Monday, May 21, 2012

Why We Homeschool: Statistics

I found this handy graph today while reading an article titled "Why In the Hell Would You Homeschool?"
Despite the title, it is actually a pro-homeschooling article, and the parent who wrote it sounds a lot like me, and many other parents who have decided to go this route.

I don't really like this graph, though. Why did we decide to homeschool? How can I narrow it down to one choice? Honestly, I would have to give the same answer as the majority of other parents...I can give my children a better education at home. The reasons I can do that, though, are a mix of the other answer options. Kiddo with special needs? Yep. Behavior problems at school? You betcha. School not challenging child? Poor learning environment? Absolutely. Family reasons? Well, that's how Things 2 & 3 ended up staying home...they've never been IN school, so a lot of the other reasons wouldn't apply to them.
And (I know this might sound odd), but objections to things the school teaches and developing character and morality are definitely among my reasons to homeschool! This is not so much of an issue now, but at one point, we lived in Cobb County, Georgia, home of the infamous "evolution warning sticker."  This was also the district where my sister was being taught American History by a woman who called the Civil War "The Northern Aggression." Not exactly objective teaching.
As for developing character and morality, well, children learn by example. They don't need religion to be moral or to have good character, but they DO need good roll models, and opportunities to practice. Sure, these things can (and do) happen in school, but they also are exposed to a lot of negative influences and crappy roll models. My goal is to teach them how to figure out how to tell the difference, without just throwing them in and waiting to see if they sink or swim.
So, what's left on the list?
Religious reasons.
This still sort of applies, indirectly. We're no longer in a district where I have to worry about creationism being taught in school, or abstinence-only sex ed, but we are still in an area that is not very diverse in belief, unless you count the differences between the Catholics and the Baptists (of which there are many). I'm not planning on preventing my kids from learning about the beliefs of others, but I want them to have a rounded view of religion. They need to get some basics from all the major religions, past and present. We discuss beliefs that people have, why they have them, and whether or not each story sounds plausible to them (none so far!). If they decide to pursue a religion, I won't stop them...I'll just help them with their research.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm from North Carolina, and the so-called "Civil War" most certainly was the "War of Northern Aggression." :-P Just kidding. Interesting article, and I like what you said about your kids gaining a well-rounded knowledge of religion. I often tell my kids to look at the common themes -- the wisdom offered by all the great teachers, Jesus, the Buddha, and so forth. I helps keep them from getting bogged down in details of dogma that seem petty or intolerant and make them want to dismiss religion. Though we're pretty much an agnostic family, I wouldn't want them to dismiss or belittle the role of faith and spirituality in the world.