Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Something I need to Share

I follow a fellow blogger that thinks along the same lines as I do. She is always able to express what I feel about education and what is happening in our society to children. Many times among my own personal homeschooling community I feel like I am an outcast. Don't get me wrong, everyone accepts us and we have lots and lots of friends. When I say I feel like an outcast it is because we are always straddling the line of what most individuals would observe as a regular education and on the other side of the fence is unschooling. I have a child that really doesn't want to go to college. She kind of already knows what she wants to do with her life and her talent which is art. She doesn't care about excelling in science and math and I have resigned myself to her being her own individual person and that being okay. Don't get me wrong I want her to know the basics but I am more interested in her being a good, compassionate person willing to serve and share the Gospel than I am with good SAT scores and getting into a promising college. Some things that you see consistently with homeschooled high school students you won't see on our radar. We won't be taking part in dual enrollment when Grace becomes a junior or senior in high school. We won't be taking the same exact science and math classes that all other students take (Physical Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geometry, and Trig). Yes we will take some of these but not feel compelled to take all of them and follow the trend that was set forth by everyone that says we need to take it to get into college. I am sure what I am saying may ruffle some feathers and believe me, I mean no disrespect. I know that the current recommended courses are what works for many families and if it works for you and your student - keep it up.  Basically what it boils down to is that homeschooling is educating outside of the box and if we are educating our children outside of the box shouldn't we have the freedom to do it differently than everyone else and not get criticized for it or looked down upon. Who knows what the future holds - Grace may change her mind at the last minute in 12th grade and want to go to college or art school. If she does, then we refocus and get accomplished what is required to get in. It is never to late to change your mind and work to achieve your goals and dreams.

I would recommend following this link to read my online friend's post She is More Than a Number because everything she wrote comes from her heart and I wish I could have said it so well.


A Candle to Read By said...


LJS said...

You just made me smile. Thank you my friend. Thank you for your kind words. Speaking of words...

"If she does, then we refocus and get accomplished what is required to get in. It is never to late to change your mind and work to achieve your goals and dreams."

I have to tell you a story. I am friends with a family who unschools. Mostly radically. They are amazing people and I love how they have set a paradigm for their family that encourages self discover, creativity, intelligence and respect.

Their children take no formal classes unless they request them. So after not taking any formal classes in math and language arts, their 15 year old daughter decided she wanted to go to college as an 18 year old freshman. Her mom told her she will have to do a lot of work to achieve that goal.

She did the work. She met with a math tutor. She now takes math classes at her collaborative learning center. She is a voracious reader already and when it came time (at 16) to enroll in a community college, she had no problem scoring well on the language arts test (with no formal classes, just reading, lots of reading). She is now in her second semester and LOVES it. She is still working on math and that will come when it is time.

If we give kids the opportunity and trust in their ability they don't have to be on the same timeline or track as the kids who are in public school/private school. I know this. I believe this with all my being. Yet, sometimes, for me, I slip back into my teacher mentality, my student way of thinking that "we are not doing 10 hours of math a week, or is ASL for a foreign language really okay?

But, just the other day I read a blog post from a woman in AZ whose kids attend a very good public school and she blogged that her sophomore is only required to read TWO books per year. TWO. That reassured me.

I am so grateful for our online community. Knowing that we are somehow in this together and choosing what we think is best for our children and knowing that when I open up my blog list there are words of encouragement is truly a blessing.

Thank you.

Karen said...

Jess's post resonated very deeply with me as well. It was wonderful. :) I love that we are all so like minded about our children's education.

Laraba said...

I'm with you! We have 8 children, with #9 on the way. My husband and I both did "the college thing" in spades -- we both have PhD's in engineering and spent close to 10 years in college. For my husband, that was a good use of time. For me...hmmm...well, I didn't ask God's leading and the best things that happened were spiritual growth and meeting my dh. For our children, my prayer is that the Lord will guide us to what HE wants them to do. I don't want to just follow society's dictate about "the right road". If a child should go to college, then I want him or her to go to college. But if a child would do best fixing air conditioners or running a day care, then may we be open to that as well! I get so tired of "academic worship". The important thing in life is to serve God and people and the idea that "not going to college" means a person is less important or smart or whatever is super annoying. Also, and this is one of my BIG things, I don't want our kids saddled with a huge college debt that will hang over them for decades, so IF they go to college, they'll probably go to local schools and do online courses and live at home. Again, we will seek God's will, but I am not going to assume they can rack of up $100,000 in college debt and then "be fine". And we can't afford to pay for all their college with 9 kids born in less than 15 years...