7.29.2013

Why hOmeSchooling?

Why are we homeschooling this year?

There are a bajillion reasons.
But I'll share the biggest.

First, before getting all homeschooly on you, I need to be honest.

Up until this year, the idea of home-schooled kids freaked me out. I assumed (because I was not open-minded to it) that my kids would turn into total weirdos~ Be unsociable nerds who weren't good at sports and liked to bake bread instead of play outside.  I don't know why I thought those things...but that is the truth.  As I became more interested in it, however, my fears felt more and more silly.  Amazingly (<---- sarcastic), the homeschoolers I know are some of the coolest, most awesome families around.

Shame on me.

And bottom line, we are already weird.
This is how the kids asked to do errands last week.

saturated canary digis 
Pretty sure we can only get less weird from here.

Freedom.

Although homeschooling will require me/us to become more structured in some ways, I feel a freedom in it that I love.  Some people are created with minds and personalities that crave structure, schedules, and order.  I am the opposite; and that is okay.  Sometimes I create havoc, chaos, and messes with my lack of structure and disregard for a neat and tidy existence.  I found my phone in the pantry last week. I officially lost my desk under a pile of who-knows-what in the corner of the living room this month. And sometimes my beautiful girl wears a hunting hat, Jesus tee, and Gone with the Wind tote bag.  While carrying around a (water) gun.  And yeah, we leave the house like this.  (I have enacted a rule that requires all "firearms" to be left inside the vehicle when we go into a store.)

saturated canary digis 

But despite the downfalls of being a structure rebel, I have pretty well-rounded kids who enjoy adventure, spur-of-the-moment fun, and a little impulsiveness every once in a while. The freedom to create a year of education that is both fundamentally sound and out-of-the-box feels right at home with how God made me. A week on the road learning about America sounds kinda awesome.  Carving the time to actually serve others instead of only memorizing verses about serving others~ suddenly they are living the Gospel instead of just learning about it.  Creating a learning environment that works for our family, our dreams, and our future goals~that is the 'freedom' we are looking for.  Even if it means we have to become more structured and scheduled to find it.  That, to Phil and I, sounds like a good trade.

One year of teaching our kids (with a good curriculum) and using it to focus on where God is leading us.  We can create space for missions.  We can financially create space (we were paying for Christian education) to pursue adoption or foster care.  We invite more family time into our day.  And we can do it all in Blue Man suits and hunting hats.  Who cares.

It is probably NOT for everyone.  I do NOT expect everybody to understand or agree.  I am not even sure we won't rethink things at the end of this year.  Phil and I do feel like this is what God has for our family at least over the next 12 months, though.  And so I am okay with wherever this takes us.  Even if I cry my eyes out somedays.  Or feel like I'm going mad.  Or, holy cow, become more organized.  Whatever the outcome, I know it is God's plan for this year. For us.  And I expect it will be a huge learning experience for all four of us crazies.

Linking to Mel's Mamalogues.
And sending her and the little waving-from-the-armpit baby some huge love!!
Congrats, friend!

41 comments:

  1. One of my closest friends home schools over here. It's funny because her kids think my boy, Keagan is the strange one for going to school! All four of her kids are fab, seemingly doing well academically and getting their social skills by taking part in clubs and other stuff. Go for it! Am sure you will all have a super journey of discovery. Take care Zo xx

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  2. only you, your hubby, and God know what is best for your family. and you have to stand firm that God is NOT going to lead you astray. it's not about being weird or not, it's about staying true to His calling for your family and what is best for all of you.

    We contemplated long and hard about home schooling for our sons when we first moved to Ohio. and God told us no. there were many times we wondered why as we encountered some tough times in the school system, but we prayed and stayed faithful to His call for us. but tough times will come in life regardless. it's how we respond to them as they come along.

    as you say, for NOW, it is for a year. you can re-examine later. you have laid the foundation for your children. they have the rock of Jesus. what else could they possibly need? you show them love every day in so many ways.

    trust God as you always do. :)

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  3. My husband and I also decided to do a homeschool of sorts this year. My children will be doing a virtual school, but then I will be able to supplement in things that I feel are important, such as religion. One of the reasons that we decided to do the homeschool route was also because of the freedom that would allow us to take trips places to actually experience history or art without just reading about it. The other reason being that are children are not being challenged enough in the public school system because they are only pushing learning the items that are on standardized testing. There is so much more to life than a standardized test that I don't want my children missing out on.

