Education: The Right Vision for Your Child’s Future

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This is one of the important reasons we homeschool! It isn’t always easy, but is always worth it. We have to sacrifice wants (others think they are needs) in order for one of us to be able to stay home and ensure they are actually gaining a solid education, but these wants are small compared to the benefit that our children will receive.

We are not wealthy by US standards, but have found that it IS possible to do with an income of under 40K per year if you are willing to prioritize and eliminate extras now to ensure the bright future of our children.

If we can do it, you can (and should) too!

Learning the Way of Wisdom

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No influence is greater on culture than that of America’s schools. If every parent in America knew what was really going on in the public schools, there would be a revolution. I encourage parents to discover the content of the curriculum, the climate of the classroom, and the methods of the teacher in order to determine if these practices and philosophies align with their objectives for their children. To say that education is important is an understatement, yet it bears repeating that it is important for parents to know what’s going on in their children’s classroom. Biblically, this is a parental responsibility. Parents have the ultimate authority and responsibility over their child’s education (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). While a parent can delegate authority to a teacher or principal in the school, that parent cannot delegate responsibility. Parents will have to give an account to the Lord regarding the content and…

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know…

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Inquring Minds Want to Know…

  • Why a green light on a progress report no longer means things are going well?
  • Why it is okay to teach kids to answer instead of teaching them to analyze?
  • Why, in spite of being full of educated professionals, the “school” has proven to be the last place I can send my son to gain an education?

This post isn’t created out of anger or hostility, but I must admit there is a level of frustration that is directed toward the teachers who went from giving my son a yellow (caution- work needed) on his progress report to a green (all is well on the western front).

You see, when I asked what technique they used to break through some of these barriers, I was hoping to find a viable method to apply in other areas of life to get a similar result.  Finally- a breakthrough!

Instead, I was given the following response: “We readjusted his expectations so that he is no longer failing to meet them”.

Basically, they gave up on my son.  THEY gave up on MY SON.

They gave up on my son because they wanted him to answer- not analyze.  They wanted a lackey- not a learner.

My son, Aiden, has a number of challenges that he must overcome.  Having been diagnosed with full-spectrum autism, he has significant difficulty in the areas of communication and social interaction.  These difficulties can make for very long and frustrating days for all involved in his education process (including HIM).

I’ll give credit to those educators who tried- but simply weren’t able (in spite of their best efforts) to see Aiden through some of these challenges.  I still wish we were able to take one of his teachers with us everywhere we go.  Aiden was not a number to her.  He wasn’t her “challenged child” in a typical class environment.  He was Aiden… and Aiden knew it.  He trusted her and she made great strides with him.

That said, she is unfortunately in a very small minority.  It sees as though this type of teaching (not merely instruction), is a dying art form in the education system today.

Aiden, at the age of 9, was spending equal time in school learning to trace letters in the alphabet and learning how to sweep the floor.  Part of his “socialization” was learning how to work well with others…. as a janitor…. at age 9.

I have no issue with children learning to take care of their surroundings, but if there isn’t enough time in the day to help him learn to read, write, and learn mathematical functions, there definitely isn’t enough time to teach him to sweep the floor.

And so, our journey into full-time homeschooling began.  It was also full of hurdles that had to be overcome, frustrating days, and anxiety over whether or not we made the right move.  Then came March and my son- dubbed incapable by the educated professionals- began to flourish.

His penmanship- not perfect.  At times, it is nearly incomprehensible.  Yet he reads to me these stories that come from within.  He writes of things he loves, things he wishes to avoid, and reminders that I need to turn the heat on because his school room is getting a bit too cool and the park makes him warm.

I don’t care that the stories are short or that they don’t follow a 5 paragraph form.  I do care that he is learning to embrace writing as a means to communicate his thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

His absolute boredom with reading his current selection of literature (Bobbsey Twins) that turns into excited stemming when the boys begin a schoolyard fight shows a display of emotion and an understanding of the story that we were told does not exist, because he did not circle a letter “b” on an educators test.

Aiden is proving himself to be quite capable and with just enough of a cocky attitude to let you know that he gets it, he is worth it, and he is not giving up.  All he needs is a chance to learn and for “those that know” to get out of the way.

He still does not like to be educated- but he loves to learn.  And I’ll take that any day.

At this point, our journey into homeschooling can best be summed up by a poem I learned as a child:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Why Homeschool?

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This is a question we are often asked.  As parents of two children, one of whom was diagnosed with autism, the development of our children is of paramount importance to us.  After trying- and ultimately being unhappy with- a variety of traditional public education approaches for our children, we decided that the best approach for us would be to homeschool.

This was not a decision that was taken lightly nor is it one that we have all of the answers to, but it is a decision that we do not regret for a moment!  We have seen such improvement in the communication skills of our son and my daughter has the freedom to progress at her rate of learning without being limited to the progress of the class as a whole.  All-in-all, it’s been a great experience.

That doesn’t mean it hasn’t come without its share of heartaches.  After being programmed to expect bribery and rewards for even the most basic of tasks, my kids are learning the value of pride in a job well done.  We don’t bribe with candy to get good behavior, we simply expect good behavior because that is the right thing to do.  This lack of constant ego feeding has caused the kids some frustration, but they are learning that rewards come as a result of effort and work- not simply because you exist.

Granted- we are still early in this process, but I am excited about the progress I have seen so far!

The curriculum we are using as a basis for our homeschooling education is Robinson Curriculum.  I highly recommend it and it is a VERY affordable homeschooling solution for those who are wanting to give homeschooling a try but don’t have a tone of available funds at the moment.

For more information on Robinson Curriculum, check out http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/