Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day and I realized its been 5 years that I made a stand for Independence from the traditional school system. I am a proud homeschooling mom. As a disclaimer to this article, I do not mean to offend those that choose to go the route of regular school, this is my stand on why I chose to homeschool and is still homeschooling today. Just this week, I saw the hustle of parents as early as 5am getting their kids into school before the 7am bell rang while my husband and I are on our way to our morning gym ritual. I caught myself in the car thinking I can no longer see myself doing this to myself and to my children.
I am not ready. I am not ready to return my 4th and 6th graders to regular traditional school. I am not ready to give them back to a whole 8 hour school day, to come in as early as 7am and only to be loaded with assignments when they are dismissed at 3pm. Some might have the need to go to a tutor after school simply because they cannot “cope” with the traditional school teaching. This to me is child labor with our eyes open. How can we allow our kids to go through this cycle? So many students upon reaching college are already burnt out. So many kids declare out loud how “stressed” they are. Are we not listening?
I am not ready to steal their childhood away from them because I believe in the power of child’s play to strengthen their critical thinking skills, to experiment and explore, to do chores and give them set responsibilities. Regular school is like a factory where you move in and out a class of 30 people going through a drill and ending with that bell sound. Where is the proof of learning? Can they even apply it immediately at home or at play? Will periodic test tell us their real standing?
I am not ready to keep figuring out the wrong beliefs and wrong thinking that will be implanted to my kids because I was not with them during those 8 hours. I am quite surprise at the things they learn in school from their peers. How casually they talk about SEX and how shallow their virtues are on purity, modesty, honesty and the likes. They have such a big issue with Identity crisis because they look up to celebrities with flawed values. Where did they pick this up? Do you know they learn curse words and no one is there to explain and correct them? Don’t close your eyes. You find this in the small windows during recess/ breaks, dismissals – they are sheep without a shepherd, discovering unsolicited comments and thoughts and no one to ground them with truth.
I am not ready to stop them from growing in their giftedness. Only homeschool offers me the flexibility to allow my children to study, do on the job training in our events company, do chores, compete in swimming, do art, learn technology: video making/ graphics and robotics, play an instrument, scuba dive and go on vacation without missing out. We give them so much more without thinking we have to miss out on a school day. Real life is school life for a homeschooler.
I am not ready to miss out on family bonding moments because I know I can make the greatest impact on my children now and not later. I learned that we only have 936 marbles – 1 marble for each week we have with our child till they are 18 to leave a lasting legacy with them. Sabrina is already 12 years and 2 weeks old. I have 310 marbles left to make golden moments and a difference in her life and by then, she will be solely responsible for the choices she makes in life. If we don’t intentionally invest our time with them, we can lose them as early as now. TV, music, internet and peers are their circle of influence. Are you part of their circle of influence? This is an uphill battle against the wrong teachings of this world. We need to lead them to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. We need to teach them love their neighbors as their self. We need to teach them about being light and salt to this fallen world. We need to point them to right direction – to a life of purpose, a life beyond school. We need to prepare them and equip them for failure, for hardships, for temptation. Where are you in all of this?
I am glad that even in my imperfection, I am the perfect teacher and mother for my children. My greatest legacy is my children. Homeschooling is not easy either, its harder than what most people think. We get the perks of no traffic, less travel expense, flexibility with time – but everything else is still hard work. Nothing comes easy training and raising up a child. But deep inside I know it is all worth it. Because by then THEY WILL BE READY to make a difference in the world.
Here is a video of Sabrina on her first year of homeschooling. Out of the mouth of babes: