Friday, December 11, 2009

Why We Want To Homeschool

Sometimes, I feel inspired to answer a question from my FAQ page, but sometimes I don't. The result of my only doing things when I'm inspired is usually an inefficient system of not getting stuff done. So, I'm starting "FAQ Friday," where I pick a question from the page and answer it. Some questions I will answer because I am inspired to write about the topic and others will be chosen at random.

If you have questions you want added to the FAQ, you can ask them on any FAQ Friday post or in the FAQ page.

Question:

Why do you want to home school?

Answer:

First, this will answer only this question about homeschooling and not any others. Like most homeschooling parents, we have researched and thought through the topic thoroughly. It will take whole other posts to explain our thoughts on socialization, curriculum preferences, frugality and homeschooling, and time management, among a host of other homeschooling topics. If you feel like the questions in the FAQ do not address your homeschooling question, ask. I will happily add more questions to the FAQ.

Christlikeness

My husband and I have the same primary reason for homeschooling. We want our children to be like Christ. We want them to strongly pursue a relationship with God. We want it to be their number one priority. The best way to instill this in them is by teaching them ourselves.

We could just add Bible lessons on top of a regular public school education, but children are taught priorities and behavior at public school as well as academics. They would be spending their prime waking hours being taught by someone who probably doesn't believe the same thing as us. They would be conforming to their peers' behavior, peers who probably are not striving toward Christlikeness.

In our opinion, children are the way we can have the largest impact on the world. It's funny, because I have a blog that over 1500 people come to each day, which is probably numerically the largest audience I will ever have. But my true audience is my children, whose life my actions form. I can impact each of your lives a little, but I will impact their lives in every way. It's just too big of a responsibility for us to hand over to anyone else.

Israel

My husband's secondary reason for wanting to home school is Israel.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." - Genesis 12:3
Many people say that this is the old dispensation and that it is not for today. If that were true, I wonder why God still stands by it. If you look back over recent history since the nation of Israel was established, each nation who has supported them has prospered and those that turned their back on them have declined.

Often, although not always, Israel is spoken of in public school as though they were the enemy. Now, neither my husband nor I would say that Israel has done no wrong in their dealing with Palestinians, but they are God's people and we stand by them. It is important to us for our children to, as well.

Education

My secondary reason for wanting to home school is that I think I can do it better. Some may think that is arrogant. Others may think it laughable, because they think I'm an idiot for coming to different conclusions about life than they have. I excelled all through school, and could give you a list of credentials, awards, honors, and even my IQ to prove it, but the fact remains that the only higher education I received was one year of Bible college at an unaccredited school. This means I am seen as worthless as a teacher to many. But how I am seen doesn't matter, what matters is what I can do.

I can spend years developing curricula catered to my children's needs. I spend time with each of my children, knowing their weaknesses, since I am their mom, and knowing what will motivate them to want to learn. If you think a large family limits my time, compare it to the public school. One teacher has twenty students that they will only know for a few months before getting another twenty students, for six hours a day, five days a week. I will have maybe ten students who I live with twenty-four hours each day, seven days per week for years and years, who I have seen through each of their triumphs and failures. Even if all I had was a high school diploma, I am better equipped to teach my children than any one else in the world.

142 comments:

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL! I finished 15 years of home schooling 2 years ago. You will never regret the time invested in your children's lives. It is a lifestyle that you are already living! God bless you! dee

Anonymous said...

Emily, I generally have nothing against homeschooling if it is done well and with an open mind. You seem to go to extremes and have very rigid views on everything. I think your children would benefit from exposure to some other POV's.
Some kid's thrive by being homeschooled, but I think yours will just be stifled with your single minded unwillingness to accept any other viewpoint besides the one in which you already have your mind set on.
And they would probably get some much needed nutrition through school programs.

Sataria

Farwood said...

"In our opinion, children are the way we can have the largest impact on the world."
I strongly agree with this which is why it is so upsetting to see some parents expecting school and TV to raise their children.
I used to work in a call center that supported large screen TV's and parents would call in a PANIC because their TV's had broken and they didn't know what to do with their children. Worse one woman tell me she couldn't go to the library because SHE HAD KIDS!
This sort of hands off parenting is just shocking. So kudos for being committed to your children. It always lifts my spirits to see.

Scottish Twins said...

I agree with you. Most of our reasons are the same for wanting to homeschool.

I also have food allergy issues to deal with and have a hard time trusting my son around food when anyone else is watching. We will definitely be homeschooling so long as Gabe has food allergies.

But our main reason is that we want to be in charge of what our children are exposed to. Critics tell me it is sheltering and will cause my children to rebel at a later age, etc. But I keep coming back to Matthew 18:6 -

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

I can't knowingly send my children into an environment where they are being exposed to things that I don't see as Christlike. If I do this, I feel like God will judge me for it. My job as a parent is to keep my children as innocent as possible for as long as possible, and with the current state of the public school system and the things I hear children around me exposed to there, I feel like it isn't a very innocent environment.

Our goal for now is to homeschool through elementary school. At that point we will give our children a choice to either continue homeschooling or go to a local Christian school.

We are hoping that if we have done our jobs correctly, they will make the right choices for themselves and will have a solid foundation in Christ - standing strong in their beliefs in the face of peer pressure.

And I feel more than qualified to teach my children. I have a Bachelor's degree and a few semesters of grad school under my belt, but that doesn't make me any more qualified to teach my children than someone with a high school diploma. Like you said, you know your children best.

Plus, most of the curriculum that is available today is computer-based. With all of the online help and tutoring that is available, parents are more than capable of teaching even the toughest subjects.

Jen said...

Just keep in mind Emily, that the older the kids get, the more materials cost. Elementary is usually not bad but unless you are going to skip algebra, biology, chemistry, etc those books get expensive and if you are not confident in the material, classes cost even more.

Also, while I usually laugh at the people who ask "What about socialization?" it can be a valid question for some. Have you done your research? Found a local homeschool group (there are plenty of Christian groups out there. In fact my problem is that is the only group I could find in my area) What about sports? Art? Music?

I think homeschooling can be a wonderful choice, but make sure you know exactly what you are getting into. There is a huge difference between teaching a 3 year old to count, and an 11 year old how to solve an algebra problem.

Clisby said...

Sataria: "And they would probably get some much needed nutrition through school programs." Boy, your state must have a far better school lunch program than mine. I occasionally eat lunch with my elementary school child, and I can assure you the kids who get the school lunch would be *way* better off with Emily's cooking. I did not realize how much worse school food has become over the past 40-50 years until I experienced it.

Homeschooling doesn't appeal to me (because of my personality, not because I think it's a bad idea). However, one of my first cousins home-schooled her three children through high school, and they turned out beautifully. Interestingly enough, she was a devout Christian, but religion was not her primary reason for homeschooling.

Jessica said...

I always question homeschooling for primarily religious reasons because, it seems to me, that the values you instill aren't very strong if they can be undone by peers at school.

At some point, your children will have to go into the world. How is being challenged to stand by their beliefs from a young age threatening? I expect the values my husband and I teach our daughter to be lasting... if not, we've not done a very good job of teaching her to be a good person.

I do also worry about the skills of the teachers in homeschool... I have a 4 year degree, and some post-grad education. I still would not view myself as being competent to teach my child all she needs to know. Perhaps I'd do fine. But the fact of the matter is that I have forgotten a lot of what I've learned. I may be very smart, and I've done well through school - but I do not spend every day of every year studying the things that are right for 1st grade, or 2nd, or any other grade. I also feel that I had some wonderful teachers through my education, and I think I benefitted from knowing them, from their different styles of teaching, and from learning to function away from my parents.

Emily said...

Anon, I'm surprised by this: "unwillingness to accept any other viewpoint besides the one in which you already have your mind set on." I am 25, and by no means think I have it all figured out. I routinely investigate others' viewpoint and check my own for accuracy. I would expect the same from my chidren.

Jen, as I said, it would take several posts to explain curriculum preferences and costs as well as socialization. My not adressing them in this post is because they do not answer the question "why."

Jessica, children have always been taught when they are young. Who they are taught by determines what their values will be. By teaching them myself, I am ensuring they are prepared for the world. I'm sorry that you don't think that you're qualified to teach. Studies have shown homeschool students outperforming public school students across the board.

Anonymous said...

"They would be conforming to their peers' behavior, peers who probably are not striving toward Christlikeness." Instead you'll be forcing them to conform to YOUR behavior and strive toward Christlikeness. Way to stifle free will!

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

I was homeschooled. So here is my point of view. I have seen every type of homeschooled child from the one whose parent teaches by experiences and experience to the one whose parent was just to lazy to take them to school every day and thinks they can get by without doing anything. In between that there are the parents who isolate their children or control their children and parents who do a decent job with what they have and only want the best for their kids.

I got the best end of the deal. My parents allowed us to think, pursue studies and study practices that helped us each individually learn better and also enrolled us in many out of the house programs from choirs to drama, poetry and science classes.

Jessica, my mom had an associates and no education pertaining to teaching and yet she did wonderfully because she understood that she wasn't the end all. We took science classes from an outside source because she knew that was her weak point.

Proof that homeschooling can be amazing is my family. My brother started a successful business at the age of 17, my sister is currently finishing grad school and studied at Oxford and another sister of mine is studying in France right now. It doesn't take someone with tons of education to teach children something, it takes someone who cares and has passion.

I'm grateful for my education but I also see how public or privately schooled children can have a positive education just as long as the parent is involved.

Paula said...

Jessica,
Peer pressure is a big thing, how many parents have told there kids not to drink or try drugs and how many kids have tried them due to peer pressure. Having your children home with you during the years that there values and veiws are formed, means they have a greater chance of living by them as they become adults. To be at home at night and on weekend and be told that God made the world in 7 days and then to go to school and be told that it happened from a big bang and then evolved over millions of years is crazy who is the child going to believe the school or the parents? homeschooling is not for everyone that is why it is great that we are able to make this choice, every family is different and need to make this choice for themselves and NO ONE has the right to tell others what is best for there children.

Anonymous said...

I am a college admissions counselor. I read applications, interview students, all that good stuff. My gut tells me your kids will most likely be attending Christian colleges, which is fine. I am curious as to what studies you are looking at that indicate homeschool students outperforming public state students? My experience has indicated otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Paula,

The earth has evolved over millions of years. If you are teaching your children the history of the bible, I truly hope that you have explained that 7 days in God's time does not equal 7 days of 24 hour days. It sounds like you are afraid for your children to learn other things, do research, and form their own opinions. If you have taught them well and they are strong in their convictions, then you should not be scared. Look at the amish. They homeschool and live sheltered lives until they are 16, and then they have the choice to go out into the secular world. They must then decide what they really want. You should not be afraid that your children will turn away from you. You should be confident that you are instiling morals, character, and intellegence in our future. Seriously, Paula, that is your excuse for not wanting kids to go to public school...the big bang theory.

Emily said...

Anon on studies
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1a/c2/77.pdf

Anon on Paula's comment, the best way to instill our values is to do it ourselves. It's not about fear that they will turn away, it is about teaching them what is right from the beginning so that they know it is not in their best interest to turn away.

Jessica said...

"Anon on Paula's comment, the best way to instill our values is to do it ourselves. It's not about fear that they will turn away, it is about teaching them what is right from the beginning so that they know it is not in their best interest to turn away."

I agree with this, even though my values are likely much different than yours. However, I don't believe that going to school outside of the home negates being able to do so. My child goes to *gasp* daycare 4 days per week. She still, at 3, shows that she's growing with the values that we hold important for our family and our life. However, she also learns about things that are different from her family - this week they created menorahs as an art project. We celebrate Christmas, but I think it's great she's learning about other faiths. They learn about other countries - just because she learns about it, doesn't mean she's going to run away to China tomorrow.

