Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why we homeschool

I have been asked over and over, why we chose to homeschool our children. Prior to homeschooling, my children were in a Christian School. However, then we made the decision for me to be a stay at home mom. Staying at home has had its advantages in several ways. Of course, the big disadvantage is the lack of my income. It didn't seem financially possible to continue to send the girls to a private school when I was home during the day. We considered the local public school and even took a tour of the buildings. However, that tour is what watered the already planted seed of thought to homeschool. So, here we are.

I have been told I am "controlling" my childrens environment. Yes, I suppose I am. I am protecting their right to pray in the classroom (as we pray in ours), and to say the pledges (the pledge to the American flag is no longer said the the local public school district), we say them to the American Flag, Christian Flag and the Bible. I am controlling the language they hear and the topics that are discussed. I've been told they will hear it sooner or later and that is true, but first I want them to be able to know that is wrong and be strong enough to walk away from it or change the subject. They are kids. Let them be kids without talking and acting like adults (wrong adults in my opinion). We also get to learn about the Bible. We learn abstance is our only option before marriage, not birth control or abortion.

We also have many chances to do things that aren't possible in a public classroom. For example, Elizabeth (5th grade) thinks she wants to be a vet when she is older. I have arranged for her to spend 1 day a month with my cousin at his vet clinic. So far, she has witnessed or helped with a dogs C-section, a cats hysterectomy, ear cleanings, shots, general animal care and more. Each of my children will do this type of "internship" with several businesses.

We have a chance to take more field trips. We visit places like KC Zoo, Science City, Shatto Milk Dairy, Lathrop Farmers Reunion and Antique Days, American Royal, the bank (and other businesses) and more. Usually we average 2 field trips a month.

We learn more at home. We don't have to wait for a new semester to learn a new subject. My girls can all sew with a machine (one has her own machine and the other two plan on getting their own also), knit, crochet, cook, bake, run the farm, and drive. Yes, they can drive the pickup and the big tractor. On a farm it is important that all can drive in the event of an emergency. Our cell phones don't work at one farm, and in the back portion of the other.
If one of my children doesn't grasp a subject, then we can keep studying it till she does without fear of holding up the rest of classroom. Or, if she excells we move ahead at a faster pace without fear of loosing the rest of the classroom.

Tomorrow I will write about socialization. That is another topic I am often asked about.

Most of our snow has melted. There are just a few patches of it here and there. Tuesday night the ground was covered, so JD had to put out hay for the livestock.

I am surprised that there are still bugs out. We put out feed for the chickens and ducks, but they ignored the feed and are still pecking the ground finding bugs and worms. Their favorite places are the horse arena where the ground has been disced to bare dirt and the garden spot. A few bold birds go into the pasture and the feedlot. Their laying has slowed down, and it is now time to put a light into the hen house to extend their light cycle. This will bring their laying back up. In order for chickens to lay, they require #1-proper age, which is 16-20 weeks old for most breeds, #2 They must have 12-14 hours of daylight in a 24 hour cycle, and #3 feed that is at least 16% protein (since eggs are made of protein). Free ranging works best, as bugs and worms are a much higher % of protein than the feed. Most of our birds are orphingtons, rhode island reds or leghorns. They are really easy to keep and fun to watch. For ducks, we do best with peking duck.

For now, I must close. The girls are signed up for a class at the library and it is getting close to time to leave. They take classes in Kearney on Tuesday mornings, and Liberty on Thursday afternoons. Topics very each week. Topics this year have included weather, various famous artists, history of various holidays, crafts, visit of some animals from the KC Zoo, Dave Ramsey for kids, money management, American Indian tribes, local history and more.

While the kids are in their class, I plan on starting some research on what to put in this years garden-I need to find what varietys work best in our growing zone.


RosaliesRuffles said...

Very very interesting!!! Great post.

RosaliesRuffles said...

Wonderful post!