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Homeschooling for life

Today I am delighted to share an interview with Hannah Girotti of Mountain Musings and Graceful Design Cards. I asked Hannah to share some of her experiences of homeschooling so that I could learn from her and also post the interview here.

How long were you homeschooled? Do you think this time prepared you well for your life now?

My parents began considering homeschooling when my older brother was 3 years old. My three siblings and I have been homeschooled from the beginning, and we continued through high school. I am very grateful for the Lord’s leading my family in this direction, and I know being taught from a Biblical perspective at home has had a huge impact on who I am today. In addition to allowing me to receive a solid academic foundation, homeschooling has given my parents the opportunity to pass down their love for the Lord and Scriptural values to me.

I know that you have particular interests in photography and gardening. Do you feel that your time as a homeschooler allowed you to develop your individual gifts?

Yes, I believe homeschooling can definitely help foster the development of talents and interests because of the ability to learn without distractions and focus on what is important. Studies and assignments can be geared towards a student’s God-given bents by parents who know them best. For me personally, I was able to invest time in areas such as music or homemaking skills during my growing-up years. My interests in photography and gardening actually have blossomed since graduating, as I have spent my time post-high school continuing to learn from home. But the thought is the same in that since I am not following someone else's timetable or expectations, I’m better able to explore new interests and pursue the gifts God has imparted to me in order to serve others.

What were your favourite subjects during your school years? Are there any curriculum plans or resources you would recommend to others?

I especially enjoyed English grammar and science; runners-up would be math and literature. You wouldn’t have found me complaining about diagramming sentences, and I remember with fondness our family spelling bees. Now, I appreciate good writing and have a penchant towards proofreading. My engineer dad taught us math and science in the evenings and made these subjects fun and interesting. For all our school subjects we used Bob Jones University Press curriculum, so I am unfamiliar with many of the other curriculum choices. Our family has also benefited from other quality Scripture-based resources, such as the materials from the Institute of Basic Life Principles or Vision Forum.

I know that homeschool graduates can also have a unique perspective on what to avoid when homeschooling! Some attitudes and practices can hinder the creation of a joyful learning environment. Is there anything you have observed that you would encourage others to avoid?

There can be a tendency among many Christian homeschooling families, who, in spite of their decision to educate at home, allow their children's hearts to be influenced by peers, instead of being turned toward their parents and the Lord. This can happen easily and subtly, and at any age. In my opinion, these children might as well be public-schooled! We all must be on guard against ungodly attitudes that can creep in and not view ourselves as impervious. Growing up, we spent a lot of time doing things together as a family vs. participating in many outside activities with others of our own age. This served to cultivate in me a heart for the home and my family.

Do you hope to homeschool in future if you are given the opportunity?

Yes! I would definitely love to be part of carrying on the heritage that I have been blessed with, if the Lord one day brings along a husband who is equally seeking to follow Biblical models of education and the family. Homeschooling for me has become a way of life.

Roelien –   – (April 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM)  

Hi Sherrin!

I am not "sold" on home schooling. Our children attend a warm, caring Christian school that we are very happy with. We are all one big family. Supporting each other!
The boys enjoy the contact and fun they have with other children and they learn to share and talk about values and morals they have learnt at home and also learn at school. The motto at school : "love to learn and learn to love" is highly valued!
My sister in NZ home schools but she does it as the nearest Christian school is one hour driving away.
Cheers and blessing!

Sherrin  – (April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM)  

Hello Roelien,

It is wonderful that good Christian schools are available. Christians will differ as to exactly what they want their children to be taught and how they want them to be taught.

I post about homeschooling and interview people about it because that is (God willing) the educational option we plan to take. I have no intention of selling this option to anyone, although I'm happy to share reasons why it can be a good way to go (just as you are with Christian schooling).

Roelien –   – (April 30, 2010 at 5:35 PM)  

Hi Sherrin!
I know you plan to home school,... just wanted you to know that there are warm loving Christian schools around if you happen to both change your mind! Best wishes with your pregnancy! Hope you are feeling well and would love to catch up soon! Take care!

Sherrin  – (April 30, 2010 at 7:15 PM)  

Yes, it is great to have options if God gives us circumstances that mean homeschooling is not a possibility for us . . . or if we both change our minds :). We are aiming to base our decisions on God's word as we understand it.
If we were to send the children to school and we still lived here I'd probably think of Southern Christian College first as it is within walking distance and I have also worked there and appreciated aspects of the school.

