We met with our first opposition to homeschooling this last week. Me, through an ugly comment left on my blog. My husband, through a conversation with a friend at church. The friend explained all of his reasons for why he thinks it's not good and husband explained the reasons why we think it is. (Interestingly, they were the same arguments!) I read that this would happen. It still surprises me.
Let me say this: we are NOT homeschooling because of academics. Sure, I think it will be good to move at the pace of my children (whether that be slower or faster) and to have more of a say in what they learn. Overall, my daughter was doing fine in school this last year, but there were times I wish she didn't have to do certain things over and over and other times I wish she had more time to grasp a concept before moving on. (Oh, you made an F on that test. OK, time for the next week's lesson...) Even if I were a fan of public schools, I would still see merit in homeschooling.
One of the major reasons we have chosen to do this is that we want to train our children in godly ways. Yes, I think parents can still train their children even if their kids are in school. However, for us, it wasn't working. I don't find the 4 or 5 hours in the afternoons/evenings to be enough time to spend together. Plus, I find the opposing influences to be too great of an obstacle. Here at home we have time to spend on those activities which we feel are the most beneficial to our girls rather than following the school calendar and fixing our family life around whatever time is left over.
What I want is this: 2 young adult women who know how to sew, cook, take care of a house, be responsible, read their Bibles, are devoted to the Lord, prepared for being a wife and mother, feminine, submissive to their father, helpful, gracious, compassionate, hard-working, kind, etc. etc. etc. I could go on all day.
I have slightly high goals in mind.
The point is, I have thought about how I want them to turn out. I have thought about how I do NOT want them to turn out. And the time between now and those 2 young adult ladies seems very short sometimes. Too short to spend my time sending them off to be taught, influenced, and trained by someone else.
So we are homeschooling. And I expect there to be many more people who disagree. Some people will do so quietly, watching all the while to see that our girls will turn out badly. Complete social misfits. Totally unprepared for the "real world." I know there are people waiting for that. I know because I used to say the same thing about homeschoolers. The truth is, my husband and I know several families who have homeschooled and are finished. Their kids are all grown. And they are wonderful. I would be proud to have my children turn out so well. It may not be the common denominator of homeschooling that did it either. Maybe those parents had also thought far into the future about how they wanted their kids to turn out and they might have turned out wonderfully even if they had attended public schools their whole life. Goodness knows there have been some wonderful children come out of public schools. So I don't think it's necessarily homeschooling that automatically turns out great kids. Far from it.
We are devoting our lives to God. Training our children in His ways is part of that. We will pray to God every day to help us as we raise these children for him. Our guidebook will be His Holy Word. We are not perfect, but God is. Our children are not exceptional, but they have been blessed. With God's help only, we expect the end result to be a good one.