It is no secret that I am constantly thinking about my future children, and my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom. Lately I've been thinking about one certain issue that goes along with those things: home-schooling.
I always said that I would never home-school my kids. I'm not sure why. I was just never a huge fan of the idea. I was so painfully shy when I was growing up, I just think I would have had lots of social issues if I hadn't gone to a big public school. But then I look at my husband, who was home-schooled from early elementary school all the way through 12th grade, and it seemed to work so well for him! He played sports, he had lots of friends, and got a one-on-one, Christian education, which beats one-on-twenty-five!
Hmm, there's a lot to think about. And I know I'm years off from actually having children, but I figure it's never too early to start thinking and praying about it! I had never even considered it before, but God really laid it on my heart this week for some reason.
First of all, I've been really into the show "18 Kids and Counting" lately. And while I don't completely agree with all that they believe (for example, I don't plan on having 18 kids!!), I do think it's really awesome that they spend so much time as a family together. That kind of lifestyle really intrigues me. I don't want to completely isolate my family from the rest of the world, but I do think it's important to NOT overdo it with too many extra-curricular activities, and to spend a lot of time together growing, learning, and creating memories.
Here are my pros and cons for homeschooling:
I will be able to incorporate Christian teaching into every subject!! That thought just seriously excites me, and makes my heart beat faster! lol
I will be able to give my children one-on-one instruction that they won't get at public school.
I already have my teaching degree, so I think I would be a good candidate for a homeschool teacher :-)
Flexible schedule. School wouldn't have to only last from 8-3. We could start earlier, or end later. (Although I think I'd like to keep a pretty routine schedule everyday. I think kids need that, especially when they're young!)
I wouldn't have to worry about bullies, or children who would be bad influences over my kids. At least not during school time!
My children wouldn't be able to play school sports or other school extra-curricular activities.
Not as much opportunity to interact with others. They may be stifled socially.
They may have no chances to share their faith. I think it's good to surround yourself with Christian people, but it's wrong to completely shut yourself off from everybody else. I wouldn't want to do that to my kids.
My kids might become too sheltered, and have problems once they get out into the "real world."
I went to school to teach young children, so I may have a hard time teaching my kids higher level subjects like chemistry, anatomy, trigonometry, calculus (my only C was in pre-calc in high school. I certainly couldn't teach it!), etc. Of course, there's always post-secondary for that.
So there's my list. I know that our church offers lots of fun activities for kids and even lots of sports leagues (We're not planning on moving away from here. At least not until we're retired!) So some of the cons could be solved there. And I could just homeschool them in elementary school, and have them go to public school after that. Or give them a choice, like Luke's parents did. Also, Luke was in a group of homeschoolers in the community who met once a week when he was in school. I know he made a lot of friends through that (some of his best!) and they did a lot of fun activities, took cool field trips, and learned a lot, too.
Also, if Luke hadn't been homeschooled, he probably wouldn't have become such good friends with my homeschooled cousins, and we probably would have never met or gotten to know each other! So if you ask me, it's a good thing ;-)
Well that's a lot to think about. And I probably have a good 8 years before I have a child who is school-aged. But like I said, it's never too early to start thinking and praying about it. I got my teaching degree, and am not feeling called toward teaching (in a regular classroom). Could it be that I got that training so that I could use it to teach my own children? Hmm, it's kind of fun to think about.
I think I'll just wait and see what the future has in store. I think that if this is where God is leading me, He will certainly make that clear. Especially since I still have so many years left to decide ;-)
So what are your thoughts and opinions on home-schooling? I know it can be a controversial subject, but if done correctly, I think it can really work!