I, personally, feel that values and beliefs are strengthened by learning about others. And if they're not, I've failed. Then again, I do know that I am instilling those values most important to me in my child, and I trust that she will be capable of making good decisions based upon those. My job is to give her the tools to be a good person, not to deny her the opportunity to ever make a decision on her own, out of fear.

Anonymous said...

This is not a critique to this post in specific but more of a general thought about your blog. I think while you have some good ideas and points the overall defensiveness of your blogs make your points seem less valid and you seem less likeable.
For Example:
"My secondary reason for wanting to home school is that I think I can do it better. Some may think that is arrogant. Others may think it laughable, because they think I'm an idiot for coming to different conclusions about life than they have. I excelled all through school, and could give you a list of credentials, awards, honors, and even my IQ to prove it, but the fact remains that the only higher education I received was one year of Bible college at an unaccredited school. This means I am seen as worthless as a teacher to many. But how I am seen doesn't matter, what matters is what I can do."
If you think you can do it better and that is one of your reasons then just leave it at that. When you put up a defense after your opinion it make it seem like you don't feel strongly about you actions.

Briana said...

Dear Emily,

I believe that you love your children very deeply and it sounds like you believe very strongly in homeschooling. But have you considered that if your children attended a traditional school they could be ambassadors for Christ?

I learned a lot of independence by attending traditional school. Interacting with teachers, principals, and other students taught me different lessons than interacting with my siblings and parents. Being away from home, albeit in a structured environment, gave me a small level of freedom.

I also learned that my beliefs and values were not necessarily the same as my peers. At first I found this to be a hard lesson but it was truly invaluable. I faced peer pressure but my parents had armed me with the proper tools to stand up for what was right even if it was difficult. I appreciate that my parents taught me what was right and then sent me into the world so that I could put those values to good use.

Lastly, your comments about Israel seem to imply that part of your husband's motivation for homeschooling is to control your children's access to information. Yet I have found that having my beliefs challenged only makes my convictions stronger. My parents were always there to discuss anything that happened at school or to answer questions. I am sure that you would be involved in your children's lives enough to be able to do the same.

God bless and good luck!

Emily said...

Jessica, I plan on teaching our children about other cultures and beliefs systems. I don't know any homeschool families who don't.

Anon, I don't think there is anything wrong with defending my views. This is my blog where I explain my views and choices. If people don't like me because of it, so be it.

Briana, you don't have to be in public school to be an ambassador for Christ. I'm not in public school, and I am still his ambassador. As far as controlling access to information, I think you misunderstood. As I said, we don't think that Israel has not sinned, and we will educate our chidren on their history, but we will also make sure they understand God's word on the issue.

Elizabeth said...

As a former student who went to Catholic School, Public School, and then was homeschooled I can say that I've witnessed how all three school systems work. And after seeing everything I have decided to homeschool my own children.

I won't say all Public or Christian schools are "bad" and I think a child could get a good education and grow up to be a strong believer in Christ, but I would have to say in spite of their school experience, not because of it. Don't get me wrong, there are very hard working and loving teachers who do their best to teach each student, but I think the peer pressure is what it boils down to. Each classroom may have 20 to 30 children who are all raised in different enviorments and have different views. It is at recess that a child learns swear words or learns about sex or a million other topics that a parent would not deem age appropriate. And while one may graduate middle school fairly unscathed it is high school that is the devil's playground. I'm sorry, but we live in a small town and our high school is full of sex, drugs, alcohol, and it is hard to not be accepted if you aren't with the in-crowd. Not impossible, but many teens who are still trying to decide who they are do not lean on their parent's advice but rather follow the in-crowd.
A gardener does not throw his tender plants that are just emerging into the harsh weather, hot sun, and strong winds. He conditions them by tending them in a green house which is a protective place, then gradually introucing those small plants outdoors slowly, and then knows when they are ready to go out into the garden and grow tall and strong. I feel the same with my children. I will tend them when they are little and protect them from what I feel they need to be protected from, and then when they are strong in their own convictions I will be confident that they can shoulder the storm.
As a family of eight children, all who were homeschooled, I can say that the four who have already left the nest have morals and values which are far above those of ANYONE who I personally know who has been to public school. My oldest brother has a very successful business, my sister bought her first house (with no financial help from my parents) at the age of 21. I have been married for 8 years and have three lovely children of my own. I am not saying homeschoolers are better than children who go to a public school system, but I have to point out that "we" are not losers or some type of sheltered freaks who don't know how to get by in the world.

TaraS said...

"Children have always been taught when they are young. Who they are taught by determines what their values will be. By teaching them myself, I am ensuring they are prepared for the world."

YES! I just don't know why it is so common knowadays for children to be viewed as mini-adults. How can they "stand by their beliefs in the face of pressure", when those beliefs are in their earliest stages of being formed? The secular worldview is EVERYWHERE. Children WILL be exposed to it. But if their parents want them to learn to live like Christ, where will they learn that? From going to Church once a week and hearing something they never hear anywhere else? From spending 1/2 their waking hours in an environment that calls Christmas the "Winter Holiday Season"? I went to public school and was fully versed in the secular world view (was "in the world and of the world", so to speak), and let me tell you, I was NOT prepared for the world as an adult. I didn't have the least idea what to do with myself until I started coming back to my faith. What a blessing for children to be equipped with these tools ahead of time!

Jill said...

I was homeschooled K-12. My parents chose to homeschool us for many of the same reasons as Emily. (my mom had a highschool diploma- no college degree) I was raised in a Christian home- and yes, I was taught about Christianity in some of my homeschool curriculum. *gasp*.

HOWEVER- I also did much studying of other world views- I learned about Marxism, Communism, Humanism, Evolution, along with all the other religions: Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, Jehovah's Witness, etc.

As a highschooler, I bet I could tell you more about the theory of evolution than most indoctinated public school kids!! And, then I was able to make a choice. I chose Christianity. Not because my parents forced me to- but because it was the way that made infinitely more sense to me.

Oh, and I also scored in the 98% percentile on all of my standardized testing, made Who's Who in American Highschools every year, and had high SAT/ACT scores. And wow- how did that happen when my mom didn't even have a college degree?????

I then attended a community college 1200 miles from any parents or relatives and earned 2 associates degress in 2 years. I carried a 4.0 GPA the entire time and was involved in many, many clubs and activities.

I laugh like crazy any time anyone even tries to bring up "socialization" with me. I know when that word comes out of their mouth, they are only spouting off something they have heard someone else say. There are AMPLE ways to socialize your kids as a homeschool parent. And they get to be around people of all ages- not just their "peer group" running wild like a herd of unsupervised cattle.

I did not go off the deep end the minute I left home. I did not turn into an alcoholic. I did not get pregnant.

In fact, college was the most natural thing in the world to me. I made tons of friends (unlike many of my public school companions who locked themselves in their room their entire first semester. Now WHO is unsocialized there??), solidified my opinions and world views, and had a lot of great experiences.

So if you are going to make a blanket statement about homeschooling, do some research first.

Is homeschooling for everyone? NO. Do some people abuse this right and let their kids run free in the streets all day? YES.
BUT- not all homeschoolers are like that!! In fact, you probably run into well adjusted, "normal" homeschoolers all day long- you just don't know it because they blend in so well!

Would you ever consider putting a tiny, sprouting tomato plant right out into the cold, frozen ground in the middle of a storm and expect it to thrive? No. Instead, you nuture it in a greenhouse and take special care of it. THEN- when you put it out into the real world, it is strong and can survive anything.

Kids are the same way. Good for you, Emily. Stick to your guns!

Oh, and yes, I totally feel that my homeschool education was superior to any public school education I could have recieved. Just FYI.

Devon said...

I personally don't have any problem with homeschooling, if one is fully and truly qualified to teach it. I have a teaching degree, and if I choose to homeschool my child, it would be extremely irresponsible of me to attempt to teach him a subject I am not comfortable with. AP Physics is a little beyond my reach, and it would be a disservice to him to try to teach him. He would not be given the best education from me in that. If I do homeschool, then at the point where I cannot comfortably teach him every subject, I will allow him to get the education he deserves by letting him be taught by someone qualified to do so. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.

In addition, I am uncomfortable with your husband's reason. The only mention of Israel that I even recall in all my public schooling was maybe a small blurb in a history textbook talking about the forming of the state, but nothing more than that. There was, strangely enough, no course entitled "Why You Should Hate Israel", but maybe they just didn't offer it at my school.

Snarkiness aside, pulling your kids from public school for that reason is weak at best and completely illogical at worst. Israel is a country formed by man consisting of many groups of people, not just the Jewish ones. It is a physical representation of the people, but a good portion of the people don't even live there. It's just weak reasoning.

And if my son's faith is so weak that he is unable to function in society and not have it rocked, then I haven't taught him at all.

Molly said...

I have a different perspective on this. My husband was homeschooled and in my opinion it was extremely detrimental to his education. He struggled so much with classwork, making friends and just being able to start a conversation! He suffered from severe test anxiety because his mother never gave him a test in his whole academic career. That's just the short story. I could write a novel on why I think it was the wrong choice for his mother to homeschool.

With that being said, I try not to generalize. In his particular situation, he was kept out of social situations and in turn that caused him to suffer from severe social anxiety disorder. His mother also never graduated high school and I'm sorry but she just wasn't in a place to homeschool her children. Period.

I don't disagree with homeschooling. I know that everyone makes different choices about how to educate their children. I only disagree with it if you are #1. Not qualified to teach because you can barely spell yourself and #2. Choosing to homeschool out of your own fears. In that respect, I think it is a selfish choice. But it doesn't sound like what you are doing. It sounds like you've thought it through and your reasons are valid based on your beliefs. I am a firm believer that children who are homeschooled do need to be put in social situations outside of church because well, that's life. That's reality. Real life doesn't take place in a bubble of your beliefs. All children will grow up and have to face the reality that people believe other things than them. If they are never shown that reality they will have a pretty tough time figuring it all out at the age of 20! I hope I'm making sense.

I do want to say that my husband went to college, graduated with a bachelors degree and is getting ready to go back for his masters. College was pure struggle for him but he managed to break through the barriers and is now very successful at what he does.

Anonymous said...

Emily-
There is a difference between defending your views and getting defensive about them. You either don't know the difference between the two or missed my point completely. I wasn't trying to offend.
I will try to explain another way:
It's like an overweight kid making fat jokes before someone else makes them first.

Anonymous said...

I have traveled the world and the most common theme I have found among former homeschool students is that they have no decision making ability, and yes I have met more than one homeschooler. The adults would depend on mom and dad too much to make decisions that should be easy for most mature adults. In my former job we had to make split second decisions and was a stressful working enviroment. The homeschoolers did not have the ability to cope with it and unfortuantly the job atrracted a lot of homeschoolers. It was like their parents had taken helicopter parenting to the extreme even before it became popular. What are you doing to ensure that your children will grow up to be able to make decisions for themselves? I think my whole goal in parenting is to make my children self sufficant adults. Like it or not I will not be around forever.

Also what are you doing now to homeschool? I have read your daily schedule and seen your oldest is practicing "writing", but did not see anything in your schedule about school time now. If you plan to add more children to your family how are you going to schedule time with each individual learing style and still do it successfully? With your current fiancial situation how can you afford to nuture each individual passion?

Kim W. said...

My experience growing up in public schools was similar to that of Emily's. I completed three years of high school (this was in the mid-70's)in less than a year and a half, graduating with honors, second in my class, halfway through my junior year and with nearly twice as many credits as were required. Still, I absolutely detested school! What's more, much of my schooling did absolutely nothing to prepare me for life and did everything to undermine my faith. I would like to say that I was an ambassador for Christ, but the truth would be that I was swayed and disgusted by the artificial school environment in which I spent hours of every day.

Now we're in our 23rd year of homeschooling our six children, ages 7-29, and I can say unequivically that this has been the right choice. We're Christians so of course imparting and infusing our children with our faith and values is our primary concern. Both of our sons, ages 11 and 16, are on the autism spectrum, and would have been bullied mercilessly in a public school setting; so, yes, sheltering our children until they're capable of standing firm in their beliefs has also been a priority. A rather distant third has been academics. I truly CAN do a much better job, in much less time, of teaching my children. After all, no other teacher could love or care for them more. For subjects which are out of my league (3rd year Spanish, for example, or high school sciences which are definitely not my strong suit), we have had our children tutored by others who do know that subject well or involved them in a homeschool co-op class or whatever. Networking with others who can help you is part of the homeschooling mother's job description!

How have our children turned out, you may ask? Oldest daughter Esther is married, has a bachelors in linguistics, a masters of education, and currently teaches 4th grade in a public school. More importantly, she is an awesome woman of God. Daughter #2 Liz is engaged and works in a chiropractor's office. She got her GED at 16 and chose not to pursue college. My Lizzie went through some extremely rocky teen years but came out of it much stronger in her faith and family connections. Daughter #3 Emily is 20 and the oldest still at home; she's already had a few years of college and is just a few credits away from earning her associate's. Em works as a Cutco (knives) rep at present. All three graduated from our homeschool at 15 and all have a great work ethic and positive spiritual foundation. Evan, 16 and with Asperger's, didn't read until age eight but now excels academically and is rapidly catching up socially. He participates in 4-H with his dairy goats. Ethan is 11 and has moderately severe autism; we're involved in an intensive recovery protocol with him now. Elianna is 7 and our little farm girl! She reads and writes well above grade level, has a strong Christian faith even at her young age, and is a blessing to everyone with whom she comes in contact.

Sorry for the long comment; clearly this is my PASSION! Our children are not Hothouse Marvels but are being equipped with the tools to stand firm in their beliefs in the Real World.....and we do that in our house by homeschooling.

Emily said...

Devon, I didn't have a class about hating Israel, either, however I do remember it being covered with a slant towards Palestine. If that were his only reason, it would be a bad one, but it's not his only reason. As far as teaching topics I'm not qualified for, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. There are lots of options, a lot depends on the individuall kid, and I will cover that more in a post about curriculum.

Anon on defensiveness, yes, I am explaining my views before I am being attacked about them. You call it being defensive, I am calling it defending. I think we're saying the same thing but with different words. I wasn't offended by your first comment. (:

Anon on self-sufficient kids, I haven't seen that problem with other home schoolers, and it is not something I anticipate in my kids. As far as the list of Qs at the bottom of your comment, I'll add them to the FAQ. They are not relavent to the "why" that I was addressing today, which is why they were not part of this post.

Anonymous said...

Kim - What do you mean that your daughter has completed a few years of college and is a few credits shy of her Associate's degree? Don't most people earn an Associate's in two years or less? I wouldn't tout that as a homeschooling accomplishment.

Devon said...

Yes, I agree, you need to conform your plan to each individual child, but you do have to have some sort of standardized curriculum that will enable the child to attend a university if he or she desires. There are certain standards that must be met in order to enable that child to attend college if he wants to. Not every child is meant for college, granted, but if you are not equipping them to attend one if they choose you are not being a responsible parent. That's just my opinion on it. Hoping you outline a full, real, logical curriculum when you do post about it.

Paula said...

Anon
I will like many other Christian's who homeschool be teaching my children science from a godly world view most importantly that the world was created in 7 day and I do believe it was 7- 24hour days I will be teaching them that some people believe that the world was made over millions of years but we(my family& church) do not believe this. I do not want my children being taught by someone that is going to undermine our beliefs when im not around.

Jessica said...

I'm going to have to disagree with the other Jessica. If someone takes their religion seriously (whatever religion it is), it will undoubtedly be a factor in all of their decisions, let alone those involving their children. Great post, Emily! It definitely makes me consider homeschooling as an option, except maybe the Israel part. I didn't know about the slant towards Palestine (I went to Catholic school), but I do know public school teachers who have been told in education classes to subtly push certain ideologies on the kids (Christians are bad, SAHMs are bad, etc.).

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

Hi, Emily,

As a former teacher, I am very intrigued by this post. I see the pros and cons of homeschooling and understand your reasoning behind "why." However, I take one issue with the Israel situation.

Are you serious? America in general (including our public schools) is extremely PRO Israel. I was educated entirely in public school from preschool through graduate school and then worked in public schools for three years. That makes 19 years of public school experience.

Never once has there been any anti-Israel discussion. If anything, I think our public schools do not do enough to examine both the Israel and the Palestinian side of the situation, instead focusing on the Israeli side of the issue only. If anything, I think public school 100% backs your ideas about Israel. (Although I disagree with your ideas regarding this situation and the narrow mindedness of the public school system, I wanted to point out that your beliefs are backed 100% in schools).

What made your husband think that public schools were more sympathetic to the Palestinian side of the issue? I'm very confused about this and where he got his information from.

Devon said...

Oops, also...if the Israel thing is a 'bad' argument, why make it at all? Seems a little like grasping at straws.

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

"Oh, and I also scored in the 98% percentile on all of my standardized testing, made Who's Who in American Highschools every year, and had high SAT/ACT scores. And wow- how did that happen when my mom didn't even have a college degree?????"

Jill, I hope you realize that "Who's Who" is a total and complete scam and means nothing. Any high school student can be awarded with it; it is a method to sell books and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Part of getting an education is being exposed to ideas that are outside your comfort zone. I know you say you plan on educating your kids about different cultures and religions but I don't see how you can do that *properly* when the underlying message is that they're wrong.

I want my kids to be exposed to people who don't believe what I believe. Then I will *know* that if my kids choose to believe in the same things I do, it's because they truly believe in their heart that that is the truth, and not because they don't really know any different.

You said "it is about teaching them what is right from the beginning so that they know it is not in their best interest to turn away." But kids should see everyone live what they believe and then choose what is best for themselves. I'm not naive enough to think that I live my life the only right way. My way might not be best for my kids and I consider it my duty to allow them and encourage them to pursue their own way.

Anonymous said...

I find it sad that a future minister and is wife would not think of sending their children to public schools to act as models for others.

What better way to spread Christ's message than to model it and to reach kids/families who might not otherwise have such great role models?

It strikes me as insecurity in you/your husband's ability to witness and raise up Godly children.

Kim W. said...

@ Anon: Though my daughter attended college for several terms, she did not always attend full time. In addition, she worked up to 30 hours per week at her lifeguarding job. Because SHE diligently pursued her college career, SHE was the one who obtained funding for tuition and SHE was the one who worked her way into an editor position at the school newspaper, where she was able to take up to 18 credit hours per term tuition-free. I believe her work ethic and diligence speaks for itself here. Oh, and she was only 17 when she began college and wasn't even driving yet (her choice - we're in a large metropolitan area and she didn't feel prepared for big-city traffic yet), so the issue of transportation was on her shoulders. She took the bus. Of necessity, I was unable to participate in the college process (we have a small business selling our goat milk and our boys' autism issues take a great deal of my time and energy), so Emily was effectively launched into the Real World at a relatively young age where she has obviously thrived. Hope that clarifies the situation a bit :).

Emily said...

Devon, I didn't mean it was a bad reason, but not strong enough if it were his only reasoning, but it's not.

Pittsburg Pair, google "public school anti-Israel" and you will see it is a valid reason. It is not all too prominent, but it is growing.

Anon, on being a witness, the public school is not the only place to be a witness.

Anonymous said...

Anon-

"Don't most people earn an Associate's in two years or less?"

Yes- and I can vouch that you can be handed your high school diploma and Associates degree at the same time (which is what I received when I graduated from my public high school back in 2002 at the age of 17). It has to do with the individual not the setting.

Emily-

“They would be conforming to their peers' behavior, peers who probably are not striving toward Christ likeness.”

This has more to do with you and your husband’s abilities to instill your beliefs/morals then it does with public/private school system. Don’t doubt yourself. Again having attended public school (as you did yourself) I never succumbed to influences to do drugs, smoke, have sex, or be vulgar. That doesn’t mean there was no pressure – but the beliefs and morals that my parents and church instilled in me gave me the conviction to do otherwise.

“Often, although not always, Israel is spoken of in public school as though they were the enemy.”

Wow - that is your experience not necessarily others. How do you conclude that that “often” occurs?

I don’t think home schooling is a bad or wrong (I have cousins that were home schooled). I do think you should be more humble about your abilities compared to those who you assume will not be able to give your children a better education. I reiterate – that how a child turns out has more to do with child’s natural abilities then the setting they are in.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

Emily-

"google "public school anti-Israel" and you will see it is a valid reason. It is not all too prominent, but it is growing."

So yours and your husband's view on public schools and Israel came from googling? Not firsthand experience? Really?!

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

I Googled "public school anti-Israel" and cannot find any information that says that this is a growing movement.

As a matter of fact, April of every year is celebrated in public schools as "Holocaust Remembrance Month." Several books are featured, including concepts on the foundation of Israel, the protection of the Jewish people and their homeland, etc.

I think your husband subscribes to too many conspiracy theories. Does he truthfully believe that this is a core tenet of study in US public schools? Israel would be covered in textbooks in tenth grade World History/World Civ. It would be two paragraphs. Public schools don't pass judgment on what is right and what is wrong in basic history classes. The students learn the facts.

Considering that much of the US media is actually owned/run/controlled by people of the Jewish faith, you cannot believe that the majority of the US has an anti-Israel attitude. Hollywood and the major news outlets are staunchly pro-Israel. I still don't understand where this idea originated from.

Do you always plan to live in New England? You may like public school better if you moved to the less-liberal Bible belt, where evolution can be opted out of in science class, etc.

Clisby said...

Ambassadors for Christ in a public school? Noooooo!!!!! If you see your kids as ambassadors for Christ, please don't send them to public school to harass my children.

Devon said...

Thank you, Pittsburgh Pair. I was a little floored whren Emily said that too...the pro-Israel support in the US is in a word gigantinormous. I have never in my life in the US heard an pro-Palestinian argument except by crazy people.

Anonymous said...

Emily,

You say that you will "cross that bridge when you come to it" in regards to teaching subjects you are uncomfortable with. I think you will be very surprised at the cost you will be incurring. Private tutors are very expensive, anywhere from $25/hour for a college kid to tutor your children all the way up to $75/hour for a retired teacher to tutor. For one subject, for one kid, with one hour of tutoring per day, 5 days a week, you will be spending $500 per month.

I am a tutor for homeschooled families and I am called in when the parents feel like they have hit a brick wall. And believe it or not, that brick wall occurs because the parent knows their kid too well and it is hard for the parent to watch their kid struggle. Not every child learns the same way and it takes more than just great Googling skills to be able to teach.

I would hope you would figure out your plan for teaching tough subjects long before you need to put it in place. I would hate for your children to have to sacrifice their education because you do not have enough money to pay for the tutors that you may need.

Clisby said...

"I Googled "public school anti-Israel" and cannot find any information that says that this is a growing movement."

