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Home School, Private School or Public School: Touchy Subject

Posted By Jen On May 27, 2011 @ 7:00 am In Homeschooling | 41 Comments


A recent post on the New York Times parenting site made this statement. “There are certain words you learn to use carefully when you write about parenting. Breastfeeding is one. Co-sleeping is another. Home schooling is on the list, too. These are words that tend to divide parents by world views that they did not necessarily even know they had.“

Educational choices are such a touchy subject, and like the quote above, one may step on toes with out any intention of doing so, just by bringing up the discussion of school choice. Since I am a home school veteran and a trainer/speaker within the home school community, I’m often asked why I don’t address more home school subjects on this blog.

People want to know why I home school, what curriculum we use, how to handle specific issues for various grades, along with a myriad of other topics. Two and a half years ago when I began Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, I had this crazy idea that I could write a separate blog just for our home school journey. HA, that was when I didn’t really even know what a blog was, and before I realized  how time consuming this one blog would become.

As much as I would love to address home school topics for those of you who are curious, I just don’t have the time to focus and give them the concentrated time to effectively communicate my vision through written posts, nor is that what I am called to write about now. Honestly, I don’t mind heart to heart conversations on topics that tend to be potentially confrontational, and based on The New York Times post, this is one of them, but those conversations I prefer to have in real life.

Home schooling is a complete lifestyle for our family, and that philosophy weaves in and out of every aspect of our life. Our oldest will be 18 in November, and we have been home schooling since the beginning. There has been just one exception to that this year, our two oldest sons took  three classes at a local military academy that enabled them to play football with their high school team. While we will not continue there this upcoming year, it was a great option for the interim.

As parents, each of us are the final authority on our children.

We know our children best. We have studied them. We know their personalities, needs, quirks, and no one loves our children more than we do. With that underlying premise, you will never hear me share on this blog that everyone should home school their children. I can not begin to be anyone’s Holy Spirit, nor would I make a judgment call for anyone, since that is such a personal choice for each family.

I have strong convictions for our family, but again, this is something our family has been called to, not necessarily yours.  I am only responsible for my children, no one else‘s, and it’s frustrating to me when any kind of “side,” so to speak, presumes to tell others what to do when they haven’t walked in their shoes.

Honestly, I believe that every mom out there is a home school mom.

What, you say? I could never home school my child!

Trust me, every single one of us are home school moms. Since birth, you have been, and still are, the primary educator of your child whether you choose to put them in public, private or school them at home. You are continually teaching your child so many important things on a daily basis, in school and out. Your calling is to love, nurture, guide and educate them on all sorts of life issues, and as a mom, that role should never be abdicated. Again, that will look different in every home.

I will be your cheerleader and encourage you to be the most intentional, hands-on parent that you can be for your family. My desire is to help cast a long term generational parenting vision. If some of you choose to look into home schooling as an option, then I am honored if I had any role in that, but that is not the goal of my blog.

Since I am one of the home school speakers at a large conference this weekend, I thought this was an appropriate time to answer just one of the questions that I have avoided in my inbox due to time constraints, and since 66 % of you have children in public school, 20% have children in private school and 26% home school their children, this will never become a home school blog. There are fabulous ones that do that so well already.  These stats are based on my reader survey and yes, the answers equal more than 100% since some have children in all three forms of education.

So will I blog more about home schooling?

Not necessarily, but what you will continue to see in terms of home schooling posts are those life learning lessons that are sprinkled through out our home which any parent can glean from whether they have children in public, private or home school. (And yes, many of those life lessons center around frugality in some form or the other.)

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