Some days I think, how can I keep doing this. The days seem to stretch on, and the years just start to blend together after a while. My two oldest have graduated – so I’ve been at this for quite some time. My youngest is only 12, so there ya go – I still have some time left in this homeschool thing. I was asking myself the other day, what has motivated me through the years to keep this up. Not only the fact that I love my children dearly, and would do anything for them. But, what has truly been my motivation for keeping them out of public school. I’d like to share a few thoughts about this with you in the post.
Google Searches That May Surprise You
Someone shared this search with me one day, well needless to say, I was overwhelmed. When I started homeschooling 23 years ago, there was no way to find this kind of information. I remember that friends of mine would complain about certain things going on in public school, but I never thought it would come to this. I originally chose to homeschool because I wanted my kids to have a Christian education, and we couldn’t afford private school. I realized after I started getting more involved with some of the issues that were showing up in the news and around town, that I knew we made the right decision. Now, again I realize not everyone is able to homeschool, nor even wants to. I just want to make aware some of the things that motivated me.
With the internet available to almost every child out there, the influences they are getting are not always the ones we would choose for them. Cyber bullying, stalking, any kind of predator out there that wants to get at your children.
Statistics from NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) has some very scary information. There is so much pressure put on them to succeed and do well, and being picked on or made fun of by their peers, it’s too much to bare. I’m not saying homeschool so you can shelter your kids from these issues, but if you can deal with them on a day to day basis, rather than them not telling you about it at all (which is half the problem) you will be ahead of the game. The important thing to me is keep the lines of communication open, sure you may not know everything that is in their lives, but this will help them feel open to talk to you.
By the way, my kids did have issues, still have issues actually, but if nothing else – they will talk to me. They know that I will be there for them no matter what, some of the issues have been pretty heavy, but they know I’m there!
You can look at peer pressure in two ways. While peer pressure is mostly viewed as negative, sometimes your friends influence can be a good thing – they might stop you from doing something that you may regret later such as smoking, drinking, or taking drugs. Almost everyone has experienced peer pressure before, either positive or negative. Peer pressure is when your classmates, or other people your age, try to get you to do something. It is so easy to give in to peer pressure because everyone wants to fit in and be liked. Especially when it seems like “everyone is doing it”. Sometimes people give in to peer pressure because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or they don’t want to be that kid who isn’t “cool”. Unfortunately, there are more and more of these pressured situations out there today. With the internet so easily accessible your child has more and more chances to feel this pressure. I mentioned cyber bullying before, but this is one of the greatest growing problems with children today.
The following are some positive ideas I would try to have my children focus on:
- Understanding your own values and beliefs
- Have Self-confidence
- Choose your friends wisely
- Talk to a trusted adult
- Don’t make excuses – say exactly how you feel
One of the other main issues I had was what they are learning. I wanted the curriculum I used to have some Bible influences. I didn’t want them learning about evolution, but yes, creation. I wanted them to have a more focused school day and not be one of thirty in a classroom. If you are not involved with your child’s everyday learning process, you may not even know what they are doing in school.
HSLDA has collected some statistics on different ways children learn. This is another reason you need to be involved in your children’s school and everyday lessons. If your child is having issues, there may be a way to greatly improve their learning experience. I have noticed, just with my children, all three of them have certain learning styles. For instance, one always had issues with math, while the other had problems with English and Literature. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay on top of your child’s learning patterns and what works best for them.
Information taken directly from HSLDA website.
- Lookers (technically termed visual/spatial learners) process information best when they see it.
- Listeners (called auditory learners) are most efficient when they can hear information.
- Movers (kinesthetic or tactile learners) function best when they can physically interact with information in a hands-on way.
So whether you do decide to homeschool, or if public school is your only option, be a part of their learning experiences. Know what they are doing in school, see who their friends are, who are they texting? Another words, stay involved, be aware, and by all means, let your children know you care.
by Elisabeth George