Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Again with the anti-homeschoolers

I've thought about it. It was gently and humorously pointed out in the comments that I was one once.
True. I had a teaching degree and absolutely NO CLUE about homeschooling. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It wasn't even mentioned in any of my certification classes.

My idea of homeschoolers six years ago was, in a word, ignorant. I thought it was Mom, supermarket workbooks, and the public library. Christian ones had the Bible, too. They were overprotective near-secessionists (maybe even seditionists!), certainly isolationists, and their children were socially maladjusted and friendless. They just had to be. [Those who knew me then: you can stop laughing now.]

To quote a book I read many years ago: You can only be that dumb when you're young, I suppose.

Then came the story of Madeleine, religious education, Young Fives, all of the mess of current public education, the expense of parochial school (which still doesn't solve the problems), the positive examples of homeschoolers I've met in the intervening years, and here we are.

From my previous misconception: Yes, it's Mom, usually. Yes, some use supermarket workbooks and the library. Others use one of the dozens of curriculum options available online (Kolbe, Seton, Alpha/Omega, Mother of Divine Grace, unschooling, etc.). Yes, Christian ones do use the Bible. As far as overprotective, do we really need to discuss what is happening in Maine? As far as socially maladjusted, that's way off, too. Park days, swim class, Scouts, sports teams, dance, music lessons, co-ops...

But the ignorance so prevalent in the public schools about homeschooling is what brings on articles like this one. The lack of of truth, the utter absence of any information for or against, almost seems deliberate. There are individuals who have some familiarity with homeschooling, but the vast majority know nothing. They have exactly the same misconceptions I did. That's how the NEA can say that they don't feel a child being homeschooled can receive a comprehensive education. They're utterly clueless of the options out there.

While the kids don't get an education identical to a public school education, it seems that is the whole point.

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5 Comments:

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I've thought more and more about homeschooling. I know we've got time, but I just don't know HOW (from a financial aspect) we're going to do it.

I'd love some advice on budgeting, work-from-home alternatives, etc...if anyone can help.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Dale Price said...

Amy:

Don't feel guilty about *not* homeschooling. There are plenty of good reasons not to, and financial concerns are right at or near the top of the list.

Rich Leonardi and his wife have considered it, but they can't make it work either. So what he does is supplement it with solid catechetical and historical books. That's how his kids are learning Latin, for example. I think that's something well worth considering.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Amy--
On budgeting for homeschooling, it can be as inexpensive (or pricey) as you wish.
From free:
http://www.freeworldu.org/videos.htm
to simply buying the kids' texts at, say, Kolbe (my favorite):
www.kolbe.org
to the $500 family enrollment plus books at MODG.

But any of them will sell you their course plans and books without enrollment. The teacher's guides are optional, and for kindergarten subjects, they're really unnecessary (even I could handle the math).
Then there's the "used" option, stuff from eBay, if you find a support group where you can get advice so you don't spend what little you've got on useless stuff...

And though I disparaged it once upon a time, you would be STUNNED at what's available through your public library. Math and science videos and textbooks, phonics starters, homeschooling guides, histories and biographies...

Does that help? I know it's cheaper than Catholic school around here!

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

Dale,

That was quite generous. Those of us who don't think we'll be making it work appreciate regards like that.

Amy,

I say this as someone who probably won't be homeschooling, even though I'd love to do so: The time is the most expensive part of it. I'm assuming you mean that giving up an income would be the issue. And that's perfectly valid. One of the best resources I've found is a book by Philip Lenahan called Finances for Today's Catholic Family. I actually found it about five years ago, when I married. It has been quite helpful with realism and perspective.

I don't think we can make homeschooling work because I don't think my daughter would learn best that way. I had her exclusively for over four years, and she was at least a year delayed in language. She's been in school now (preschool with therapy) for three months and has made up six. She just seems to learn really well in a group of kids her own age. She will NOT be attending public school, but around her the standard "tuition" for a Catholic school is tithing to the parish that supports them, so that's perfectly workable for us, though it does mean driving 25 miles to the nearest acceptable school.

And should this school fall into the traps that some schools have in the future, we'll pull our kids out in a heartbeat if we can't help change the culture. But everyone does the best that they can do for their own children. I'm just thankful that we have as many options as we have.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger The Story Of Us........ said...

I know some of these are radical but...some are things we did, some are things my friends have done.

~foster parenting pays
~babysitting for a working parent
~Checking in on an elderly neighbor (friends of mine are paid to do this.)
~ After school care for children

~#1. make a strict budget.
~Use tax money to buffer your checking account instead of paying of a bill and still being "tight" all year.
~Dropping to one vehicle.
~Pay off cars and don't buy new ones. ie: drive them till they die! LOL
~ weekly menu and stick to it.
~do away with cable tv. ask for movies for Christmas or movies friends tape.
~buy used whenever you can
~scour bills to find things you can live without. (cable, magazine subscriptions, etc.)

Those are a few things.
Hope it helps some, :-)
Shelly

Remember to do away with all bills related to traveling to your work, Gas, eating at your work and clothing needed for your work.

 

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