When we were raising our first three children, and people would talk about homeschooling their children, my secret thoughts were, "Whoa! These people are radical!" I always said, "I could never do that!" It's funny how things that happen in our lives can completely turn our opinions around.
With a seventeen year gap between our third and fourth child, a lot a time had passed since we had had children in elementary school. After our fourth child, along came numbers five and six! (Another thing I never expected was to be the mother of six!)
With these children happily in school and me happily a stay-at-home mom who spent much time volunteering in the school, life was good. But my inside view of the day to day happenings in the school were a real eye opener.
My third grader was top in her class, yet her work had become sloppy in my opinion. My first grader's teacher played the radio in the classroom on a rap station as constant background noise. The P.E. teacher also used rap music as what he called a "motivation tool". For me, it wasn't music that was the issue, it was the content. The music in question was what is called Gangster Rap and was completely inappropriate for little kids. My objections to it, however, labeled me as "a ranting, prejudiced white woman". My requests to substitute with some other type of music were stubbornly ignored and my pleas to consider the underlying immorality of the music were met with unbridled animosity.
So with hurt feelings but strong resolve, I removed my kids from the school and in so doing began a new life journey and unexpected adventure.
Originally, my plan was to find a better school. I actually did tons of research and interviewed school principals all around the surrounding school districts. I found what I thought would be a better placement for my children and signed them up. There was a waiting list for this school, so I determined to homeschool the children until they were able to attend the school I had chosen. The funny thing is that by the time they were at the top of the list and accepted, I had fallen in love with my kids! It was so wonderful to be with them all of the time and we were having a great time learning together.
What I learned is that there is a huge homeschool support system on the internet and in our communities. I learned that people from all walks of life have chosen this method of education for their children. I met a lot of public school teachers or their spouses who had decided that the public school system was not the best place for their kids. I learned that you don't have to have teaching credentials to be your kid's teacher. There are so many resources and so much help out there that anyone with the desire to teach their children at home can do it.
My sixth child is now seventeen and just graduated from a Computer Network Technician course with a 4.0 GPA. He will continue with Community College, and will have the option of attending University if he chooses. The three children that were homeschooled are just as ready to live in the real world, if not more so, than the three that attended public school, and far more ready than many of their old school mates.
I am proud that I had the courage to act when my instincts told me that my children would be better off learning at home where integrity and good morals were still being taught.