I am feeling well, thanks! See you soon!

Dan  – (April 30, 2010 at 11:19 PM)  

I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in The Drew Patch. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com. There's a video demo you can watch at http://www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another (http://www.SpellQuizzer.com/Community). Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at http://www.spellquizzer.com/spelling-software-for-homeschoolers.htm. I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software
Dan@SpellQuizzer.com

Sethals  – (May 1, 2010 at 11:07 PM)  

Sherrin, I can appreciate homeschooling as a way to give great one on one education and also cultivate and extend a child's interests and passions beyond what a school may be able to provide. However after having experienced homeschooling and mainstream schooling and being a teacher myself I have realised that there are three main areas that I think homeschooling is inadequate to address (but maybe you can shed some light on this).
1) Socialization: We are by nature social creatures needing interaction to sustain community, family etc. School provides a context for students to learn how to relate to their peers(in a construct and positive manner) and thus others they will meet and interact with in the future.
2) Group work: School provides a context in which students can learn to work productively with others (as they may have to do in a work context in the future).
3) Public Speaking: Its easy to speak in front of family, but learning to speak in front of a class of peers is harder and thus the challenge of that will promote growth and learning.
This is really just a brief overview (and by no means a comprehensive list), but it touches on some areas I have been thinking about a lot in relation to this issue. I am not maintaining mainstream Christian or other education as the only way, but I think it meets more educational criteria than homeschooling. I actually honestly think there could be another way that draws on the strengths of both forms of schooling. I'm still thinking through how that would look, but I imagine it would involve smaller class sizes, great range of experiences, hands on learning, 21st Century tools etc.
Anyways, just thought I would share that, would be interested to hear your thoughts on this Sherrin.
Seth

Sherrin  – (May 2, 2010 at 9:28 AM)  

Hi Seth,

Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts in a constructive way.

I don't have time to reply at the moment (overnight guests, etc) but will aim to reply sometime this week.

God bless,
Sherrin

Tallmoores  – (May 2, 2010 at 2:11 PM)  

Hi Sherrin. I hope the baby bump is growing even better than the prize-winning veggies in the garden! Putting my two cents in, I would be interested to hear your opinion on how to incorporate the Christian commission to be salt and light within a homeschooling model. I often see there are two tensions in Christianity, the one to be set apart for God, and the other to be showing Christ's love to non-believers. Which strategies would you (and other homeschoolers) use to teach your children to be relevant to those in the secular world? So interesting how Christians all have such different view points. I went to a government forum the other day where they were discussing moving Grade 7 into highschool by 2015. For me this means my 11 year old daughter will be in highschool. We are pretty committed to state schooling (for the salt-and-light aspect) but it is a little scary when you think of it that way. I guess that's where homeschooling for us will mean really 'schooling' our girls in strong Christian values at home and having open communication channels about things that happen in their secular school that challenge their beliefs. Hi to Dave! Cheerio, Gayle

Sherrin  – (May 2, 2010 at 8:41 PM)  

Hi Dan,
Thanks for sharing this information. I will have a look at the links you recommend and let you know whether or not I'd be interested in more information.

Hi Gayle,

Nice to have you visit and post a comment! It is interesting to hear your family's perspective. I will aim to reply to your question this week. In my answer I plan to share what our family's plan for this is, and my personal experience as a homeschooled child. Dave is a strong advocate of the "as for me and my house" philosophy, and I find it a helpful way to discuss these things!

Chat soon,
Sherrin

Sherrin  – (May 5, 2010 at 3:52 PM)  

Hi Seth, here are my thoughts on the issues you raised!

I have also experienced homeschooling, Christian schooling and teaching in Christian schools (in a prac and aide capacity). I agree that it is vital that homeschoolers are involved with the wider community. As it says in Proverbs "he who isolates himself seeks his own destruction".

The subject of socialisation is a great one to explore, and I'd love to write an essay on it sometime (or at least a blog post)! My view is that "socialisation" could be described as learning to relate to one another in healthy ways. This includes learning to greet people in appropriate ways, to carry on a two-sided conversation, and to treat others as God would have us do (obey parents, forgive those who wrong us, listen, speak words that build up, and much more). Learning to obey God in the way we relate to one another is a lifelong process! I don't believe that effective socialisation is measured by the number of people you see on a regular basis or the amount of time you spend with them. It is learning to positively interact with whomever God has placed you with in a family, church, or workplace. I struggled socially as a teenager, but can see now that this was mainly due to my own sin (self-focus, fear, gossip, self-pity, etc.)

