Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homeschooling From A Dad's Perspective

My favorite lines from this homeschooling dad's honest, witty blog post (which I think ALL homeschoolers, wannabe-homeschoolers, curious-about-homeschooling-people should read!):

And all (our kids) do well on the standardized testing for what it’s worth. 
..your kids aren’t going to turn out stupid cause of homeschooling, they may for other reasons :)."

"But even if we choose to send our kids to school we are still ultimately the ones who have to answer for how they turn out. And I’m not just talking about how smart they are, what college they get accepted to or how much their future jobs pay. We are talking about what kind of people they become and the future of their souls."

" (homeschooling) has to be a mutual decision; it’s not going to work if both aren’t in agreement, it's way too demanding for that."

Reading this blog post, I found myself nodding lots of times and laughing out loud occasionally. Most of all, I found myself thanking the LORD that Anthony is one supportive husband and homeschool dad! :-) So blessed to have you honey!

Below is the entire post from Sardonic Catholic Dad (who is a dad of TWELVE! My gosh! And all were/are being homeschooled! See, anything is possible with God! *Especially for all you homeschool skeptics out there - you know who you are! hehe).

Should we homeschool or not? We get that question from time to time. While I can’t make that decision for you, here are a few thoughts from one dad’s point of view.

Homeschooling is a lot cheaper than Catholic schools but more than public schools. Catholic schools are around (US$) 5k for k-8th and 10k+ for 9th-12th grades in our area (your results may vary). So 13 years of schooling X 11 kids X $5,000-$10,000 = Are you out of your freaking mind? So Catholic schools aren’t even an option for our family. Homeschooling costs as little as few hundred dollars a year. Especially if you build up a nice family library.

I’m not that impressed with the Catholic schools anyways. Maybe the education is better than at public schools (I hope so for the $$$ they charge) but the behavior of the kids doesn’t seem much better than of the public school kids. Not that homeschool kids are all little angels either (Tina: I can so relate! haha). Sometimes I can't tell any difference behavior wise. It basically comes down to the parents.

Plus a lot of the Catholic schools around here are Catholic in name only. Friends of ours are constantly complaining about them and taking their kids out and either homeschooling them or sending them to the public schools. And if they aren’t complaining about the costs or lack of true Catholic teaching, then they are complaining about the 2-3 hours of homework in the evenings. Heck you can be finished homeschooling in 3 hours a day. Plus you get the added bonus of no PTA meetings or teacher/parent conferences.

As parents we are the ‘primary educators’ (in quotes cause I hate that term) of our kids. In other words we are responsible for them. Not the government or some paid professional (although there are lots of great teachers out there). But even if we choose to send our kids to school we are still ultimately the ones who have to answer for how they turn out. And I’m not just talking about how smart they are, what college they get accepted to or how much their future jobs pay. We are talking about what kind of people they become and the future of their souls. It’s a huge responsibility. One best not pondered too much if you want to sleep at night.

For Sam and me the decision was easy and it was made even before we were married. And it has to be a mutual decision; it’s not going to work if both aren’t in agreement, it's way too demanding for that. But so far it has turned out great for us. The 2 oldest have each graduated HS 2 years early. The first is finishing up her second year at the local community college and will be transferring to a four year college in the fall. The second is at a pre-seminary and will be attending a regular seminary in the fall. Each has done very well on their SAT’s and in their college course work. The other kids are all on track to finish 1 or 2 years early. And all do well on the standardized testing for what it’s worth. So your kids aren’t going to turn out stupid cause of homeschooling, they may for other reasons :).

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a piece of cake. As husbands we must support our wives. I’m assuming that the wives are the main ones doing the teaching. If you as a couple decide this is the way to go then you have to support your wife as best you can.

No coming home from work and complaining that the house is messy and dinner isn’t ready – guilty of that myself. You have to be willing to put up with a little more mess around the house, a little less fancy cooking, more housework for yourself and helping out with the schooling when needed. And yes that can be annoying at times, tough, deal with it.

There may be days when your wives will question the decision – they may question it every hour of the day and curse your name for agreeing to it. But they probably do that for other well deserved reasons already so what’s one more? Just be there for them and be supportive. Sometimes they just need to vent a little bit about why little Johnny at age 8 still can’t read, eats paste and boogers and exposes himself in public. While the neighbor's 8 year-old at the swanky private school is fluent in French and can solve quadratic equations. Don’t worry I’m sure your son will be able to whip theirs in sports at least.

My kids seem to enjoy it for the most part. They complain on occasion but they complain about everything on occasion. The industrious ones are working on their school right after breakfast and are done before noon. They then have lots of play/free time, after chores are done of course. The lazier ones might still be doing school work when I get home from work (you know who you are). But none of them hate it. At least I think they don’t hate it…I’m afraid to ask.

What about HS you ask? What about it? Lots of parents school the kids through the 8th grade and then put their kids in a high school. Others school them all through high school. We happen to use tutors. Our HS age kids go to tutors 1 or 2 days a week. You are an adult, you will figure out what’s best.

So whether you are doing it for spiritual, social or educational reasons; or all 3 like we are, I don’t think you will regret trying it out. It’s pretty darn cool when your little one sits down to read you a book and it’s your lovely bride who has taught them how to read. Anyway the schools will always take the little darling back…I think.

Honey, I don’t say it enough. I love you and appreciate all you do. Especially schooling the little balls of sunshine.

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