“Critical thinking” that is what my nursing professor in college started my first med surg class with. She said it so boldly and then she spanned the room, staring each one of us in the eye. “You will one day have to make life or death decisions. (Again spans the room) “You will have to rely on your ability to critically think and in some cases, you may only have a few minutes, even a few seconds.” I remember those chilling words sinking into my brain. Her lecture really impacted me and as she continued on, my heart began to thud in my chest. I fell in love with nursing, it became my passion. She began again, “You will have circumstances where all of the choices are correct but you will have to chose the best choice for your patient.” Her words resonated in me and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I graduated, and began my career as a nurse. I became an educator for the sick and their family members. I helped heal them in so many different ways. I became my patients advocate, facilitator, and manager of their total and complete care. When every last thing had been done, I provided hospice care and held their hand as they crossed over. At this point in my life, it was some of the best experiences I had ever had. That was until, I had my first child. Then the world as I knew it, changed forever.
For me, since my marriage to my husband there has been nothing more paramount than having my children. If you have children maybe you can relate. Holding your baby for the first time, taking in their smell and feeling their soft new baby skin. It’s as though time stood still for me and I fell deeply in love with being a mother.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I had some tough times but perserving through, made the reward so much sweeter. If you’ve had the pleasure of raising a strong-willed smaller version of yourself then I’m sure you can understand.
When I reflect back on that very first year I believe my daughter was barely walking this question began to be posed. Where is she going to go to school? I think back on that now and realize the pressure it put on me, she was barely one year old. Nonetheless, I would distract with another random comment because I hadn’t yet developed the confidence to tell our friends and family that we we’re going to be homeschooling.
Honestly, my husband and I had discussed many different considerations before we even had our children. We had plenty of time to discuss this since we waited 7 yrs of our marriage before they came along. After we contemplated the financial aspect of having children the topic of their education came up and thus started our educational exploration.
Given that both my husband and I went to public high school prior to college, a public education was eliminated right away. Since I’ve had my children, my perspective on that has only solidified. During the years we we’re in high school the social atmosphere was on a downward spiral, it seems as though it has only been snowballing in rapid decent since then. One may always have an opposing view on this but I am going to list just a few examples:
- Bullying so severe, victims commit suicide
- Minor to minor and teachers to minor sexual assault
- School shootings
Perhaps these incidents have been sensationalized by the media and although these occurrences may not be as frequent as they seem. I don’t want that one horrifically traumatic experience to negatively alter my child’s life forever. I love them too much for that. When God chose them for me, he gave me the single most important job I’ll ever have. I have one chance at raising them. ONE. No do overs, no second chances, so my BEST is now.
Well why not a private school, charter school, or a Christian private school?
If you find yourself reading this next part and feel offended please understand it is truly not my intent. My hope is to respect your school choice all while showing you the beauty of homeschooling and bring you my own perspective on what’s right for our family.
While after much consideration private schooling would be a better choice then public schooling-but for us not the best choice. Private schools are still a brick and mortar building and follow a school system. They still have the same social risks as the public school systems, although the risk may be less in some settings. The risk is still there.
But let’s put the major social issues aside, let’s for a second put our heads in the sand and pretend these issues don’t happen. That the government run school system has it all under control and these incidents are very often minor, few and far between. Let’s now discuss academics.
The school system is set up exactly like that, a system. Which is a great approach to an educational setting so large, after all how can it run smoothly and effectively otherwise? What one may not have thought of is that our children are not “systems.” They are all individuals, each and every single one with unique differences.
When common core followed after no child left behind the future of our children’s education disintegrated before our eyes. Now we have certain standards in a one size fits all educational system. Which completely ignores the highly individualistic needs of our children.
I am sure in your adult life you’ve now realized that we all learn in different ways. Some of us are auditory learners, some visual, some of us are kinesthetic, each learning style in need of different teaching approaches. A one size fits all “system” does not cater to different learning styles. Instead, our children further suffer and are pushed through to pass the grade.
Now I know there are some pretty amazing school teachers out there, I know a few. My issue isn’t with you but with a poorly constructed school system. My children are not cogs in a wheel, they both have their own gifts to contribute to the world. It’s my God given duty to ensure it is nurtured and not stifled out.
I initially planned to write about the failure of common core but I think there is enough information out there that covers that. Instead, I want to focus on the success of home educated children.
I know what’s wrong with institutional teaching but how is it in comparison to homeschooling?
The national home education research institute notes these compelling differences in academic performances:
- On standardized achievement tests homeschooled children score 15-30 percentile above public school students
- Homeschooled children more often score above average on the SAT and ACT
- Colleges are beginning to seek out homeschooled students
The higher academic success rate is proof enough. However, has one considered the social and emotional skills of homeschool students?
The national home education research institute notes various positive points. The most important point- When research measured peer interaction, self concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem, the homeschool student proved to be above average.
I think back on those conversations that led up to our decision to homeschool. I had no idea how much hard work it would be. It has been a complete lifestyle change and we are only in the early years. Since this journey has began I have become passionately autodidactic about home education and have submerged myself in learning about homeschooling.
I never thought I would think this critically about raising my children and providing their education. But as I was contemplating this my husband shared his thoughts. “You are raising the next generation, what could be more important?”
And there it was.
I am raising the next generation. I am raising my children to know God and be rich in biblical character. Knowing what my calling has become has empowered me, that what my children contribute to the world is our sole responsibility. It’s my God given duty and because of that, I pour my heart into my children.
Just like in the medical field, in the lives of our children there are choices that we can make that are all right. One choice can be good and another great. Now when I am asked about my childrens education I confidently say, “we homeschool.” I’ve already begun to see the fruit of our labor and look forward to what the future holds. I know I’ve got one chance at this, and it’s my God given duty to do my Best.