I agree that school does provide some positive opportunities for social interaction. However, these opportunities are often wasted. Students often (usually?) treat one another in ways that are not God-honouring or loving. The fact that they are with large numbers of peers means that there are fewer opportunities for each child/young adult to be taught effective ways of relating to one another. The age segregated environment contributes to the problem. As my husband says, do you relate to people now the way you did in school? His answer is "no", and I think a lot of other people would say the same.

Group work and public speaking are simpler topics to explore and to solve as homeschoolers. One way to do group work would be to work on projects as a family. If you can work with your siblings, you can probably work with anyone! Another way would be to group together with other homeschoolers for afternoons where you work on projects with others of similar ability. Public speaking can also be done in the context of homeschool groups, church, or extra-curricular involvement in drama and speaking activities. I was homeschooled until Year 10 and don't remember having any problems with involvement in group activities or public speaking at school.

Ultimately, a person's overall response to the issues you raise will depend on . . .

a) their foundational understanding of what education is meant to be and to achieve

b) their definition of an effective education in each of the areas you mention

c) the importance they place upon those things as part of education, and how effective they believe schools to be in these areas

Sethals  – (May 5, 2010 at 8:29 PM)  

Part One
Thanx for getting back to me. I think it is good to define the terms, and your definition of socialization is a good one. However I think it is broader than just conducting oneself in a 'healthy' manner social setting. I think its also about understanding body language, group dynamics, and to understand social and cultural 'norms'. I think there is even more to it than that, but I essentially I think much of what we learn in terms of how to relate to others is subconscious and absorbed, processed and taken in from a variety of sources. And a school setting can provide a setting which allows students to learn to interact with a whole variety of people. At home, there's just family, its easy to relate to family, the challenge is learning to interact with one's peers in a new environment out of the comfort of home. Some of the best learning occurs when one is removed from their comfort zone and is challenged.

Also, and I know this is anecdotal, but from my experience there is something different about every home-schooled student i have met. And usually that difference can be linked to the three things I mentioned, but often it is that they are socially awkward.

People will always treat each other in ways that are not 'God-honouring' that is the fallen nature of humanity. That is an issue not just in school. I am sure homeschooled siblings will fight or do things that are not 'God-honouring'. Teachers and Peers help students learn appropriate social behaviours and in Christian School (like the excellent one I teach at), 'God-honouring' behaviour is encouraged and taught.

You mentioned 'Age segregation' being a problem; this is possible an area we agree on, I actually don't think classes should not be divided up on age, but that is perhaps another topic.

Of course people relate to each other differently now from when they are at school, but I think this has more to do with maturity and age rather than being schooled or home-schooled. But i think school is an important foundation in learning how to interact with others, even when some of that learning is subconscious and absorbed through experience, rather than being explicit.

Sethals  – (May 5, 2010 at 8:29 PM)  

Part Two (cos it wouldn't let me post it all at once)
I don't think group work can be solved with doing family projects, simply because the beauty of group work in a school setting is for students to work with people they don't know. In a home environment it is easy to work with family, they know them! There is no challenge in that! Also a classroom group is all learning together with a similar goal and outcome, a family group has an unbalanced level of learning. By this I mean that parents are there to facilitate, but the siblings will be at different levels of learning and may not necessarily gain much from that project. And like I said earlier, I think its easy to work with siblings, the challenge is for students to learn to work with those that they don;t know.

I think extra-curricular involvement, like drama clubs, sports groups, scouts, youth groups are much better way to solve the group work issue of home schooling. While your experience turned out well in regard to group work and public speaking, from my own experience as a teacher, students who have come from a homeschool background often find it difficult to speak in front of the class.

I personally think Education is still slightly stuck in a model that has been around for 100s of years, and needs a revolution: smaller classes, more interactive learning, many instate and local excursions, 21st Century tools etc. In terms of what it should achieve, my philosophy of education is to best equip and empower a child for life long learning: Spiritually, physically, socially, academically, creatively and emotionally, so that they can best take on the world but not be ruled by it, or scared of it. Even without the revolution I speak of (although our school is heading in the 'right' direction) I still think school is a better environment for learning. I would certainly want Lucy to be able to learn from more than just her family.

