I am currently listening to a podcast interview with Seth Godin. During the interview, he is expounding on his thoughts of our modern school system and immediately my own thoughts trail to the way Brad and I have raised our own children.
Back in their early years, the kids attended traditional schools. But for various reasons, we wound up homeschooling them, pretty early on. I remember my quest to “un-enroll” them all to start our venture. But before I tell you more about that, let me go on record to say that our choices are certainly not for everyone.
Have You Lost Your Mind?!
We had six children enrolled in the school system, with four of them in middle school alone. The middle school office staff projected their displeasure and just about had a come-apart. It was actually quite comical, looking back. I received all sorts of questions, looks, and comments. From you can’t take them out of school, just like that! Do you know what you’re doing? To the “are you crazy” look. I had all of my details ready with all of my legal forms ready. I had a diverse collection of research. I knew the laws regarding homeschooling in my state and at this particular time, it would be my second expedition into the homeschooling world. My first crusade spanned 3 states in 3 years.
With all of my paperwork in place, the school reluctantly withdrew all 4 that day. Then I was on to the elementary school and high school. I didn’t have near the fuss from the other two schools. Quite the opposite actually, they were very helpful and seemed to want the best, not only for my children, but for our family as a whole.
While our family is deep-rooted in our faith. That wasn’t the basis for our choices to homeschool. We lived a 10 hour drive from my mother, whom had been diagnosed with cancer. We started making many trips to help her during the difficult time, as we weren’t in a position to pack up and move our brood four states away.
There were times that extended longer than originally planned, which didn’t set well with the school system. The children always did their work sent for the extended leave times, but that didn’t stop the letters warning us that our children were missing too many days. Your children won’t be able to move on to the next grade level, the letters stated. Then came the threats of jail.
Seriously? Jail? I realized how the law needs to keep order and how there really are non-compliant people in the world. But we made our children keep up with their required materials. At the same time, we had extenuating circumstances and our family was more important than information required by a man or woman who was at the foundation of the chosen curriculum. I had no idea what happened to parents whose own children were sick with some debilitating illness and were simply unable to attend on their own. So to homeschool became our only option for balance.
Knowledge is Power
I also quickly realized how much more knowledge my children were able to consume, not being confined to the walls of a building. They absorbed everything. We found “school” everywhere we went. From the math calculations of our total grocery order to the science of baking cookies from start to finish.
This journey we call “life” sometimes throws us curve balls and the era we spent on homeschooling didn’t turn out as I had envisioned in my mind. I did quickly learn that knowledge really is powerful. Our teaching methods didn’t even come together as I had it planned out on paper. To be honest, it didn’t even live up to my greatest hope cut in fourths. But somehow it all worked out.
Our children aren’t perfect, but they are all some extremely amazing people. Some I would call brilliant, some intelligent, and others I would call the most compassionate. They are leaders, they are learners, they are world changers!
Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts about homeschool versus tradition school.