Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why Our Family Did Not Home School

Why Our Family Did Not Home School

First off, I am in my forty's, and believe it or not, Home Schooling as a movement did not really start taking off until the mid 80's and didn't explode until the 90's. So My generation and Christians from my generation were not home schooled. It was not common in the 60's or 70's even in Christian circles to home school. So I know nobody my age at all that was home schooled. I am not against home schooling. I think it is a wonderful option. I know awesome family's that are home schooling and I know awesome and wonderful kids that are being home schooled.

I had my first child in 1987. He was born blind, mentally handicapped, and has some autistic behaviors. I was a very young mom. I married my college sweetheart right out of college at the age of 21 and my son was born a year later. I read everything i could about blind babies. Here where I live they had a public school program that came to your home (Or they would visit children in a day care if that is where they were) for all hearing impaired and visually impaired infants and toddlers. Starting when he was only 3 months old, I had a teacher that came to my house one to three times a week to teach me how to stimulate and work with him and to teach him. I was very impressed with her knowledge. I went back to college and finished my degree in Special ed. At the University I was at I could not specialize in the visually impaired because they did not offer that program. Anyway, at the age of 3 he went into a specialized preschool and at 5 he was in a special class for blind children. He had an awesome teacher. Also in the Public school system, he received Speech and Language Therapy, and Orientation and Mobility Therapy. (That is a specialized vision teacher that teaches them how to use the cane and to get around their environments.) He also had a full time vision teacher that designed activities appropriate for blind children. He had the most awesome teachers throughout his whole school career. Actually he has one more year of public school because he can be in school till he is 21. He attends his regular neighborhood high school but is in special classes. He still recieves all the above mentioned services. He thrives on school and the routine. Actually I am preparing now for the day he no longer has school. I will be homeschooling him because he will be forever learning and he needs things to stimulate him. Now I can find all kinds of resources. There is actually a blind home schoolers group on yahoo. We were so blessed, God provided the best teachers. If I had issues or problems at home they would work with me to solve them. Also this was the late 80's and early 90's. Everyone didn't have computers then. The web was not what it is today. Resources weren't as easy to find back then. With my son in the special preschool, I got a job at the school next door teaching Physically Impaired Children. I worked with kids with brain damage, spina-bifida, and cerebral palsy etc. I even worked with a child who had a stroke when he was only 10. I loved my students, and most of the parents I worked with were awesome. It was great. My daughter was born 23 months after my son. When I was teaching, my daughter was just a block away at a wonderful Christian Daycare and School. The school went from preschool all the way up to high school. So for our situation, at that beginning time in our family, that is what we did. By the time number 3 child came along it got difficult to be full time mom and full time teacher. We were better off and I then became a Work at Home Mom. I started a home daycare. I watched my 3rd child and 3 other little tykes. Son number one was still attending the special school and daughter was still attending the Christian private school. My daughter is now attending the State University. She is an awesome Christian, is grounded and has great moral values. My youngest is still in school. I know his teachers well. I figure the School is supplementing what I do. He loves Music and they have the best music program at his school. He plays the Sax. I know homeschooling parents that have dual enrollment in public or private schools so they can participate in some extracurriculars like band, or have the advantage of a complete science lab etc. But I decided not to go that route. My youngest is also a great Christian kid with great values. Although the Bible admonishes us to teach our children. It does not spell out how or where. And nowhere does it forbid formal schooling. I wish we could love each other and trust that the Gods will can be done in different situations and in different ways. Sometimes there is more judging and condemning going on rather than love, prayer and encouragement.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say Hi! I am also a 40 something mom, my oldest is 21 and in the USMC, my only other child is 12 and is homeschooled. I also live in the south. (TN) I was a special ed. teacher, till I quit to homeschool.

I am working on a new blog, something to post my quilts on, I love to sew! I found your blog from Robyn's site.

I enjoyed your post on "not" homeschooling. You lucked out with great teachers! My daughter has a few special needs, nothing major, but it would have been nice to have had some cooperation from the public school system to make he education more doable for her. But, no help from them, it was either fit in, or get out. So we got out after 1st grade. You oldest son is one lucky young man to have had so many years of dedicated educators.

Take care!
Mary in the mountains of Tennessee

Julie said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog.
I am a homeschool advocate, but I do so understand situations where it is just not possible.
When my best friend was contemplating homeschooling awhile back I kept my mouth shut tight because I am a bit pushy.
I did not have good school experiences with my children the 9 months they were in school. I could not imagine going through that for 18 more years. LOL
I love homeschooling my kids. I think thats why I am so passionate about it. I do believe that you can have great kids not homeschooled as well! Sounds like you do! :)
I hope we can still be friends. :)

Tracy said...

Hi Deeny. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog.

I am also not a homeschooling Mum. Whilst I can see the advantages and I deeply admire those who do this, I don't believe it is a lifestyle for everyone. We are also very firmly convinced that God put our children in the school where they are. I have had the opportunity and blessing of seeing my children's teachers in action and seeing how they live out faith that is vibrant and alive. I couldn't ask for a better holistic approach to their education and nurturing of who they are as people and as children of God.

Saved Sinner said...

"I figure the School is supplementing what I do."
I think that is the right attitude to have. It seems (in the UK at least) like many parents just hand over complete responsibility to the schools and never think about teaching them the things which schools don't teach. The way I see it, the important principle is that the parent takes responsibility for a child's education rather than the parent has to personally execute the education.

It's great that you got such a good SEN provision especially coming to your home. Here SEN kids can start school very early (I think it might be from age one) but it is in a school setting rather than at home.