This is my final installment sharing why homeschoolers are not ready to Do Something Else. It is entitled The 4 Beliefs and the 2 Tyrannies
4 Mistaken Beliefs that Drive Our Homeschooling:
Belief #1: My children don’t have a Father. Of course, they have a biological mom and dad, but I have to confess I don’t see their Father (as in their Creator) being involved in homeschooling my children. First, these are not your children, but His, and He will be as involved in how you raise (and educate them) as you allow Him to be. If you can relax and allow for Him to be involved, He will direct you to homeschool the children He gave you with much more grace, peace, and joy than you can by yourself.
Belief #2: Every American child (and that includes my children) must be taught what every other child is being taught. The only choice I get to make is choosing the curricula I will use to teach that information. The reason this is false is it assumes all children are basically identical in their need for identical input as they mature. This assumption ignores everything we say we believe regarding how different God has created each of us to be.
Belief #3: All subjects must be taught beginning with the simple and moving to the more complex. This is mostly true when using a textbook approach rather than a “context” approach. For instance, a child may not be capable of understanding the Pythagorean Theorem until he has thoroughly understood Algebra. However, that same Theorem comes to him naturally as he helps his Dad build an addition to their home or adds a fence to their backyard.
Belief #4: Some subjects are important; others not so much. Dr. Mary Hood recently posted a quote from Dr. Temple Grandin: “We are focusing so much on academics that we’ve taken out things like art, sewing, cooking, woodworking, music and other things that introduce kids to [potential] careers.” Science, technology, engineering and math have become so prioritized that future artists, musicians, dancers, and poets have largely lost their importance among a people who desperately need the gifts these men and woman have to offer our culture.
2 Deceptive Tyrannies that Drive Our Homeschooling:
1. The Tyranny of the Test: If you truly believe a subject is worth mastering, don’t be satisfied until mastery is achieved. In many other subject areas, you will be satisfied with your child having a general framework of the subject which he will flesh out eventually should that subject hold an interest for him.
2. The Tyranny of the Transcript:
a. State Requirements: Virtually every state has requirements to graduate from what is popularly called “High School”. My recommendation: Find out what these are and craft your own curricula so you may honestly state your child has fulfilled the requirements without necessarily fulfilling them in the same way he would if attending public school.
b. College Requirements: In my opinion, college should never be a “given” for any young person (as it was in my family’s culture). However, if a child is obviously college-bound, parents and students must be aware of the countless possibilities that abound today. Many of the best colleges do not require the traditional high school transcript and many others do not require the traditional college entrance exam. Some careers require college and others are definitely benefited by college. If your child wants to attend a specific college or university, you must obey their requirements so find out what they are. Still, many career choices are actually hindered by spending years at a college which actually wastes a young person’s valuable time and money.
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For 14 years, I have taken homeschooling families to tour biblical Israel. Check out my travel site at Experiencing Israel (also on Facebook)