I agree. Do you have any specific links that address your concerns? The US is generally so uncritically pro-Israel that it would surprise me to find some general anti-Israel movement in the public schools.

Anonymous said...

Will you be teaching your children about other religions, views, and cultures?

Emily said...

Anon on tutoring, tutoring is not an option we are even considering. There are MANY other options, and, as I said several times, it will take a whole post to address curriculum issues, options, and plans. It's not something I'm going to get into here, because it is not about the "why." However, I appreciate knowing your thoughts as it gives me an idea on what needs to be adressed in a future curriculum post.

On Israel, here's some of what I found when I googled, swag searched and yahoo searched. Much has to do with the textbooks:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=76671

http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/18914

http://hnn.us/roundup/comments/17544.html

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-200781407.html

I will reiterate that it's my husbands reason. Although I respect it and think it is valid, my own public school experience makes me think it is not as important as he thinks it is. I admit, I'm not prepared to defend it as I'm not passionate about it as he is.

I will add this, though. Public school are teaching more and more about Islam, this was true even when I was in high school around 9/11. They are very careful not to be critical of Islam. Although one of the weaknesses in public school is the lack of comprehensive modern history studies, when they do touch on issues regarding Muslims, they are careful to do it in a way that cannot be construed as offensive to Muslims, even if it means not telling the whole story about Darfur, Pakistan and India and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

RJ Herle said...

I must disagree with you on your assertation that you are more qualified to teach your children than anyone else.

I was home schooled out of necessity most of my life (I grew up on a ranch in the middle of nowhere) and even though my parents and grandparents were highly educated (a nurse, chemist, engineer, and accountant), my education was very.. specialized, and I didn't learn the social skills necessary to compete in the business world.

When I joined the Army at 17 I found I was incapable of dealing with my peers on any kind of meaningful emotional level; it took my years to learn how to communicate with them on any kind of similar terms.

While you may know how to run a household, you are quite incapable of socializing your children (we belonged to a home schooling group organized through a local church that met twice a month to go over curriculum and to have progress testing, as mandated by state law).

There is no Anti-Israel bias in public schools; there is only a secterian curriculum. I'm sorry to say this, but just because something is, or isn't, in the Bible, doesn't mean its worth learning. Anyone who believes that the parable of Adam and Eve is the definitive word on the beginnings of the world, and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, is a fool.

Science has prooved that the earth is billions of years old; dinosaurs DID roam the continents, that climactic changes due to age, magnetic influence, solar and sattelite gravanometric tides, age, and evolution, caused the world to be as it is now.

Creatonism is a parable; a story used to set a system of belief and to foster a social and moral code. Parables are not ment to be taken literally, but to be used to justify a certain moral and ethical code.

Your education is sorely lacking when it comes to the sciences. A high school education is a good foundation to work from, but it is not in any way deemed to be thorough enough to qualify anyone to do anything more than hold a menial job. Secondary, and post-secondary education encompass not only the sciences, but philosophy, art, history, sociology, and politics; things that a teacher must understand if they are to help students rise above mere thuggery.

I do not mean to impugne your intent; I'm simply saying that you should consider allying yourself with an accredited home schooling group; one with a firm foundation in curriculum that teaches all of the arts, sciences, and socialization skills a child needs in order to achieve secondary educational goals.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with RJ. It is vital, specifically if you have the desire for your children to go on to post-secondary education, to ally yourself with an accredited home schooling group. I'm the admissions person from before, and while I appreciate your "stats" I have read far too many home schooling applications, and seen far too many students struggle. This is not saying that all homeschooling is problematic. It's not. However it is imperative that students are socialized as well as educated, and are encouraged to be involved with their community.

Devon said...

Emily, they don't tell the full story about anyone. This is another weak argument...so they don't teach about Darfur--I'm not saying it's right, but they also don't teach about the true horrific nature of the Crusades (of which I didn't learn until much later), nor of how Christianity fully controlled life in the Middle Ages in Europe, and not in a good way, or how the Christian kings of France thought they were God's appointees on the earth and that therefore anything they did was right and just. They also don't talk too much about the nightmare treatment the American Indians received at the hands of Westward Expansioners. The list goes on and on. That's just it: a lot of things get glossed over. Whether or not one chooses to see it as pandering to any one group or religion is in the eye of the beholder, but it is a falsehood to assume only Islam receives this treatment.

heather said...

not too long ago i blogged a two part entry about homeschooling, why i was considering it and why it frightened me. your comment that you believe you can do it better, is exactly what frightens me personally when i consider homeschooling.

i am a college graduate, and graduated with highest honors. in nursing. but do i feel qualified to teach my children and give them the best education? no, i don't. i would say that i am fairly intelligent, but i also can acknowledge my flaws. for example, the high school level classes such as chemistry, physics, calculus, trigonometry, etc. i am not qualified to educate at that level. i believe that i would be doing a huge disservice to my children if i were to homeschool them at the high school level.

my belief is that over the years the middle class will disappear. you will either be in the upper class or the lower class. i want my children to succeed and that means that they need the best education possible including college. they will need to pursue a highly advanced degree in college, atleast to the master's level to compete and ultimately survive. and i want them to be able to do exactly that.

if i were to consider homeschooling them beyond the younger years i know that i will not be able to give them the proper foundations in the aforementioned classes. i was not educated and trained to do that. i can acknowledge my shortcomings regarding this, in fact i must in order to have my children get the fundamentals that they will need to build upon to succeed.

all of this is merely my opinion of course. just as you have yours. but it does scare me to think a person who has not been educated to educate will be in charge of their children's education. again i fully believe that the world will become far more competitive.

when i was in high school, the important thing was a high school diploma. that was the wrong thing to emphasize as anyone can see that in this day and age and diploma allows a person to have an entry level minimum wage job. that to me is not going to be able to sustain anyone in the future.

we all want what is best for our children, of course. and i really think that even though you are content with the life you live and feel that you can educate your children to the appropriate level, you are possibly going to be setting your children up for failure with the attitude that you can do it better.

i don't mean to be harsh with this. you may be intelligent but do you really have what it takes to make sure your children succeed in the future? i am quite a bit older than you, possibly just as intelligent and again a successful college graduate. however, if i don't feel that i have what it takes to make sure my children are properly educated to the level they will need to survive in a changing, ever competitive world, how can you feel that you do?

Elizabeth said...

Anonyomous wrote: "I have traveled the world and the most common theme I have found among former homeschool students is that they have no decision making ability, and yes I have met more than one homeschooler. The adults would depend on mom and dad too much to make decisions that should be easy for most mature adults."

I think this is a huge blanket statement. Why are colleges seeking homeschoolers specifically because "they tend to work better independently and make decisions on their own" (quoted from an article about why Harvard encourages homeschoolers to apply). While it may not have been your experience from those you met you can not make such a blanket statement...anymore than I can say all public schoolers can't make decisions on their own because they are told what to do all day every day in school and are just followers in a pack".
And about having to hire a tutor to teach subjects that you aren't knowledgeable is silly too. Most areas, such as ours, has dual enrollment, so if you aren't comfortable teaching Science you can set your child up to take Science classes at the local public school...free of charge.
And the socialization part. Some homeschoolers are shy, or don't know how to act around others. The same can be said for many public schooled children. Blanket statements just don't work.

frugalredneck said...

Emily, I just want to say good luck on homeschooling, I have homeschooled all 6 of mine so far, One graduated and on her own. I have no desire to go into details, I homeschool, I think it is great that you are too. Most of these posts on here are so stupid about not homeschooling, I am not even giving them my breath. I wonder if sometimes you read your own comments, as I am reading them, And run in the bedroom and scream into a pillow like I do, hahahaha. Michelle
P.S. To the commenter up above about it being arrogant to know you can do it better. Yep I do, Yep I can, Yep I did. I taught my children to walk, talk, potty, all the hard things. I can surely learn how to do algebra and then teach them. Also it does not even come close to the cost of public school, Not even close.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Heather (nice to see you since OHIH disbanned),
I think what you don't realize about homeschooling is that it doesn't often just fall to the parent. Can I teach my child advanced Science or Math? Probably not. But, if you learned all this in your own high school why don't you remember the info enough to teach it? Is it because the majority of that info you don't use everyday, or it isn't as important?
I'm not saying you shouldn't make sure you teach your children these advanced classes. The fact is, there is dual enrollment, which many parents use, where you can enroll your child in the local public school to take the one or two classes you are not confident teaching them.
There are also homeschool co-ops, where many parents pool their resources and teach classes that they are knowledgeable in.
And there are online courses which detail step by step what you need to learn and then teach it.
So while I may not be as confident as Emily in knowing that I can teach my child everything, I am confident in knowing that as a homeschooler my child will be learning everything she needs to because I can take advantage of the great resources out there for homeschoolers. I know many homeschoolers who went to college and became very sucessful...so it can happen! And I know many public schoolers who are working at McDonalad's. If a parent chooses to homeschool I would think that the majority are giving their child the best education and taking advantage of resources that are out there.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI...

The BlogHer advertisement that you recently added to your site has an immodestly dressed woman in the rotation of images.

Stacy said...

Personally, I'm not against or all-out in favor of homeschooling. I've seen good results and bad results among students in my classes as a high school and college teacher. It all depends on your kids. A few thoughts:
1. The Israel argument is really weak. I'm all for following God's wishes to honor Israel, but I don't think this is something that is covered very much in school, and it is EASILY covered extensively at home. You will be able to teach your children your views on this subject without homeschooling.

2. It is a great point above by an anonymous writer to begin schooling right now. I've been "schooling" my son since he was about 6 months old, and he's doing great in terms of learning numbers, letters, words, colors, shapes, etc. at 2 years old. We read a lot and do a lot of teaching by just making him tell us things about what he sees in his books or teaching him through them. Also, in life we do a lot of teaching. My husband and I are both teachers, so I guess it comes naturally, but we have a lot of fun as a family doing this. I'm sure you do too, but you might want to think about how to start doing it more formally right now and get started if you haven't already.

3. Another thought spurred by your original post is that you might not be so dogmatic about it being all one way or nothing. What I mean is that you need to really judge each situation individually, in my opinion, and keep an open mind about your kids. You may find that one of them thrives fabulously as a homeschooled kid, while another would do really well with other kids around. For example, what if you have a kid who s very extraverted? This one is going to really struggle with being at home all the time doing school with the siblings in the house. Maybe a school setting would be better then. It's just a thought. Also, at the elementary level, I really think you can still have a tremendous spiritual, moral and academic influence on your kids if they are at the public school.

Anyway, I'm no expert, but that's what I think.

Best,
Stacy

Emily said...

RJ, by your own admission, you were isolated as a child. That is why you were lacking social skills. My children are not and will not be isolated. As I have said several times, socialization is a topic for another post, this post is about why.

"Science has prooved that the earth is billions of years old"

Science is incapabe of proving the earth's age, as it cannot be tested in a lab. The theory of macro-evolution is a model, a guess, as it canNOT be proven. Micro-evolution, on the other hand, has been proven and lines up perfectly with a literal seven day creation. You know nothing about what I know about science, as I have not shared it on this blog.

Devon, I strongly disagree. When I was in school, any atrocity done in the name of Christ was thoroughly outlined and some atrocities not done in the name of Christ were attributed to Christians as well. I learned how horrible so-called Christians have been through the ages, and the atrocities with Indians were covered since Kindergarten. It is not a matter of glossing over. Some events are skewed in favor of certain groups of people and against others.

heather, college educated teachers are in charge of the public school system and American students are doing worse and worse when compared to the rest of the world. I think you are plenty capable of preparing your children to thrive. You are obviously an intelligent woman. College education has little to do with intelligence in my opinion. Intelligence determines if you will keep learning and encourage others to do the same. I may not be as educated as some, but I strive to be learned in many areas, and will never quit learning. That puts me far ahead someone with a PhD who then thinks they know it all and quits seeking more knowledge.

