Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bringing Them Home

A letter from my inbox,

I am a mother of 4, three are of school age and enrolled in our local public school. They have always attended the public school. I have had the desire to homeschool for awhile now but have never done it. Here are some reasons why,

1. I think I might fail in it, I am not very organized and diligent so that is a red flag!

2. Another thing is I am afraid of the backlash of the school in which my children go too, I have had run ins with the principal at both schools and have complained to the school disctrict several times. They could make my life stressful if I chose to homeschool. Our state laws are not restrictive, but that doesn't mean they won't try to hinder my decision.

We are planning to move soon within the next year, should I wait until we move and then homeschool or should I withdraw them and do it now? At this current time my daughter's school has an armed police officer patrolling the hallways and grounds, to say the least I am not very fond of the idea, also they play inappropriate movies for the children such as "The Life Of Rapper Tupac" an MTV or VHI special (What in the world!!!) We don't let her watch videos or anything of this nature! but the school did! I could go on and on with all the problems I have with the public school system and the affect they have on my children but you probably know most of them. Please help me with my questions, I thank you so much! and Have a Blessed & Wonderful Day!

For the sake of this discusssion, I will assume that your husband is supportive of homeschooling and your questions are trying to settle things in your own mind. If he is unsupportive I would encourage you to follow his decision regarding their education.

I'm glad you have researched the laws in your state, that's important. It is best to consult with a homeschooling attorney or advocate knowledgable with the laws your state to determine what requirements there are for disenrolling. I would not blindly go by what the local district tells you. There are two national organizations that may help you in this regard, HSLDA and NHELD. Both are membership organizations.

The more information you have about your rights, the better you will be able to handle school administrators who try to hinder your decision.

With your husband, I would think about the goals you have for your family and each child this year. Think beyond just academic goals. Include character and spiritual goals as well. Prioritize the goals in order of importance. Use that as a guide to determine what you will do each day. A resource I have found helpful is Managers of their Home.

I would also encourage you to find a homeschooling family in the area that can help guide you through the many decisions and maybe even to help hold you accountable for your progress. Often when we start homeschooling we are harder on ourselves than we need to be. Your confidence will grow as you see your children learning, but there will be difficult days. Another mother's encouragement will help keep you focused on the bigger picture and your long term goals.

If I were in your situation, I would not hesitate to pull them out now. Especially if you feel that the environment is not appropriate. I would also explain to your children why you have come to this decision. If you do decide to bring them home, don't try and compete with the schools by telling them this will be "more fun." Give them time to accept the decision without trying to convince them. Your confidence and a joyful attitude will be the most effective attributes to persuade them that this is the best for them.

And most importantly, pray. The reassurance that comes from knowing that our Lord is guiding your decisions will be your best support system. One of my favorite scriptures is from Isaiah 54:13
Your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
Teach them to love the Lord and serve one other. If they leave home knowing how to do those two things, your homeschooling will be a success.

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