    Good luck to your homeschooling adventure this year.

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  4. A huge undertaking Krista but I'm sure you'll enjoy the journey & your little family will be all the better for it! Look forward to reading all about this amazing adventure you are going on!
    Hugs, Renee

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  5. my sons guitar and keyboard teacher home schools her two girls and they are very confident, well mannered and polite individuals
    good luck x

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  6. Look at this as a new family adventure. I think you'll enjoy it as well. I've often wondered about it myself and look fwd to hearing about it now through you. I love the photos you shared here!!

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  7. Krista, I admire your courage to home school! Like I said before, my grandson would love that! I think it would be super to do, of course, mine are all grown up, but what an adventure you're going to have! And I can't wait to read all about it!!! LOL!!!! Oh the stories you'll tell.... :o)
    Many hugs,
    Teri

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  8. I.LOVE.THISSSSS!!! We may share the same brain on all of these presumptions/desires/goals/hopes, which scares and delights me all at once! lol... THANKS so much for sharing this with us today!
    love you mama!
    xx
    mel
    needle and nest ;o)

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  9. God sees the heart and blesses the plans that draw us closer to Him. Enjoy the time with your kids. You will never be able to recapture lost time. My sons are grown and I wish I had home schooled.

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  10. i think your reasons are sound and wish i could have done something like that for my daughter - she needed that freedom and flexibility as they tried to squish her into a box that she didn't fit into.. and now she backs away from education. On a good note she always had good self esteem and still believes that she will be the best she can be... and who can ask for more. Kudos to you!!!!

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  11. Great decision. I've been homeschooling mine (7 year old boy) and that's because I don't want my kid to grow up with no knowledge of His Creator and to set the teachings of Christ which will be the foundation of his character. The rest is just secondary. One cool thing is I can advance my kid as much as his abilities can handle. He's already on 4th grade books and he learned to read at the age of 2 and by 4, he was able to read anything. We were able to take trips when summer end and all of that cool stuff. BTW, I love the shirt your daughter is wearing in the pic. Totally true!

    God bless,
    JO ANN

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  12. I think it is wonderful you are going to take the time to develope and nurture the important lessons for your children. I have a friend (and her family) who I admire, respect, and envy because of the dedication they have to teach their sons to be "Godly Men" while opening their home to even more children. They are the most intelligent, well-rounded, loving, energetic, talented...I could go on and on. It is 'good thing' and I think your kiddles are AWESOME in their WEIRDNESS!
    Take care and I keep you, and your goals, in prayer.

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  13. When you look at the state of our schools, I think home schooling is a great idea!!!!! If I had to do it over again, I would most certainly consider it!!!! Kudos to you!!!

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  14. I am in awe Krista. I think you are very brave and courageous and I am excited to seeing where this journey will take you and your weird, gorgeous family. I just know that you will be brilliant!

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  15. I think home schooling is perfect for your family. And, what's the worst thing can happen? It does work out but at least you tried. I enjoying reading about your beautiful family. Keep us updated on home schooling your beautiful babies!

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  16. I was too scared to home school, and the home school movement was so much smaller here (NZ) 25 years ago so I can understand where you are coming from, but YOU GO GIRL - I am proud of your decision!
    Blessings
    Maxine

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  17. If this is the best for having more time to serve Him to your family, why not? I homeschool my daughter and she is totally normal, she has friends and loves to play outside. It's a challenge, but it's worthy!
    Hugs,
    Ardilla :)

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  18. Krista,
    You will do awesome, mama. Homeschooling will be easier and more enjoyable than you'd ever imagine. It is also one of the most rewarding things to have your child spout off some historic fact or mathematical equation to a family member or friend- and you will feel a burst of joy and pride in knowing you had a part in relaying that knowledge to your kid and they actually RETAINED it. Also, there are a ton of us "normal" people homeschooling our kids (we don't all grow gardens and bake bread from scratch- sometimes we just bake a box of brownie mix and watch Man vs. Wild!). The worst part of homeschooling has nothing to do with us- but it's the stereotypes about how our children need to be 'socialized'. Some of the coolest, smartest, and most well rounded children are home schooled. They actually enjoy having in depth conversations with people that are older or younger than they are- because they're exposed to inter-generational environments. Now that is what I call raising a child to be an adult. Imagine if we only had friends our own age! What a travesty. I am sure that you and Phil will make the right decision each year of your children's lives, because you seek the Lord's will and not your own. He will guide you because He has promised to. And (side note) homeschooling is NOT for everyone. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Enjoy your school year, I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes :)