Eizabeth, I am a huge fan of dual enrollment. I don't know if it is something we will do. It will depend on each child. It can be done with the local high school and/or college, if you are near one. I am a Christian today because a homeschooler was dually enrolled, but that will all be covered in a curriculum post.

Frugalredneck, as you can imagine, many comments do make me chuckle. I always do appreciate your comments. (:

Anonymous said...

I homeschooled mine through High School. I wonder how you will afford curriculum and supplies.

Anonymous said...

Noticed you ignored the question about schooling your children in other religions, cultures, etc... what's your stance on that? Will you give them a chance to explore other options?

Anonymous said...

I find it disgusting that you pretend to have moral and frugal values yet you willingly earn money off inappropriate ads.

Emily said...

Anon on supplies, as I sid, I will address that in another post.

Anon, on other religions, I didn't ignore the questions about other beliefs, I answered way up in the comments, "I plan on teaching our children about other cultures and beliefs systems. I don't know any homeschool families who don't." As I've said several times though, specifics on a curriculum will come in another post.

Anon, I'm sorry you've been offended by some ads. I've discussed the ads in another post. I have yet to see any that I am offended by, but I have not seen every one that is displayed.

Anonymous said...

@ All the people wondering about the cost of curriculum and supplies.

Early editions of current textbooks can be had for a song. They have the same info in the exact same format, and, for the most part, the same problems. The difference is, in exchange for correcting a few typos and such, the textbook companies can put out a revised edition for another $70 a pop. Not to mention that public schools, except for the ones fortunate enough to be in swanky zip codes, are expecting more of the financial burden to fall to the parents in terms of other supplies anyway.

As for the rest of you that feel you are unable to teach your children calculus or anatomy or whatever, have you asked yourself what qualifies the local teachers to teach those subjects? The majority of teachers I know couldn't find their behinds with both hands. I am more motivated than they would be to understand the material enough to teach it to my future children.

hickchick

Anonymous said...

Emily,

While I will openly admit that I do not agree with many of your practices - yet I continue to read your blog - today's comment is solely on Education.

I think that homeschooling can be beneficial but it seems as though your reasons are not in the best interest of your child's education. I am a teacher and would support homeschooling for the proper reasons.

You should continue to do research on the benefits of PUBLIC schools as well (or Christian schools for that matter) - and I am positive you will find that children learn best from other children. Children who are their same age, learning the same content they are, at the same time. A teacher, or parent acting as teacher, can explain the concept in ten different ways and provide examples, and work through them with the child -- but ultimately a child learns best by working with their peers.

You should also know that I attended public school is a *very* urban environment. Where we had our own police force and drugs/alcohol were present almost daily. I also had very supportive parents, and a strong faith. Both of which instilled strong values and the ability to determine right from wrong. This was enough to enable me to make the right decisions. I had a 4.0, never did drugs and didn't drink under age. I am now a college graduate.

Just because children attend public school doesn't mean they will lose sight of their values - of Christ's mission. Give your kids a chance to show you that they can make the right choice before you take away their right to public school.

Anonymous said...

HickChick

I am appalled at your condemnation of teachers. Teachers are put through the ringer and they give their very heart and soul to their students.

Anonymous said...

"As for the rest of you that feel you are unable to teach your children calculus or anatomy or whatever, have you asked yourself what qualifies the local teachers to teach those subjects? The majority of teachers I know couldn't find their behinds with both hands."

Seriously? I don't know where you're living, but where I live teachers are required to have university degrees in the subjects they teach. As I do not have degrees in science, English, math, history, etc, I do not believe I have the pool of knowledge required to teach a high school student all of these subjects. A team of teachers do.

Anonymous said...

Emily, I think you should go back to moderating your comments. I really enjoy reading your blog. I don't always agree with everything you say, but differing opinions keep life interesting. I can't understand why you would bother spending time defending your choices to strangers.

Liz said...

I'm very anxiously awaiting your posts on curriculum, socialization, as well as preparation for college. I'm also curious what philosophy you plan to follow - unschooling, Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Waldorf, etc.?

I'm a little puzzled by the ones who said they don't feel qualified to teach their kids - so instead they send their kids through the SAME system that left you so unprepared?

SoMo said...

I have considered homeschooling, because I am not happy with what is going on in our public schools. For now we have chosen private school. At the moment, our children do not go to a Catholic school, which is the norm in our area, but their school has Christian tendencies. They pray every morning and for those that need it. And most private school teachers don't need a teaching certificate to teach; that is primarily a public school requirment. They do need a college degree, though. Also, my children's school is rated in the top in our city. So I think if you are open to learning and can be open minded about subjects that they truely do not grasp then they should do fine.

I hear many of the negative comments about homeschooling here as other places. I have heard (I am no expert) that there are homeschool co-ops where parents who are stronger in one subject than other parents take turns teaching the children. Also, it seems that homeschooled children have more of a chance to get out in the world than children that are stuck in classrooms for 5 days a week. It all depends on the parents, like most things. Even the public schools talk about how important it is for parents to be involved. I think there is a balance that must be achieved and I don't think you need a college degree to achieve it.

crabcakes said...

Haven't read far but I almost chocked on my tea when I read that your kids would get better nutrition in a public school.

Yeah um, tater tots, processed chemical laden foods, patties of processed meat. "processed cheese-like slices" (true packaging)

Yeah those kids in public school eat so well (huge sarcasm)

Lyndsae said...

Emily,

I agree with you on this subject. I also agree with the posters above who said that a child's capacity for learning depends more on the child's potential and willlingness to learn. Many kids thrive wonderfully whether they're homeschooled or public schooled. The free public school in the U.S. (as we know it) is fairly new. Most of our early presidents and influential citizens were educated at home.

My question concerns your children's choices. Of course, at their present ages, they're too young to have an opinion about their education, but as they get older, will you allow them to have an influence? For example, what if one of your kids meets public school kids at church and thinks it sounds great, and wants to try public school for a year? Would you let him? What if one of you kids excels and is way ahead of grade level--would you let him take community college classes as a 15 or 16 year old? Would you let your kids pursue their individual interests in language, art, sports, etc. in community classes or groups?

Thanks.

P.S. To "Anonymous" who thinks that public school teachers are too stupid to "find their own behinds with both hands": Public school teachers go through years of education and training throughout their careers, work long hours for little pay, and get little support from the community. You obviously have no idea how much of a difference skilled, dedicated teachers have made in students lives.

crabcakes said...

Islam is a peaceful religion. There are extremists in Islam and they are the terrorists. Muslims are not the enemy and therefore I agree with schools teaching acceptance and understanding that is inclusive of muslims.

Emily, it makes me sad that you seem to disapprove of this. Did you not know that Timothy McVeigh, the terrorist, was a Christian? That Christians have also murdered and spread terror in the name of their faith? Should those extremist be representative of all so much that we should treat all Christians as terrorists?

Anyone can be a terrorist and can twist their religion to support that. That doesn't make their religion unpeaceful.

I respect Christians and Muslims (and Jews and Pagans etc.) equally. And for me, that is the right and true way God would want me to be.

Anonymous said...

One of the women I grew up with is homeschooling her daughter after a bad experience with public school. She belongs to a homeschooling co-op and in this way, all the kids are taught by women of different experiences and backgrounds. They take co-op classes at the local rec center, set up ot provide extra classes for homeschoolers. They don't just TEACH their kids history, etc, they take them all around the country and in one case, to France and let them live it. These kids have had a hands on experiece that is out of this world. They are well socialized and smart. I have no doubt whatsoever that every child in this co-op will be extrememly successful as an adult. It is not a Christian based group and my friend is a teacher, so they follow a structured curriculum.

My son goes to public school. He has tested off the charts in all subjects and has a large group of friends. He learns things in a manner that I never would have thought of and he thrives in the group environment. He has not traveled much, but that is a money issue... France is expensive. He is good friends with many of the kids in the homeschool co-op and there is no noticable difference between them.

My point is that what works for one will not work for another. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling but, in many situations, no, MOST situations, public/private school is just as good. It's individual choice.

But to the poster who was dogging on teachers, That is a really poor way to make your point. Teacher rock. For every teacher who should not be teaching a class of kids, there is a parent who should not be homeschooling. Making a choice to homeschool does not mean that teachers are morons. That's really ... well, ignorant. Sorry.

Sarah said...

Yes yes yes!

Even if "all you had" was a high school degree, teachers (no matter how great and Christ-like) can't give the attention that a mother can.

Anonymous said...

frugalredneck said...
"Emily, I just want to say good luck on homeschooling, I have homeschooled all 6 of mine so far, One graduated and on her own. I have no desire to go into details, I homeschool, I think it is great that you are too. Most of these posts on here are so stupid about not homeschooling, I am not even giving them my breath. I wonder if sometimes you read your own comments, as I am reading them, And run in the bedroom and scream into a pillow like I do, hahahaha. Michelle "

Wow! Your comment is the best argument I've seen against homeschooling thus far. I wish your children much luck with their grammar skills and sentence structure.

Emily said...
"Devon, I strongly disagree. When I was in school, any atrocity done in the name of Christ was thoroughly outlined and some atrocities not done in the name of Christ were attributed to Christians as well. I learned how horrible so-called Christians have been through the ages, and the atrocities with Indians were covered since Kindergarten. It is not a matter of glossing over. Some events are skewed in favor of certain groups of people and against others."

Seriously? Where did you go to school? I think if you did a random survey of 100 people that none of them would have a similar recollection of their formative education. I hope you are an intelligent and humble enough person to be able to change if you should find that what you are doing is not working (educationally, lifestyle, or otherwise). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

In my experience, there are two kinds of teachers: those that teach because they genuinely care about their students and those that want every weekend and major holiday off work. Bureaucracy and red tape tend to run off the first type. The second type seem to thrive in the incestuous atmosphere of the school system.

I have had eleven wonderful, memorable teachers that really opened my eyes to a new world. I've taken classes with at least ten times as many people. Not what I would call great odds. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those that truly want to instill a love of learning and passion for the subject in their students. They just seem to be few and far between.

And if you believe that a college degree automatically implies intelligence or competence teaching, you are sadly mistaken.

hickchick

Jen said...

I find the arguments on this thread fascinating. I really do.

I homeschool my children for several years. I put them in school when I was no longer able to educate them to their needs. Is school the answer. No. Not really. I have one that has special needs that is not doing as well as she should, and another who is blowing the school curriculum away.

However, with their individual needs, they were not doing any better at home. It was just a different set of problems.

The one thing I want you to be aware of Emily is that sometimes HSing doesn't work. Sometimes it does. If you are going to be dead set in that your way is the right way no matter what, you are going to fail your children. Just take everything as it comes because what works today doesn't always work tomorrow. My kids were not harmed by homeschooling, but instead thrived. They are not harmed by public schooling but are thriving in other areas. There is no right answer, only what is best for the moment. Just something to consider.

And to the person that said that HSing can be cheap, even out of date textbooks can add up quickly. Add in fees for sports, extra classes, group supplies for co-ops, boy/girl scout fees, 4H fees or whatever your child is into, and mutiply it by the number of children you have. When you are on a tight budget it adds up very very fast. I pay $56 a month so that my kid can swim, and she is very good at it. That doesn't cover meet fees, competition suits, travel fees, etc and that is one kid and one sport. Unless you plan on making your kid go without, that is something that needs to be considered for the future.