Sherrin  – (May 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM)  

Hello Gayle,

What you shared reminded me that it is important to realise that all parents educate their children at home! As you say, you have lots of teaching to do at home as well!

I was homeschooled until Year 10 and during this time I had many opportunities to share the gospel through a variety of activities and relationships. These included:
* Our homeschool group which contained a wide variety of people, many of whom were not Christians
* Art and craft classes
* Piano lessons
* Girl Guides
* Visitors to our home
* Friendships with neighbours, whom we saw several times each week

Unfortunately I did not take up any of these opportunities. Why? I didn't know God. I was actually hostile to the gospel, even though I was growing up in a Christian family. I believe that children have to be discipled before they can be disciplers. Homeschooling is the way we believe we can best disciple our children so that they can learn to live in the light of Jesus' death and resurrection and share that news with the world. If I was to send my children to a secular school, I'd take it as seriously as sending them to an Islamic school or a communist one - and I'd want to be sure they were well grounded in their faith before even thinking about it. I know that it has taken me many years to internalise the gospel, and apply it to my life. As this has happened, sharing it has become increasingly natural. I would expect the same thing to be the case in the lives of my little ones. In the meantime, I believe that the best way for them to learn to be salt & light is to do so alongside their parents.

I don't believe being "set apart" and being "salt and light" are in tension with one another, because God tells us in many scriptures that living differently from non-Christians is one of the ways we bear witness to the gospel! We are in the world, but we're different from it. This means that all the ways God tells us to live can be a witness, including children obeying their parents. This is a simple one, but even as parents of a one year old we realise it is not easy to achieve! Right now Dave and I realise we have lots and lots of growing to do in terms of sharing the gospel ourselves. Currently we aim to be salt & light as a family through . . .
* being involved in community groups and work gatherings
* greeting neighbours and inviting them into our home
* hosting both Christians and non-Christians in our home for dinner (we want to do more of this, as we believe it is a vital way to reach out)
* prayer
* supporting our church

I hope this gives you some idea of our heart in this area. I would actually love to do a series on being salt & light as homeschoolers, perhaps interviewing different families.

Tallmoores  – (May 8, 2010 at 9:14 PM)  

Hi Sherrin. It's great to hear you have thought out the issue so well and that there will be opportunities for interactions with non-believers. Very interesting re discipling before being disciples. Will be very interested to read all comments again when time allows, and if you do write more on it in future. Lovely blogs on the auspicious first birthday, and also great to see Christopher's new family. In a crazy busy final assessment stage here for uni semester and so looking forward to holidays. Definitely a lot to be said for slowing down life and putting full attention back on the most important things!

Christina  – (May 8, 2010 at 11:24 PM)  

Dear Seth,

May I point out in the friendliest possible way that you are being a bit subjective in how you define socialisation? Sociologists/anthropologists use this term to refer to a defined, observable process whereby humans absorb the norms, customs, symbols, attitudes, social roles and languages of their culture. I would suggest that a really helpful investigation of socialisation should begin with a proper understanding of what is meant by the term.

There is so much which could be said on the topic, but I'll confine myself to a few observations. People make the mistake of saying they want their children to be socialised. What they don't realise is that socialisation happens. Whatever you do, it happens. This isn't a normative term. The real issue here is to what extent the child's socialisation is *positive*. So we are talking about positive socialisation versus negative socialisation.

Apart from personal anecdotes based on limited exposure to individual families or ideologies which disqualify or exalt the social contribution of home-educated persons a priori, how can we judge the positive or negative quality of socialisation absorbed by the average homeschooler?

Maybe you'll accuse me of being simplistic, but I went online and looked up some research on the subject, which I'll share here. Two disclaimers:
1. They're all from the US. The most significant number of homeschoolers are there and this is a fairly young movement, so I can't apologise for that.
2. They are mostly to be found on websites that are (surprise!) sympathetic to homeschooling. But I'm not going to apologise for that either. (After all, we don't apologise for stats about human rights abuses because we got them from Amnesty International, do we?)

See next post for the research.

Christina  – (May 8, 2010 at 11:35 PM)  

In brief:

In a study using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale to evaluate 224 home-schooled children, the researcher found that 50 percent of the children scored above the 90th percentile, and only 10.3 percent scored below the national average.

- Taylor, John (1986). Self-Concept in Home Schooling Children. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International.

