Why I Decided to Home-School My 3 Sons.
I'm going against my own grain, as my husband would say. I am a certified teacher; I am currently working on my masters in Reading and as a Reading specialist. A few years ago, I was the first to say..."I could never home-school". Then last spring that attitude changed. I started wishing I had home-schooled my oldest son all along. Part of the reason is the current state of our public education system, part of it is our Faith and part of it is how our family felt scattered last year.
How does a public school educator end up even considering home-schooling? Well, I have been a parent and not an educator for 8 years. Still, I considered all the children I would be helping if I was teaching, only, I wasn't AND GA has made cut backs and most counties are on a hiring freeze. Then I started considering the changes GA was making in the inner workings of the system and what I found bothered me. Many counties are considering going to 4 days a week, larger classrooms, and are encouraging teachers that "make too much" to retire. They are also not going to pay teachers more money for higher education if they were not enrolled in a graduate course or higher as of February 2010. The list goes on and on. Really, it does. If you take into account all of these changes and more I have not mentioned that will affect our children long term and the lack of God in the school system, despite all the Godly people that make it up, it is discouraging. The bottom line, money is more important than education. Where is the "bailout" for our children's education? I may be getting political but seriously, our children are what we should be investing in as a nation...don't get me started.
Misconceptions I have encountered...
One of the misconceptions I have encountered is that current home-school moms have suggested that I "change my thinking". Implying that I am in some way brain washed to think that public school methods of conducting business are correct. I'm here to say that if teachers were allowed to close their doors and teach like they have been trained to teach, our children would be much better off. I can't name one teacher I know that likes giving standardized tests that may determine if they are "good" teachers and if their students are "smart". I have also learned a great deal about standardized tests in recent years that I had not considered before; such as, they are designed based on already vague standards and that the companies that produce the test make BIG money selling training materials, computer programs, score sheets, tests, training, the lists go on and on. The states PAY for these in order to hopefully get more money from the federal government. Which seems to me like that is peddling backwards...again don't get me started.
What about my mindset? Don't assume for one second that I think public school systems know what they are doing. As a matter of fact they do not. The purchase materials without research, the train teachers in methods because they "sound promising", they spend money on one program and turn around and a few years later and buy another one, they panic at the lack of funds...hmmm! When in reality, the teachers already know what works and if they don't there are mountains of research out there that will tell them what does. I want to scream..."Let the Teachers Teach!" So, if you are a mom of a public school student, don't let me discourage you about your child's education. Your children will still learn, teachers love teaching but stand behind them and encourage the system to allow them to teach for knowledge, not teach for the test.
Research supports it!
I started to start writing all the research I have read. Instead I'm saving it for another post on its own. I want to do a little more research to make sure that there aren't a slew of negative studies I have come across. Rest assured, I'm going to give you the facts and I'm going to be as unbiased as I can be.