Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Homeschooling should have been a no brainer for our lifestyle, but was not.

As, I have said, I come from a family where I am the oldest of 12 children, 8 of which I was raised with, sort of. My parents actually raised or are raising three families. The oldest 5 of us, stair steps. The three little girls, born 10, 12 and 14 years after I was. Now they are raising the triplets. Three really separate families all in one family. I am now raising my second family. My Grandfather, Jim, Glady's husband, my fathers father, once said of my Grandmother and Mother, they got a second helping of mothering. Maybe some of their daughters and granddaughters inherited it, I think maybe I did. Three of my mothers daughters have adopted children and have had foster children. I have a huge extended family with diverse ethnicity, christian lifestyles, that runs the gambit from ultra conservative to ultra liberal, sort of a micro melting pot that mirrors the American melting pot as a whole.

Homeschooling is something, my Mennonite Aunt did with her children and grandchildren. My sister in law, home schooled her children, to high school age. My friend, Twin, home schooled her children for a couple of years in grade school. Belle, home schools her children, so in the end I had alot of examples of people who had home schooled, successfully, as examples when I need to make the decision for my girls. I truly weighed all the issues for a long time, I have an acquaintance that really pushed me hard to home school my children in the end I chose not to.

I chose not to because I live in very tiny community that has limited outside resources. We have no real town in our county. In saying we have no real town I am not saying we aren't a wonderful community but you can't buy clothes here, you can't go out here unless it's to dinner, no movie theater, no bowling allies, no skate parks, no youth centers, no anything that isn't a self motivating activity. We have hiking, swimming, hunting, biking, but very few organizational ways to develop a child's mind. So if your child is not in school it is hard to socialize them, I am a firm believer that if you choose to live in a town, become part of it, or maybe you should live somewhere else in the first place. Having watched so many people home school, one of the things the children in most cases lacked was normal socialization. I know if you are going for a closed religious lifestyle, like my Aunt, it is an ideal lifestyle for you, but I want my girls to be empowered rounded healthy Woman, I want them to grow and have the ability to navigate this world, not a world of my making, but the real world that they live in and will be expected to live in. I want them to make life time relationships that will sustain them in this life and when I am gone. I could not in, good faith, in the end home school them. I don't believe God put us in the world to live in isolation, I believe that God's purpose is to live in this world and still try to live by his word. I believe that is the example, of Jesus's coming to earth, was for us, he lived in this world with all its shortcomings and evil, and still lived a good, humble and exemplary life. I just wanted my girls to have the best base for that, in the place, we chose to raise them in.

I think in the end I wanted to raise my girls, give them the tools to become adults, and let them be the adults I raised. As adults I should never have to shadow them as an outside chaperon, to make sure they are holding to the lifestyle they were raised in. They should have the fortitude to take the lessons and lifestyle they were raised into and make the choices for their lives. I can't live their lives or fix my life, by making theirs what I want it to be, just give them the tools to be the best them they can be. ..... Tomorrow.

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