completed first grade.  So, between homeschooling and tending to the housework and playing taxi for the boys to their music lessons and sports, I just didn't have the time to blog.  I also neglected my other blog, which I have now decided to end, in the hopes of simply keeping this blog, as I feel there is a need for this blog.  I hope this blog will be a place where beginning homeschoolers can come to learn and to see how much fun homeschooling can be, where people who don't homeschool but are curious about homeschooling can come to find out what it's all about, and where seasoned homeschoolers can come and find a different approach or a new activity or place to go for a field trip.
So, bear with me if you've been here with me from the beginning, as I might cover something now that I did before, but with different or new information, as I am not going to search my archives to see what I've done before now.  I am simply going to begin fresh and new now.
I want to begin with reasons to homeschool.  There are many reasons to homeschool.  When my husband and I began homeschooling, it was because our oldest son was bored in his Christian school classroom and his teachers constantly complained to me about his behaviors, but did nothing to try to keep him busy.  We had already decided that we didn't want our children to go to public school, so the only other option was to homeschool, so I contacted someone I knew that homeschooled, and she explained it to me, gave me lots of resources, let me borrow some books to read about it, and took me to my first homeschool convention.
We have now been homeschooling for nine years, and over those nine years, our commitment to homeschool has simply gotten stronger.  First of all, we now homeschool because we feel led by God to do so, and we believe that it was God's intent from the beginning and is Biblical.  One Bible verse that we feel speaks on the issue is the verse you will find at the top of my blog, directly under my blog title.  How can you possibly teach your children about God and his word when you lie down, get up or walk along the road, if they aren't with you?
We believe it is the parents' responsibility to teach their children.  We do not believe it is in our children's best interests to be taught by a stranger, and we do not believe it is best for children to be in an environment with only other children their own ages all day five days a week.  We see no benefit to that.
Another reason we homeschool is because we believe that the public schools do not have the proper environment that is conducive to learning for most children.  We also disagree with a lot of the things they teach in the public schools now and don't think they teach important things that should be taught.  We also do not believe it is right for them to delete things from their teaching of history as many public schools and public school curricula have done.
In our local area school districts, there have been issues of bullying, drugs, sexual promiscuity on school premises or on school buses, and we certainly don't want our children exposed to or involved in such activities.

For more information on the teaching and it's effects of the public school, I highly encourage you to watch the documentary DVD:  "IndoctriNation".
Both my husband and I grew up in the public school system, and we know many children who attend public schools, and when I saw this movie, I realized that some of what the movie points out was already happening when I was in school over nearly thirty years ago, and I am well aware of many of these things happening currently.    

I simply believe that we are teaching our children in the way that is best and most beneficial for them, and most importantly, we believe our homeschooling choice is pleasing to God.

Tomorrow's post will be about the flexibility, opportunities and blessings of homeschooling.