Friday, September 11, 2009

a home education and social deprivation

It seems that one of the biggest problems people have with homeschooling is the whole "socially deprived" idea. Yes. I agree, that can be a problem. So how do you prevent social deprivation from kids that spend the day at home with no peers other than their siblings? You participate in the world around you! When there is a community project, go as a family and participate; pick up trash with the community, throw a neighborhood BBQ, go to the park and encourage your kids to be friendly, play sports with other families or friends. This is just the beginning. There are so many ways to introduce your kids to the world and prepare them to venture out on their own. You see, I think that teaching my kids from the home will provide so many more opportunities to be a part of our community. We won't be tied to certain hours of the day being at school or homework at night. We will have our own schedule and routine and be able to jump on more opportunities around us because of that.

I think that parents can communicate with their kids things that are going on in the world; over sheltering can be a huge disadvantage to the child and we have to be sure to keep that balance in check. I also disagree with the thought that a grade-school or high-school is a good environment to introduce my children to the world. Why would I want my kids to be in an environment that my child is influenced by kids with little parental guidance, very little mature discussion and very much immature talk of all sorts of trash? In my opinion, placing kids in school with the intentions of it being a place to learn of the world is like teaching a kid how to play catch by throwing a ball at their face. Sure, they will learn, they'll catch on, but at what price? Does it not seem more logical for them to learn of the world under my supervision and guidance. Should I not be the one to explain the dangers and effects of drugs. Should I not be the one to explain the purpose of sex? Even if your children are in public school, you can be the one to talk to them of certain things but who knows what else they are hearing or at what age.

Another thing I consider when thinking of my children's social skills is that I want them to learn to communicate with all ages. I want them to be comfortable discussing with and entertaining infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. I want to prepare my children for college, the workplace and their future spouse and family. I feel that when they are in school and mainly interact with kids only their own age it puts them at a disadvantage for this. So, what is my plan? James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. I hope to help my children keep themselves unstained by the world, yet prepare them to live life on their own. I hope to teach them what is going on in the world around them without pushing them into an environment that makes the said task extremely hard for a child who isn't yet mature enough to face such an environment. We will serve together, talk together, play together, eat together and learn TOGETHER.

I want to end with this: Home schooling children and teenagers is not for everyone. If you are not passionate about it and or ready to take the selfless commitment of time and energy, I don't recommend it. Your kids may stumble, they may have to go through the boring classes in high-school and forget half of what they learned but they'll make it and you can still be a big part of their lives and education. However, if you are willing, your kids will reap the benefits of a home education.


Larissa Wardrip said...

Great post! Two people who I know very well are GREAT examples of children who aren't socially awkward in the least: Mark and Disney. They are amazing, God fearing people who love to be around people and seem to thrive when they are.

Of course, it doesn't seem very wise to me to choose to home-school your children and then just stay at home all day. How are they going to learn from the world around them if everyone is stuck inside. Once again, you bring up great points that people rarely look at!

EricaRose said...

I think a person could involve their children in a milllion social activities around them and the child will still feel lost and unconnected. Because their not with that best friend on a day to day bases. They don't have that group of friends they sit at lunch with every day. Of course every child is different and it all comes down to how the parents want to raise them. Staying at home, being stuck inside and then getting involved with friends once or twice a week...if not less then not the same as being involved in public school. Where there are friends,activities. A child learns to work together with a group of people as a team. A child also learns how to keep a schedule and be to school on time and get their homework in on time and all of this prepares them for a job later on. I do not think going to public school causes a person to forget half of what they learn. If anything I think homeschool would. But that is just my opion of course. I can understand why you wouldn't want your child exposed to the negative part of public makes sense. No parent wants this. But the truth of the matter is...if your child doesn't know what goes on around them and if they don't learn what goes on around them...then their clueless...being connected helps. Being involved day to day and having homework and friends and kids to have lunch with and talk to every prevents lots of confusion and heart ache and makes a child feel like everyone else. Normal.

P.S. You will have to forgive me. I have strong opinions sometimes. You have good points and your idea is just fine. Nothing wrong with your views. We just think differently thats all.

Paige said...

Erica- I am glad that you have opinions and you're willing to debate them. This is good. I also think it is fine to agree to disagree.

I guess maybe what you're saying is that high school, in your opinion, is the best way of being connected? With this I strongly disagree. Just because it is what the majority of the world chooses, does not mean that it is best. As far as preparing your child for life after school and a work life, there's not a chance that it is more effective or better. In school, kids communicate only with their peers, they go to a classroom and have a teacher teach them (meaning they don't learn how to learn which is required in many jobs) and they don't have nearly as many opportunities to hold jobs at a young age. I started a paper route at the age of 10. I learned to balance a check book, write up deposit slips, keep a work schedule and communicate with adults. Not everyone is going to have a paper route but when you're home-schooled you have far more opportunities. I hope to get all of my children involved with making money and holding a job at a young age.

The reason I say they may forget half of what they learn is because of the way it was taught. I don't think that cramming for a test is effective. This is my opinion, however, most high school graduates will attest that they do not remember half of what they learned. It can be the same for a home-school student, that depends on the child and the teaching method.

I was home-schooled. I never felt unconnected. I never felt clueless. My parents talked with me, they taught me and they involved me in activities. We connected with friends and families and other activities probably 4-5 days a week and I never felt like I was just trapped inside.

I totally disagree with the fact that putting your child in the school system will prevent confusion and heartache. I actually think the complete opposite.

I guess today, we'll have to agree to disagree.

EricaRose said...

Oh I wasn't saying it was best because of the majority of the world...I was just saying it was best because of logical reasons. You do definitely have good points and you're right a child could have a small job at an earlier age better when kept at home. Lots of high school students go on to college and do very well. I don't really think it depends on the teacher all the time. It depends on the student and whether they are willing to learn or not. Anyways, I still think a child would feel like their missing something while staying at home learning. Something, meaning, not the negative, but the positivity of school and understanding what everyone else is learning too.

Kelly Hogaboom said...

I am not a faith-based homeschooler but I love what you've written here, because much of it I relate to.

My kids are more relaxed, more socially adroit, more physically active, less pressured, less catty, more artistic, more musical, and have more "real life" skills (like budgeting for and buying groceries, riding the bus, reading, etc) than they would be if they were in school (2 years ago my daughter went to public kindergarten, and I spent a lot of time in the classroom). They are 7 and 5.

That said, the public schools I have in this area seem good as schools go, and I have met and worked with many awesome teachers. I grew up in public school and I did well enough.

Homeschooling isn't for everyone and I never thought I'd do it - but I love it. I write about homeschooling a bit on my blog. I have found writing in first person really helps (in other words, speaking about my kids, my choices, my observances - not using "you" or "kids" meaning EVERYONE'S kids). My purpose is not to inadvertantly heap yet more guilt on parents (especially Mamas!) but to share WHY I like doing what we're doing.

Thanks for writing this!

And congratulations on your pregnancy.