Anonymous said...

Emily, how many PhDs have you personally met who have decided they know everything and will never continue learning?

I teach World History at the college level. I teach World Religions as part of the post classical period, as it's one of the two main themes in that period (the second being the rise of trade networks). Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are all taught as forces of history, and I don't just teach about events, but teach about the impact of those events affected by the spread of these religions.

For the second semester of World History religion comes into play only as it affects historical events. We can't talk about the Balfour Declaration without mentioning Judaism, of course, nor monk immolation without discussing Buddhism.

If you're going to make sweeping generalizations about people and systems, it helps to do actual, experiential research. Go to a local public school and sit in on a class. Ditto a local public college on a topic you have heard about (i.e. sit in on a discussion on the formation of Israel in a history course).

You have an extraordinarily small sphere of experience from which to make judgments, and yet you seem to have a basic, innate intelligence. Don't narrow yourself, or your children's eduction, based on misinformation. Seek out your own experience and make decisions based on that.

Anonymous said...

Liz... I would not be prepared to teach my kids. I am intelligent, but it takes a very special person to be a teacher. I was not strong in math or science. I did well in school, but did not retain that knowledge into adulthood well enough to teach others. Your comment just doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian school teacher. God used a Christian school to bring me to Him.

HOWEVER, I totally respect parents who homeschool. I have seen children go many different ways being homeschooled, just as I have going to public or Christian. The key is being real for Jesus. If your chilren see that you talk one thing and do another, they'll turn out to be the same hypocrites they watched as they grew up.

I have met several homeschooled families who were the real deal, and their kids followed suit.

If you do what Ecc. 9:10 says, and do your best with instructing them both in the Word and academics, you'll be fine. =) Not that you need anyone you don't know to tell you that, but there's my cent(I refuse to put in two cents, since it's just a penny for my thoughts!).

T said...

Science can't prove the age of the Earth? What about radioactive decay/radioactive dating? Science might not be able to tell you the *exact* age of the Earth, but it can certainly tell you that the oldest rocks on Earth were radioactively dated and were found to be almost 4 billion years old. I don't understand how you can just throw away science. It is radioactive dating. It isn't a theory. It's true!

Anonymous said...

This entire thread has me shaking my head. I am 100% pro home schooling and 100% evolutionary theory. I don't seem to fit in either category. :) I'm having a hard time with the thought that public schools are corrupting our children against/for any grouping of people and have to lol at the assumed opinion your husband has on the agenda of the anti Israel movement. You'll have to do better than a Google search resulting in fundamentalists to convince most of us of anything. I strongly disagree with your reasons for home school except for the "Education" part of it. Good luck.

Me said...

I think the main problem people have with your decision to homeschool is that you are asserting that the subjects taught in a public school are biased (Islam, evolution, Israel) but you seem to get much of your information from very slanted sites as well. You have asserted that ground beef that contains 27% fat is healthy and when challenged you posted a (as in singular) website that stated it was in fact healthy? If you went to Europe you would find they don't even sell anything under 85/15 because it is terrible for you. If you are going out and buying local grassfed beef it is somewhat different. This is what we do in our family but I know you are buying the rolls of pre-packaged ground beef at Wal-Mart. If you read the latest reports on what is in your "healthy" full-fat beef you would throw it out.

I digress. My point is that you will throw out facts that do not seem to suit your ideas but will find websites to try and bolster your own theories into facts.

I homeschool one of my sons as he was becoming completely withdrawn because his school was a terrible match for him. Two of my other sons attend that same school because I recognize what is good for one child may not be good for the others. We also are looking into private schools as the alternative. Have you considered private christian schools?

Ms. Katie said...

"As for the rest of you that feel you are unable to teach your children calculus or anatomy or whatever, have you asked yourself what qualifies the local teachers to teach those subjects? The majority of teachers I know couldn't find their behinds with both hands. I am more motivated than they would be to understand the material enough to teach it to my future children." -Hickchick

Um... I am a teacher and I have four years of undergraduate education (with honors) and another year of graduate education (valedictorian). So that would be a MASTERS in educating early childhood and elementary aged youngsters. I had to pass THREE intense tests to get my licensure. The fact that you would run your mouth about teachers shows how ignorant and judgmental you are (and I would be terribly afraid for you to teach ANYONE). The problem with schools today is not the teachers, who sweat and cry and pray for their students, but the legislation that requires us to test students constantly in an inauthentic manner on unmeaningful material. The problem is standardized curriculum that forces teachers to implement route memorization and busy work that encourages no critical thinking skills. It is politicians and administrators who deny teachers the ability to practice their craft in a way that meets the needs of all of their students. Don't forget no money for any field trips or basic supplies for children that don't have them. I pull 60 hour weeks, spend thousands of my own money, use most of summer on continuing education and get paid less than $30,000 a year. Don't talk to me about teachers.

Emily - I think your wanting to home school is admirable and justified considering the systemic problems I mentioned above. My husband and I have agreed that depending on our finances and the schools in our area, we will home school should the need arise. It will also be considered on an individual basis taking into account each child's personality and learning style. However, I do encourage homeschoolers to think deeply about the decision. My five years of post-secondary eduction included intense study of child development, the brain in relation to processing and memory, subject matter content, and how to best unite my understandings of these things into pedagogical approaches that encourage children to discover, explore and LEARN. I agree that parents can be wonderful teachers when they take the time to study not just content but how children inherently learn best. It needs to be their passion and full-time job figuring out how to teach their children. Let me know if you need early childhood resources.

Ms. Katie at weneedamedicalmiracle.blogspot.com and elcdailydolphin.blogspot.com

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

Okay, I started reading the articles you posted regarding a pro-Islam and anti-Israel message in America's schools. I'm sorry; I totally disagree.

In America, we have a separation of church and state. Therefore, when children are taught in public school, we emphasize theories and shades of gray, not black and white. Evolution is prefaced with "this is what some people believe." Creationism is prefaced with "this is what some people believe." World religions and their origins are taught, but not placed on a pedestal. Actually, it is refreshing for students to see that Muslims, Christians, and Jews are very much alike in their beliefs. This helps "demystify" the Muslim religion.

That said, this article: http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/18914 is an op-ed piece. There is not one concrete fact, date, specific school named, specifics are conveniently left out and no links to primary sources are provided. How is allowing students to wear their religious attire anti-Israel and pro-terrorism? This article is pure propaganda.

No, not every atrocity is covered. Much of our history has become a myth or a simplified tale. But as we learn better, we do better and teach better. When we were kids, Emily, we were painted a portrait of a happy first Thanksgiving. Now, new research has come to light about the dynamics between the Native Americans and Pilgrims. We now can teach a more complex version of the tale given new research. We are a more informed society.

http://hnn.us/roundup/comments/17544.html

In regards to the above article, you can help select textbooks for your child's classroom. You can have your child opt-out of the book if you do not like what is in it. You can raise the issue with the teacher and open up a dialogue.

The author of this piece knows little about the American textbook industry. Textbooks are actually slanted towards the values of the state of Texas, as Texas buys the most books and therefore, most book sellers aim for the Texas market.

Frankly, a little education about Arab people and the Muslim faith is good and balanced. We do not want to perpetuate stereotypes in American classrooms. Jewish/Israel as good and Arab/Palestine as bad is a terrible thing to teach in a classroom where children of all faiths are educated. I taught critical thinking and examination of the issues through healthy debate.

Out of everything that you have stated on this blog, I find the assertion by your DH that American schools have some hidden agenda against the state of Israel to be the most ludicrous. It sounds like your DH believes everything he reads related to religion.

Also, you must think teachers incredibly ignorant. If we were receiving indoctrination in the Islamic faith, we would realize it. Our unions would be involved. We would have parent complaints. We are a diverse group of people, we teachers, and come from all faiths and backgrounds. Some are even Christians like you and your DH. Don't you think that they would object to these covert teachings?

heather said...

in a way i do agree that our children aren't as prepared as other nation's children. i'm not sure where the breakdown is. my personal thought is that it isn't the teachers. it could be the influence of my dad who is a public school teacher, and knowing that he goes above and beyond the school day in helping his students.

however, i do also see that my children are getting a pretty good education at this point. in fact as my husband is preparing to go back to school and is studying for a math placement test some of the things he is reviewing are the very things that our 3rd grader is learning.

thanks for the thought that i could educate my children. i obviously don't feel as confident in my own skills. there are some times that i do consider it, but because of my children's individuality more than anything else. in our case, i'm uncomfortable with my oldest starting middle school next year. academically she is at the top, size wise she is the smallest in the grade by far, emotionally she's a bit young as well. i do worry about that transition.

Emily said...

SoMo, There are co-ops in our area. I am all for them for reasons of both curriculum and socialization, but they weren't covered in this post because they don't cover why. I am not going to homeschool for the co-ops. (:

Lyndsae, I intend to have a lot of individual catering to my kids' interest and needs. That will be covered more in other posts. Although individual needs is a reason why we want to homeschool, I only included the top two here.

Crabcakes, I agree that there are Muslims pursuing peace and there are people calling themselves Christians who are not pursuing peace. But I stand by my statement that the public school does not give a balanced view of who is doing what wrong in modern history. People have done wrong in the name of Christ, and that story should be told, but we should not avoid the truth about those doing wrong in the name of Allah just because not all Muslims are bad.

Anon on individual needs, I will be considering individual needs with homeschooling. I think homeschooling is well suited to that, and I am not opposed to dual enrollment of sorts depending on the individual in later grades. That will be covered more in a curriculum post.

Anon on others public school experience, if you randomly surveyed 100 people on what they remember from history class, you're right, they probably won't remember as much as I do. I wouldn't say that is a pro public school argument.

Jen, there are so many different ways to homeschool. I know that my ideas and methodology will be changed and formed by the individuals I will be teaching, but it is the best answer for our family. We are not wavering on that.

T, I am not throwing away science, I am saying that it does not support your ideas. Radioactive decay dating has been proven inaccurate. If you would like, I can add a question about creationism to the FAQ and I would be happy to engage in a discussion about my beliefs about it.

heather, I can agree that it's not that teachers are all bad, and I hope I didn't come off as believing that.

Anonymous said...

My children are in public school and we have had a good experience with it.
We are QF, Bible believers but education came down to a practical choice. I am pregant and nursing every other year and here is no way I could keep my very active, very social children happy and productive through the day.
I am VERY busy being a wife and mama and we are right in the middle of suburbia. Chores take 10 minutes tops. I have a BS in Ed. so I am qualified to teach them and my degree has been invaluable in dealing with the ps.
I don't understand why everyone things schooling choice is the way to guarantee outcome. I've met tons of jerky hs'ing kids(church youth groups are full of them) and ton's of straight arrow (how my teens describe themselves) public school kids.

Anonymous said...

Radioactive dating has been "proven innacurate"?
Really? Why have I not heard about this? This would be huge news, as in majpr national Newspapers and magazines would have covered it, I'm sure I would have come across something in at least one scientific journal.

Do you have a source to support this claim? As in a non-religious source. Say, something peer reviewed?

Anonymous said...

This is the Anon. who asked about Radioactive decay dating...just popping in to say I do know how to spell "inaccurate"...

Emily said...

Anon, of course, religious sources can't be valid, right? Because if anyone is a Christian, they can't know science? Or, if someone comes to a different conclusion with data, they must be wrong? Think again. Religious sources are going to be primarily the ones who are reporting these errors, as the scientific commuity shuns other scientists who point out these errors, and those who peer review these studies. As I said, I will happily write a post about this, and I hope you come back for it. If you actually want to know be informed about this, here is a good link:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/radiometric-dating

Anonymous said...