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Melody

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  19. Love it!
    Awesome and brave.
    Wait until you hear about unschooling!
    Love and Light, much patience and remember when you feel stressed (it will happen), leave what you're doing put on the sprinklers and have fun.
    Nicky

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  20. You'll love it! I'm a teacher in the UK for 4/5 year old children and every day is different- I'm a really organised person but one of the best teachers in our school wouldn't know organisation if it slapped him in the face! Enjoy :-)

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  21. I always felt that school districts teach to the masses. When a teacher is faced with a classroom of 30+ students they use the same method for all students which is fine for some but there are others that are going to struggle. Kids learn at different rates and also in less than structured environments. If a kid wants to stand during a lesson (or wear a blue man suit) who cares - they're still learning. However this is a big no no is public school. I admire you for taking the plunge to home school your kids. To be honest the biggest reason I've never done it is because when it comes to math and science I'm dumber than a stump. However, History - YEEHAW - now that I would love to teach! Best wishes and if you decide to only do it one year, I have no doubt your kids will have memories of this school year that will last a lifetime!

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  22. I am so glad to read ALL positive comments, because this is such a positive venture. I have always thought that your children are so blessed to have you as their Mom. I am 67 and always blessed by and encouraged through your blog. You and Phil walk hand in hand with the Lord and He loves you for that. He will be there for you as you move into home schooling. It sounds like an adventure that your children will never forget. God will continue to bless you, as you listen to Him!!!

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  23. I am starting my daughter this year, as well. Pretty pumped about it!! (And, yes, I was a homeschoolers are weird type person, too). LOL!

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  24. I totally giggled when you said we're already weird - I love that pic of your kids! I'm looking forward to your journey into homeschooling and will be praying for you every step of the way! Don't think you have to be super structured - figure out your philosophy on what you want from homeschooling (which you've pretty much already shared) and work with that. Everything else comes with it almost naturally. <3

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  25. I am a teacher & I think homeschooling is GREAT - when done properly! I think you have it figured out & your kids will be awesome! My cousins were all homeschooled and they are THE MOST well rounded teens I know.....but I have also seen homeschooling at its worst! I have FAITH in you and your family Krista - good luck with it but just remember to have fun! AND be proud of your blue man suits!!! LOL
    Hugs,
    Chris

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  26. I think your kids will like home schooling. Who wouldn't like being able to go to school in their super hero costume without having to worry about their cape getting caught in the bus doors! The picture of your kids in costume really cracked me up, they are awesome! :)

    P.S. You may want to talk to an evaluator about what you will need for your kids' portfolios at the end of the year. When my mom home schooled us, the state(PA) required that we see a state licensed evaluator at the end of every school year to show "evidence of progress". I think it's different for each state, but better to find out before hand than to be scrambling at the last minute.
    Take care!

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  27. I LOVE this. Your heart is so beautiful. That is exactly my Husband and my reasoning for wanting to pursue homeschooling. Congrats and I can't wait to see your adventures!

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  28. Krista!! How exciting!!! I've always kept homeschooling in the back of my head as an option for my family. Right now the public schools in the town we live in are doing a wonderful job of formally educating our children while we supplement and support with a "homeschooling" attitude in the afternoons and on weekends. But I am very interested to see how your adventures go. Good for you and YAY!!

    Crafty Hugs!
    Meredith

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  29. so glad you are back.
    missed you.

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  30. Welcome to homeschooling!! Both you and your kids are going to love it! I homeschool my youngest(11). I have two older children who are graduated(28 and 19) and they went to public school and if I knew then what I know now, I would have homechooled them too. I am a newbie here and am falling in love with coloring your images.....what took me so long to discover how fun they are? lol Oh well better late than never. Have a fun filled school year!!!! : )

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  31. I wish you the best!! I also homeschool my three kids and the freedom is wonderful! Many times you second guess your decision, so keep referring back to this post of yours to remember your "whys." I just came across this blog post earlier this week, and you have to read it...http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2010/03/why-i-homeschool-and-what-my-approach-is/ it's so funny, I totally relate! Blessings!!

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  32. What an amazing commitment to your children you are embarking on. I hope that you all enjoy and benefit from the experience and I will look forward to hearing about your adventures through the year. God bless you all.

