6 Sep 2006

How Long Will We Homeschool?

Submitted by Stephen Winters

We have children, Sarah (age 14) and Joseph (age 7, almost 8). We have been homeschooling them both from the beginning. Sarah is starting 8th grade and Joseph is starting 2nd grade, but 3rd in Math. We have had our challenges trying to figure out what and how much to teach them, how to plan out their lessons, etc. Over the years we have tried out various methods and materials. My wife Emmy has been very instrumental in starting Sarah off right. When Sarah was still a todler, she’d have her help sort the laundry as she taught our daughter her colors. When Sarah was 4 we started teaching..

Over the years it has been a long and somewhat arduous process, many times not knowing what to do, but we keep plodding onward anyway. We keep trying to do it better each year. Once a year we go to a home school curriculum fair in Portland. A couple years we purchased a full curriculum from two different suppliers; the first was Rod and Staff and the second was Bob Jones University Press. We found that we liked part of each of those curriculums (those parts we kept), but much of the rest of those choices we didn’t like. As we have tried out various types of curriculum and books, we keep finding more and more things that we like. You might say that we are “working out our salvation (well-being and right-mindedness) through this process.

As I wrote in a previous entry, we are not ones to use someone else’s “out of the box” curriculum, or “ready-made” life or belief system.

We have a friend in church who is a teacher. In times past when I’ve shared with him about homeschooling, he has asked me something like “How long do you think you’ll keep homeschooling.” Then he’ll go on talking about how great the public schools are and how much better it is for the kids, etc. I’m sure that he is genuinely very concerned about our kids. (Sarah has consistantly tested in the 92%-96%th (top 8%) since we started. She is very bright).

It really amuses me when other people see how bright our children are, that some of them, like this above friend, tell me how well my kids would do in public school. I even have another aquaintance (a customer of mine), who has seen how bright my daughter is, go on to tell me how wonderdful the new high school is in this part of town. These caring friends of mine don’t seem to think that perhaps the reason our kids are doing so well is because they are home schooled.

Lets look at an example of why our daughter does so well in math (which she doesn’t like) is that we dillegently correct every lesson, and then make her redo every problem until it is correct. If she needs help, I’ll help her work through the problems. But she is needing my help less and less. In public school how often does the teacher have the students redo the lessons until it is correct? I see that this is a very important part of the student learning, by having to work through every problem correctly. This helps prepare her for what’s coming up ahead.

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