Ok. So I checked out your link. I guess I didn't get that you are a fundamentalist, which I know probably has most people wondering if I read this blog at all! LOL! But you make the argument that religion is more likely to call forth the errors of science because the scientific community covers itself. I can buy this as a possiblity. But the site you use as a reference states at one poin that the earth must have been made in 7 literal days because that is the word of God and therefore it is truth.
Sorry, but that's biased.
Your truth is not my truth. Your beliefs are not my beliefs. I guess you seemed in some of your writing to be a lot more open minded than most of the fundmentalists I know but if you really believe that sicence is wrong simply because it doesn't jive with the Bible, then I misjudged you.
Can you cite an UNbiased website? It is not logical to assume that every scientist in the world is coverning up the scientific communities "need" to disprove the Bible. And stating that radiometiric dating is inaccurate simply because the dates don't match the Bible is faulty logic.

Anonymous said...

Will you allow your children to explore other religions and support them if they decide to pursue a different path?

The Catholic school in my old area used to have the children (well, high school age) explore a week in 2 religions to help them get a well rounded picture of what and why people have made different choices. I think this is a wonderful idea.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a little puzzled by the ones who said they don't feel qualified to teach their kids - so instead they send their kids through the SAME system that left you so unprepared?" -Liz

That has to be one of the weakest arguments I've read on this board. No, I'm not qualified to teach senior chemistry and biology and physics and calculus. Why? Because I didn't opt to take those classes in my senior years, at which point they were electives. I was able to play to my strengths, and focused on arts-related courses. If my kids wanted to take French I could probably teach them at the grade 12 level. Physics? Not so much.

But that is a STRENGTH about public school. Assuming one goes to a large enough school, there are a multitude of courses available, which allows students to pursue what interests them. I didn't choose to take chemistry because I knew I'd never be a scientist and I had no interest in the subject. But if my children were very science-oriented, I'd be lost in teaching them.

I don't think any of us can honestly claim to have excelled at ALL senior level courses offered at a public school. My high school offered four language electives, for instance. Because I didn't take all of them I would be doing my children a disservice by limiting their choices keeping them at home under my tutelage. Therefore I think that it's best that we have educated, experienced, passionate teachers who know their subjects and can properly educate my children about subjects I'm not strong at.

Emily said...

Anon, of course it is biased. Any source would be biased towards their own THEORY. How the earth and life came about cannot be recreated in a lab and thus cannot be tested or proven scientifically. This is true of a 7 day creation and the big bang theory. We can look at the evidence and try to piece it together. I consider the Bible to be valid evidence and a credible source. Disagreeing on this point may lead us to different opinions. I don't think science is wrong, I think science validates the Bible. I became a Christian because of my studies in creation science.

Asking for an unbiased source is impossibe on either side, if you are looking for something secular, though, I can do that. I would encourage you to evaluate the scientific aspect of the first site I posted, though, not just their ideology. Their method is sound.

http://www.ees.nmt.edu/Geol/labs/Argon_Lab/Methods/Methods.html#KArprob

http://id-archserve.ucsb.edu/Anth3/Courseware/Chronology/08_Radiocarbon_Dating.html

http://home.tiac.net/~cri/1997/c14note.html

These sources point out the flaws in radiocarbon dating. One other thing to consider, though. I beleive in a 7 day creation and I believe God is a creative God. He made Adam as a man, not a baby. There has been a debate about whether or not Adam had a belly button, since he was never attached to a mother's placenta through an umbilical cord. God has the ability to make a seemingly aged earth, as he is the creator of all of the scientific rules. I really should save this for it's own post. Please, don't consider me close minded because I have come to a different conclusion han you. That makes you close-minded.


other non on other religions, we will be spending more than two weeks looking at other religions.

anon on teaching strengths, why can't you learn physics now so you can teach it? I took a wide variety of classes in my senior year, AP and honors classes, and did well, but I plan on continuing to learn as I teach so that I am capable if my kids want to take classes I didn't.

Anonymous said...

Emily, Fair enough.

For the record, I consider you a fundamentalist. Unfortunately, my experience with fundamentalists has been very negative, in which, when trying to understand their point of view, I have been told I am wrong and that is that. THAT is close minded to me. You never seemed like that, so I did not meant to imply that you are close minded. I would not want to be viewed that way, and I don't want you to think that just because I disagree, I think you are not open. I don't know you well enough to ever come to that conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Emily. No. I had actually grown somewhat fond of you until now.

As a member of the scientific community, I can assure you that there is no broad conspiracy to discredit the bible.

Scientists all over the world, of every ethnicity and religion, are working on these problems. Do you honestly think that some geologist in South Africa or India or Sweden would hold back results that they believed to be true because the results support beliefs that are, as far as I know, particular to a sub-group of American Christians?

The scientific community is not some monolith bent on preserving a certain worldview, especially since the scientists themselves are so diverse that choosing the worldview to support would be quite a task.

There are no secret meetings, memos or teachings to strongarm us into only reporting a certain type of result. In fact, if someone was able to concretely disprove a long-held scientific belief, it would be absolutely career-making. It would be HUGE. Some people work their whole careers looking for such a find. It most certainly wouldn't be ignored. Who would want to spend millions of research dollars on experiments based on methods that are known to be faulty? It makes absolutely no sense.

RJ Herle said...

Emily-

Your citation of "the big bang theory" proves my point about you being unqualified to teach your children about the sciences. The "Big bang" theory was disproven more than a dozen years ago. No serious scientist subscribes to it, but fundamentalists still throw it around in an attempt to prove some point; much like the ozone hole people; we know its there, we know its always been there, and we know that we had nothing to do with it; yet there are those who run around like their head is on fire and their butt is catchin' screaming about how we're destroying the ozone layer. Why do they do this? Because it grabs newspaper headlines. That's all you're doing here.

If you're going to make assumptions, and statements based upon those assumptions regarding my 'isolated' childhood, at least comprehend what it was that I was saying, and do not try and interpret it to come to a different meaning.

I was not isolated as a child; I simply didn't have the day-to-day interactions with other children of my age; instead I interacted with many adults. As a result I knew how to deal, on a personal and professional level, with people much older than myself, and did not learn how to socialize with people my own age; which is what I stated in the last piece I wrote, and which you deliberately and intentionally misquoted in order to suit your own ends.

Also, you again deliberately misquoted me in regards to your evolution tap dance. I said that the world as we know it today was created many billions of years ago and that it was shaped by a number of things INCLUDING evolutionary forces; I never once brought up the man-from-monkey argument. You brought that up in order to attempt to discredit me.


Yes, science CAN date the earth, and much more accurately than you would be able to understand with your limited education.

I'm pretty sure you won't publish this remark; as I have dared to disagree with you a second time (and pointed out where you deliberately misquoted in order to make your point - whatever that was).

Clisby said...

Emily, really - I think you don't have much background in science. From one website you provided, I got this:

"The straightforward reading of Scripture reveals that the days of creation (Genesis 1) were literal days and that the earth is just thousands of years old and not billions. There appears to be a fundamental conflict between the Bible and the reported ages given by radioisotope dating. Since God is the Creator of all things (including science), and His Word is true (“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth,” John 17:17), the true age of the earth must agree with His Word. "

That is the very antithesis of science. No scientist would ever, ever, ever start with the premise that the bible is true. If the scientific evidence conflicts with what's in the bible, then a Christian scientist discards what's in the bible and goes with what the evidence shows. The bible is just a book, written by humans. No doubt some of it is true, and some of it is false. You can *believe* whatever you like: the bible is true, leprechauns have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Joseph Smith had those gold tablets and lost them, world peace is possible - you can *believe* anything you like. That has nothing to do with science.

Devon said...

Ah, I give up. Yet again, Emily, your utter naivete and bend for defending your agenda--no matter how ridiculous it is--have once again reared their ugly heads. One cannot reason with the unreasonable.

Good luck with the homeschooling. I sincerely hope your children have all the opportunities to excel that they deserve, not just the ones you choose to give them. Or the ones to which you limit them by grace of the fact that you cannot possibly master every subject that they might be interested in.

*Beating my head against a wall*

Emily said...

Anon on the consiracy, there was a documentary about it, "Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed." It goes outlines several careers destroyed as scientists come out with conclusions that tend toward intelligent design or published articles with anti-evolution evidence. I wouldn't call it a conspiracy, necessarily, but there is a growing community of intelligent design scientists who are coming out with evidence.

http://www.discovery.org/a/2640


RJ, I didn't misquote you. I copied and pasted. I just didn't respond to everything you said, as I didn't disagree with everything you said, only the part I quoted you one. You did say you lived in the middle of no where. Probably in that situation you were not a good candidate for homeschooling, but projecting that onto my kids in a completely different situation is unfair.

As far as the Big Bang theory, I'm just reiterating what I was taught in the public schools. Not my fault they are teaching poorly. I'll brush up on the topic before astronomy, twelve years down the road.

Devon, thanks for the specifics.

Clisby, look at the actual science in some of those sites, not just the ideology, as I said before.

Clisby said...

Emily,

Again, you are missing the point. No "scientist" who accepts the truth of the bible as a premise is worth one second of my time. That isn't science. It's like accepting the truth of Spiderman comics as a premise, and then trying to get real scientists to agree that, yes, a human could be turned into a man/spider.

Me said...

The problem I have with people using the bible as their main source for science is that the books that were place in the bible were cherry picked centuries ago. I hope you do not think that the bible comtains all the scriptures that were written by the prophets. Have you ever read the Nag Hammadi Library or the manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls (they were even found in your favorite country--Israel)? The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Thomas, and others were not included in the early bibles as they were very controversial.
The bible even contradicts itself from one book to another as it is an incomplete manuscript.

BTW I am not agnostic, or atheist. I am a Christian in a fairly strict religion but I am smart enough to have figured out that saying the bible is complete is like saying a block of Swiss cheese is solid.

I also don't expect a comment as for some reason my posts don't garner them but just my .02.

Devon said...

Ok, sorry, sorry. That was out of line. I apologize. I need to not come here on controversial topic days. It raises my blood pressure. That is, however, no excuse for inappropriate behavior. I am sorry.

Emily said...

Clisby, there is a vast difference between Spiderman and the Bible, you know that.

Me, I don't mean to not respond to your comments, as I do appreciate them. Towards the tail-end of a discussion like this, I can respond to everyone participating better. The Bible is not my main source of science and I think that Christians who use it as such are being silly. I do, however, think that science backs up the Bible. The Bible does not contradict from one chapter to another. A lot of supposed contradictions are based on bad hermenuetics, a lack of understanding of customs, and even sometimes a bad translation. Those books were not left out because they were controversial but because they were invalid. The Bible itself is plenty controversial without them.

Devon, I didn't mean to raise your blood pressure. I think your perspective is valuable on controversial days, so I hope you still come back.

Anonymous said...

Emily, I think you need to understand the public school system to know why it is failing. My husband and I are both teachers and sadly, we are controlled by administrators and school boards.

There are some great teachers and some really bad ones, but you will only hear the bad stories and never the great things that teachers are doing with kids.

Homeschooling can work for some people, but I would hope that people would go into in with an open mind. Meaning that if their child was advanced, they would explore all of the options to help them succeed, even if it meant some sort of public or private school.

good luck

Anonymous said...

Apparently you have the capacity to acrue all the knowledge neccesary to teach all classes possible. You are a better person than me then. I know personally, while I could master literature etc, no amount of "bulking up" on Physics, calculus, etc would make me a good teacher in those subjects.

