Sunday, March 11, 2007

Homeschooling in the 21st Century

When I began to homeschool and not just supplement my oldest, times were much different. The vast majority of people, including family treated us like we were crazy. It almost was if we had the plague.

Curriculum for homeschool is quite costly, and as a person who has mastered the art of budgeting, I was tested. Finally, after 4-5 years of studying what the scope and sequence was of each grade level, I created my own curriculum. I wanted the children to love our country, and not to become obsessed with every whim that seems to be planted in public schools.

I teach the core subjects until they are mastered. I think that reading is not only fundamental, but pivotal in surviving in the world. I also never limited educating from 8-2:30. I use wherever we are, what ever time it is for a learning lesson. Even cutting wood for the wood stove became a lesson in survival, navigation, and safety.

It amazed me when we lived in a small town in Utah, that when Governor Mike Leavitt came to speak, that there weren't any public school children there. I took my kids, because the best way to learn about civics is hands on. My youngest at the time was 3 years old. The Governor had his picture taken with the kids for the local newspaper, and I was very happy. Mike Leavitt told me that the kids were very well behaved. This was true, he and Chris Cannon both spoke for about 40 minutes and my kids sat quietly and listened.

For every election we go to both campaign headquarters and collect campaign literature and study each party's platform. Then we hold "mock elections".

I believe public school may have began with the notion to teach the fundamentals, but it has lost its focus. We need to remove all the fluff(multi-cultural, guilt placed on Caucasians, the blame America for everything) and put back the very spirit of America. And yes competition is important. Let's make kids compete for things again. Not in the sports but in scholastic things. Everyone is not a winner and we need to teach the children how to be graceful losers. That is what the left does not know how to do.

I am not bashing the left, but expressing truth. The left has controlled the public schools for many years and they have turned into a sieve for our tax dollars. Believe me if it was only my wallet funding the public schools I would guarantee that I would not be taking the children to the cemetery in October to create an understanding about death. The NEA had a cross curriculum cemetery unit in 2006 for teachers to use in their classrooms. I would much rather they read Ichabod Crane than go to a cemetery, using our tax dollars to bus the kids on an unnecessary field trip. Believe it or not, I grew up in a farming community, and in 1976 my grade was taken to a farm. Why on earth have we permitted our schools to construct their own educational requirements ignoring that Johnny can't read, nor identify George W. Bush as our President.

In the last 13 years I have seen many changes in the homeschool circuit. In fact in 2001 I was asked to join the P.T.A. Can you believe that? I don't have to explain that I am educating my children now, they themselves are living testimony to their education. My children are probably not smarter that other children, it's just that I have taught them how to search for the truth. I also have zero tolerance for misbehavior. I am the adult and they are the children.

I often wonder how to resolve the situation of the public schools and see only one solution. Public schools have to remove the homsechool option, otherwise their failures will shine even brighter.