Thomas Smedley prepared a master's thesis for Radford University of Virginia on "The Socialization of Homeschool Children", using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales to evaluate the social maturity of twenty home-schooled children and thirteen demographically matched public school children. The communication skills, socialization, and daily living skills were evaluated. These scores were combined into the "Adoptive Behavior Composite" which reflects the general maturity of each subject.

Smedley had this information processed using the statistical program for the social sciences and the results demonstrated that the home-schooled children were better socialized and more mature than the children in the public school. The home-schooled children scored in the 84th percentile while the matched sample of public school children only scored in the 27th percentile.

Smedley said: "In the public school system, children are socialized horizontally, and temporarily, into conformity with their immediate peers. Home educators seek to socialize their children vertically, toward responsibility, service, and adulthood".

-Thomas C. Smedley, M.S., "Socialization of Home Schooled Children: A Communication Approach," thesis submitted and approved for Master of Science in Corporate and Professional Communication, Radford University, Radford, Virginia, May 1992.

This study done by Occupational Therapists studied the social activities and emotional characteristics of home-schooled children. They stated: "Results of the study indicate that home schooled children scored above average in relation to overall social skills while public schooled children scored average." The homeschooled children scored above the public schooled children on every indicator.

- Socialization Skills in Home Schooled Children Versus Conventionally Schooled Children; Lindsey D. Koehler, Trent J. Langness, Sarah S. Pietig, Nicole L. Stoffel, Jamie L. Wyttenbach; Faculty Sponsor: Deborah Dougherty-Harris, Department of Clinical Science, Occupational Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Psychotherapist Dr. Larry Shyers compared behaviors and social development test scores of two groups of seventy children ages eight to ten. One group was being educated at home while the other group attended public and private schools. He found that the home-schooled children did not lag behind children attending public or private schools in social development. Dr. Shyers further discovered that the home-schooled children had consistently fewer behavioral problems.

- Dr. Larry Shyers, "Comparison of Social Adjustment Between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students," unpublished doctoral dissertation at University of Florida's College of Education, 1992. Dr. Shyers is a psychotherapist who is the Chairman of the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.

[one more post now!]

Christina  – (May 8, 2010 at 11:36 PM)  

This researcher reported that "the investigator was not prepared for the level of commitment exhibited by the parents in getting the child to various activities…It appeared that these students are involved in more social activities, whether by design or being with the parent in various situations, than the average middle school-aged child."
- from "Socialization Practices of Christian Home School Educators in the State of Virginia," a study of ten Virginia home school families, performed by Dr. Kathie Carwile, appeared in the Home School Researcher, Vol. 7, No. 1, December 1991.

Dr. Brian Ray reviewed the results of four other studies on the socialization of homeschoolers and found: "Rakestraw, Reynolds, Schemmer, and Wartes have each studied aspects of the social activities and emotional characteristics of home-schooled children. They found that these children are actively involved in many activities outside the home with peers, different-aged children, and adults. The data from their research suggests that homeschoolers are not being socially isolated, nor are they emotionally maladjusted."

- Dr. Brian Ray, "Review of Home Education Research," The Teaching Home, August/September 1989, 49. See Rakestraw, "An Analysis of Home Schooling for Elementary School-Age Children in Alabama," doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1987; Reynolds, "How Home School Families Operate on a Day-to-Day Basis: Three Case Studies," unpublished doctoral dissertation, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 1985; and Schemmer, "Case Studies of Four Families Engaged in Home Education,"unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 1985.

I could keep going, but this is pretty representative of the stuff I found. I actually didn't see any research pointing to a trend of negative socialisation in homeschoolers, but maybe that research exists somewhere. But somehow, I doubt it. ;)

Sherrin  – (May 12, 2010 at 4:33 PM)  

Hello Seth,

It is important for me to note that this is not intended to be a debate blog. I'm happy to share when people are genuinely interested in my perspectives, but I'm not out to convert the world to my convictions. I trust that if they're right, God will use myself and others to show that through our lives and witness.