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  33. God knows the plans he has for your family and I know you have a listening ear to Him .So its all good my friend ,I am sure it will be a time of growth and much love in your family ,so go boldly dare to be different (I know you are ) and learn together

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  34. We have been home schooling for the past three years, I wouldn't trade it for the world, it has brought us so much closer, we teach religion at our home, and how to be good Christians, or at least try to be. I don't have time for crafting anymore, but it makes me happy, because I'm working on my children and making memories with them. I think you will love it, it gives you so much freedom, and they can learn from anything, every little thing they do and read or whatever, its a learning experience...Good luck!!! :0)

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  35. Just stumbled across your blog today and was reading about you homeschooling. I wish I would have done it as well. I have a son who is in his second year of college and another who is a freshman in high school. I also work at the high school and what I see of the students who were home schooled entering catholic school at the 6th grade level or even 9th grade is that these students have a confidence in their faith that is not seen in other students. Even thou we have raised our sons in a christian home and attend church every weekend and are very involved in our church there is a difference. They both went to public school from K- 5 and then entered private school in the 6th grade.. I really do believe it makes a difference so I applaud you for trying. I wish you luck and will keep you in my prayers. We need more parents like you because our future depends on it. I can't believe what is being taught in some schools. Good luck and God Bless.

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  36. Go for it girl!
    Would love to read how things work out with home schooling, how a day goes.
    we don't know much about home schooling in the Netherlands, so I'm very curious!
    Hugs,Sandra

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  37. God bless you and your family!! Loved to read why you are doing this and know that God will bless you as you go where He leads! Xxx

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  38. LOVE to hear that you are following Gods leading in your lives!! Your life may be crazy some days and you may feel like crying.....but God is there with you!! Have fun and enjoy everyday!! The kids grow up soooo fast!!

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  39. As long as your main reason for homeschooling isn't religious, then I guess your kids will do fine. Personally I do not find homeschooling for religious reasons to be acceptable. I have seen the down-fall and I have been part of it. I had to spend several years taking remedial classes since my home "education" had left a lot to be desired. Check out Generation Cedar and promise me you will never turn out that way. This in particular: "One thing we do not have to worry about is how to educate children. We do not have to worry about curricula, lesson plans, motivating children to learn, testing them, and all the rest that comes under the rubric of pedagogy…" -> Because apparently homeschooling is just one way for her and like-minded fundies to shelter their children away from the world, without actually teaching them anything except for their own interpretation of the Bible. That's my main issue with home-schooling by religious reasons: sheltering children away from the world -> that is creating a parallel society. Fundies create a we vs. them mentality, where they do not socialize with non-believers and if they ever do, they only socialize with the intention to convert said non-believers.

    I have to admit that I went to your site for the very first time with the intention to buy stamps (after I had read about how Sherri Baldy had stolen your stamps I felt guilty about having bought hers) but after I saw that wordart-painting ("Free admission to those who believe...) I feel the we vs. them mentality. Uhm it would be kinda awkward for one of your kids to bring home their non-believing friend, wouldn't it? I guess they have no non-Christian friends, since that's not acceptable in your bubble (or the bubble you are creating).

    I will leave empty for this time. Just like I wouldn't support a Taliban, I can't support the Talibaptist or what else have you.

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  40. Hi Krista - As a former school teacher [I taught 14 years in a Christian School] I say Bravo for you! Even though homeschooling may not be for everyone - I feel it is a GREAT and Amazing way to educate your children. In my opinion, there are several reasons to home-school and I will list a few: The parents are their children’s first teachers and always will be. Money is wasted in our schools both private and public – this money could be used for more useful things – children get their social skills from church gatherings, and mingling with other home-schooled kids – it saves on TIME each day – home-schooled kids can get through their curriculum in a shorter amount of time daily without having homework – the additional time not spent in a school setting can be used for more useful adventures such as life-learning lessons through field trips, play and group activities with other home-school children etc. and if you continue through the teen years – your children will be more successful at working a job and continuing their education without all the additional stress a student that is attending school would experience – the lessons your children will learn will be much better because you have the time with them to teach and influence them rather than placing them for 7 hours a day in a school where many adults have that influence and those adults might be teaching your children what you do not want your children to hear or see. Life is short – before you know it your children will be grown and on their own – enjoy this ride and even if it is only for this year – I applaud you for stepping out of your comfort zone and going where many parents will not trod - after all – some parents view sending their children to school as “free babysitting.” JMHO PS get involved with some parents that will exchange babysitting so you both of you can have your "breaks" and take some snow days!

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