You may be aware that for someone like me, comments about "awkward homeschoolers" make me go AGHH, CAN I be bothered even trying to discuss this one? It would be lengthy to even begin to unpack the problems with dismissing homeschooling on this basis. In addition, I hope it would be obvious from my original response that I also don't want me child to just learn from family. Do you think that Hannah Girotti learnt all her photography and design skills from Mum & Dad? Dave and I feel like you've set up a number of false arguments in your response to my comments. The most prominent of these is that socialisation in school as overwhelmingly positive. Dave often travels on the bus and is frankly horrified at the level of the conversations of school kids from all kinds of schools. His own experience also testifies to the potentially negative impact of socialisation at school, as does that of many others. I agree that ungodly behaviour is everywhere, and every child has to learn to deal with it, but this does not negate the negative socialising impact of entire peer groups whose social norms seem devoted to encouraging one another to do evil.After all that, every "socially awkward" adult who comes to mind went to school. You also present the home as a place with few challenges and where working together is easy. If this is so, why don't we have many more examples of children honouring their parents and families working together as a team like the Harris' do in helping one another with the Rebelution ministry (http://www.therebelution.com/blog/)?

Your philosophy of education is a wonderful one, and I am in agreement with it. In fact, this would be the goal of many homeschoolers. I think another of the strengths of homeschooling is its tendency to empower students to learn in self-directed ways that promote life-long learning. I 100% agree that students need to be challenged and to avoid fear, and for us homeschooling MUST promote this outcome. Our goal is to take dominion over the earth and make disciples, all for the glory of God. We shouldn't hide from any of the tasks God has called us to do! I do believe that insufficient development of resilience is a real risk in homeschooling, which must be avoided. One way we want our children to meet and engage with all kinds of people is through hospitality and visiting.

To be continued . . .

Sherrin  – (May 12, 2010 at 4:35 PM)  

You didn't ask me to clarify or expand on my position, and therefore I'll limit myself to these comments, but I do have a few more questions for you.

How would you define not being "awkward" in such a way that it could be said to be an educational outcome that would make socialisation at school necessary? How would you define success?

How do you think learning at home could be made to be sufficiently challenging? Do you think it is possible?

You state that people change the way they relate due to age and experience. Do you think that any social deficiencies in homeschooling can be negated in this way, as well as those immature ways of relating that are normal in school? Do you think that the social deficiencies you perceive in homeschooling persist into adulthood?

My opinion is that to dismiss homeschooling solely on the basis of social concerns you would need to demonstrate that homeschooled students are at a lifelong disadvantage in this area. To me, this would involve being less able to participate in important areas of life such as courtship and marriage, the workforce, church life, and community groups.

It seems to me that the group work and public speaking obstacles can be overcome in quite straightforward ways. However, homeschoolers are never going to be socialised in the same way as their school counterparts are many parents like it that way. I believe that home is a very good place to teach the kinds of social norms that I would like to pervade society.

If you are able to come up with positive ways homeschoolers could improve upon the deficiencies you perceive in home-based education, I'd be interested in featuring a guest post from you on these topics.

Dorothy –   – (May 12, 2010 at 10:06 PM)  

Having come to the end of our homeschool journey, I am thankful God called us to the adventure! My youngest graduated last July. What a wonderful experience we all shared!

My children were highly socialized. We were involved in our church, our community & homeschool co-ops. We also participated in Boy Scouts and sports. My children worked together at home, as a part of the co-op & all the other activities we were involved in so had amble exposure to group work. Also, one of our support groups had annual speech meets. It was a well organized competition, and I am proud to say that two of my children won in their age divisions two separate years. The winning was not the important part...the exposure to public speaking was.

My children are well developed, social, well-educated young adults. One is getting married next month & has a great job. The other two are in college, one working towards a master's in nursing & the other seeking to be in full time ministry with teens.

As far as the salt part, I used to think the same thing. My children were in public school for three years. But, one day I realized that I was sending them into a daily battleground and they were not prepared warriors. They were attacked from all sides regarding their faith, their beliefs that God created the universe, and the moral & Biblical values were were teaching. It became evident that we needed our children home to prepare them to be salt and light in the midst of the darkness. One never sends a baby into to battle, but well seasoned, well prepared soldiers.

Looking back now that we are finished, I praise God that He gave us the strength and courage to homeschool our children! It was the most rewarding & challenging task we ever took on! We are the better for it!

Sherrin  – (May 15, 2010 at 5:04 PM)  

Hello Dorothy,

Thanks for sharing your experiences! May God bless you and your family as you continue to serve Him.

Anonymous –   – (May 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM)  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherrin  – (May 26, 2010 at 2:53 PM)  

Anonymous - I made a decision a long time ago to delete comments that have no name attached. If you want your comment to be published, and certainly if you want a reply, please write your name. If you don't feel comfortable with doing that publicly, please email me at sherrindrew@gmail.com

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