Anonymous said...

"anon on teaching strengths, why can't you learn physics now so you can teach it? I took a wide variety of classes in my senior year, AP and honors classes, and did well, but I plan on continuing to learn as I teach so that I am capable if my kids want to take classes I didn't."

Umm... many reasons. First of all, if your 16 year old kid came to you and said he wanted to take physics, and you have no knowledge in the subject, you would have to learn the entire 11th grade program (or whatever grade he's in) pretty fast. While teaching your other kids all their subjects. And doing other work.

Plus, let's face it, we're not all equally wonderful at everything. I also took many AP classes in high school, and aced them all (you seem to rely on this fact a lot, by the way- but many people have accomplished the same thing without thinking that qualifies them to be teachers, especially teachers to several children of varying ages learning vastly different material). Excelling in AP French and History does not mean that I am going to be great at physics. Will you be great at physics? Or whatever other course your children want to learn? Who knows? I'm sure we can all accept that sometimes certain areas of study just aren't as easily grasped as others. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

But, for the sake of argument, let's say that your kids are gifted in physics, and you don't know a thing about it. You figure you're smart so you grab a textbook and manage to go through it quickly. You feel you understand what the textbook says. You teach it. Now your gifted student has a million follow-up questions for you that aren't in the text. How do you answer them?

I think homeschooling older kids is based on the premise that the parents will always be more intelligent than the kids. That's not always true. Your kids could very well be quite gifted in areas you aren't good at. In public schools these kids have access to valuable sources of information- their teachers, who with a university degree in physics (or whatever) would certainly be able to answer questions the students throw at them.

And really, how are you going to educate yourself on the subject? Will you take courses? If so, that's not very frugal and will probably ruin your budget. Will you just read textbooks? If so, why bother? Why not just shove the textbook under their noses? Do you think you're going to get more out of the textbook than they would? Do you assume they won't understand something but you will be able to explain it to them? It seems that by teaching yourself first you are counting on being more intelligent than your children. The impression I get from your posts is that you count on being able to get enough from the texts to be able to teach the subject, but also counting on your children not being able to get that same information out of the texts by themselves (because, after all, if they were just as capable as you, or more capable than you, then why would they need you to teach them at all?). It is for this reason I feel that having teachers who are more educated in the subject at hand are necessary for older kids.

Anonymous said...

By 2 weeks, I meant fully entrenched in the religion (example, spending the 2 weeks in a mosque).

Will you be supportive of your children should they opt to pursue a different faith?

Anonymous said...

How will you get your hands on all the supplies needed to teach chemistry, earth science, etc? My high school chemistry lab was full of all kinds of very expensive equipment. Chemistry students often participated in all kinds of experiments. Are you going to have bunsen burners, beakers, a closet full of minerals and chemicals? Are you going to be able to carry on a conversation in a foreign language well enough that your children actually learn something from your conversations? Learning how to conjugate verbs by reading a text is not the same as speaking fluently and clearly in another language. A language cannot be learned from a book.

I just don't understand how it's possible for anyone- not just you- to give older children a sufficiently well-rounded education at home. Especially when teaching to varying ages and abilities.

Emily said...

As I have said several times:

1) I am not opposed to dual enrollment of sorts

2) Each kid is an individual and their needs will be assessed and we will decide how we want to educate in the higher grade levels based on their needs.

3) I will write a separate post about my curriculum ideas and plans.

Anon on other religions, I'll add it to the FAQ. It's not so simple to be addressed in the comments section.

Clisby said...

Emily,

There is no difference between Spiderman and the Bible when it comes to science. They are equally irrelevant.

Emily said...

Clisby, the Bible had scientific information that now is generally accepted, centuries, even millenia, before it was discovered and proven my man. Again, I know that you are smarter than that. Just because you don't agree with everything in the Bible does not make it as useless as a comic book.

http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/scientificfactsintheBible.shtml

Barbara Frank said...

Interesting how so many anti-homeschooling posters comment anonymously, lol. The socialization drones bore me, but the teachers who don't think they can teach their own kids fascinate me. Brainwashed in ed school, I suppose.

Anyway, I happened upon your blog and found this post. We've got three homeschooled grads plus one still learning at home. All are doing fine. I've spent the past 25 years of my life homeschooling, so I can't help but say:

Good for you!

Take it a year at a time.

Pray for guidance every single day.

It will be different with each child.


I'll stop there. You're getting enough advice as it is :)

Have a lovely day,
Barb

Clisby said...

Emily, I think you persist in misunderstanding what science is.

I am not disputing that the bible contains some correct information. There is, in fact, a country called Egypt. There is, in fact, a city called Jerusalem.

What I am saying is that the bible is not a source of scientific evidence. It's just a book. If you start from the premise that what the bible says is true, you aren't engaging in science - you're engaging in faith. That's all there is to it. To say that scientific discoveries are valid only if they fit with what's in the bible is ludicrous - just as ludicrous as saying scientific discoveries have to match what appears in a comic book.

Tammy said...

Wow, I'm amazed at all the negative, even mean comments! (Though some are just laughable, esp. the one on school nutrition; bring on the sugar and white flour!) When your kids are young adults and you see the solid, hard-working, compassionate people they've become; when others comment on how "different" they act from the typical teens who won't even talk to adults much less have a conversation with them; when you wittness them pursuing their interests and talents with everything in them (I have an artist, a musician, and a writer) because they have the TIME; when they can see right through the junk the media would have them believe; etc., etc., etc., I could go on all day---then you will be so grateful that you invested yourself over the years in the lives of your kids (no matter what ANYONE said) full time by HOMESCHOOLING! I know I am; and you just can't argue with what worked.

Colleen said...

This is my first time posting, but I do read your blog on a regular basis and enjoy it as well! I like and agree with what you say on many levels. This one, however, I can't let go.

I am a music teacher. I teach in a public school, and also teach in my own private flute studio. The majority of my private students have been homeschooled, and I have only taught one public school child in my studio. I have seen many students truly excel, and many students being failed. It's about how it is taught, and I don't have any doubt that you will do what you have to keep your children socialized, etc...I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Here is the part I take issue with: "My secondary reason for wanting to home school is that I think I can do it better."

I hope your statement isn't as broad as it sounds and that you don't actually think you can teach ALL subjects better than a public school teacher. Correct? For example, after having 4 1/2 years of college (I took extra classes for my enjoyment and to be well-rounded; I could have finished in four years if I had wanted) specializing in music and education, and another 3 years in a music education school getting my Masters degree, I doubt very, very heavily that you will teach your children music as well as I could, even at the elementary level (which, BTW, is what I teach).

I guess what I am asking is that you DO recognize that, correct? And the same goes for art education, PE, and other subjects, special or general education? You didn't really mean to imply you can teach ALL subjects better than those who have specialized in a subject area?

You have mentioned repeatedly that you are okay with considering dual enrollment at a higher level, but this, in my opinion, is something that would need to be addressed before your children begin school.

I apologize if this sounds harsh; I am genuinely curious. I just know that the parents of the students I have had who have been home schooled have hired me because they think I can do a better job, even at a young age. And one of them (gasp) was my own first grade music teacher ;)

Clisby said...

Colleen,

I don't think you sound harsh - it's just realistic. It's also the reason homeschooling groups can be so effective. I mentioned that my first cousin homeschooled her kids through high school. That doesn't mean the entire teaching burden fell on her. She had a BA in French, and a masters in Speech Therapy. She taught French to a group of children - not just her own. Another parent taught P.E. Several homeschooling parents hired an art teacher to teach a regular class - obviously, hiring an art teacher to teach 7 or 8 kids at once is less expensive per child (and more efficient) than hiring a one-on-one tutor.

I would add, though, that in my experience it's a rare public school that offers much in the way of music education at the early elementary level. They learn songs, and in 3rd or 4th grade they might learn a little with the recorder. That's about it. When budgets are tight, art and music are among the first to go.

Jen said...

And if I can make one more comment:

I spent weeks writing curriculum for my kids this summer. Literally a few hours a day, all week long. I did this to cut costs so I did not have to buy a full course but could instead use used books. Weeks Emily and I use cooking shortcuts, have a washer and dryer, have only two kids, and neither of them are so young as they have to be supervised constantly.

To tie directly to this post, you said "I can spend years developing curricula catered to my children's needs"

With what time? I had several hours per day of uninterupted time. I am seriously curious how you plan on doing this, especially if you plan on having many more children.

I know others have done it, but I also know that many many people used boxed curriculum. That isn't catered, and it costs more. Just a thought.

I think people need to quit arguing about if HSing works or not, because it obviously does for some, and does not for others. In this case I just want Emily to consider every single realistic angle.

Emily said...

Colleen, I don't think you're being harsh, but I think you are deliberately misinterpreting what I said. If I am not opposed to dual enrollment, that means I am not saying that I can teach every specialized topic at every grade level.

Jen, I have the same 24 hours in a day that you do. As I said, time management itself would be it's own post, but I'm not sure why you are assuming I have bad time management skills, or planning skills, since I have already said that I spend daily time on curricuum NOW, when my oldest is three.

http://under1000permonth.blogspot.com/2009/10/day-in-life-of.html

Jen said...

I am not accusing you of poor time management. What I am saying is that if you plan on continuing to have children (which sounded important to you) that is going to take increasing amounts of time from you. It is a fact that the more children you have, the more time they take, and if they don't, you are not doing it right. It doesn't matter at the moment though as your oldest child is 3. I will be really curious as to how a day in the life of... post looks 3, 5, 10 years from now.

Anonymous said...

I realize that this isn't the topic of this thread, but I think that you are doing your children a grave disservice if you plan to teach them to mistrust any science that doesn't align with the bible.

About those scientists featured in Ben Stein's movie - they weren't discredited because they were advancing a position that mainstream science wanted to hide or discourage. It's because they were engaging in bad science.

If they were doing experiments that they claimed proved the existence of a divine presence, they were not following the principles of good science.

The fact is that there is NO WAY to empirically prove or disprove the existence of a divine creator.

Think of it this way - let's say that we just stumbled across a painting, without any knowledge of where it came from and how it came to be. Just a painting, and nothing more.

We could learn a lot about this painting using science. We could determine the colors used, the composition of the paint and canvas, the order in which the paints were applied, the age of the paint and canvas, maybe even the kind of brush that was used. What we absolutely can't do is draw any meaningful conclusions about the painter. We can't tell if the painter was a man or woman, young or old, black or white, fat or thin, etc. by examining the painting.

It's the same with science. We can discover a lot of things about the earth on which we live, but we can't definitively say whether or not the earth was created by a divine being or not.

Science and religion are not at all incompatible, however claiming to be able to detect the presence of the divine by physical experiments performed by human hands is simply not possible. Anyone who says otherwise has an agenda to push junk science to suit their own devices.

Colleen said...

Then I apologize. My misinterpretation was not deliberate. I read this sentence: "I am not opposed to dual enrollment of sorts depending on the individual in later grades." and assumed that you were not considering dual enrollment in the very young, early years of education. My apologies for misunderstanding.

Clisby...I am very sad to hear that schools by you don't offer much in the way of elementary music ed. I live in a relatively affluent area and the school music programs are stellar...much more than singing songs and playing recorder. My children can read music and get a lot of experience playing various kinds of instruments. It is rare that a day goes by that my kids aren't moving around, experiencing different kind of music from many cultures, and play instruments. Unfortunately I get hung up in my own little world where music is like this, and sometimes forget that it is not the situation in many other parts of the country. :( I hate that the arts are among the first things cut. No wonder children aren't doing as well these days.

As a side...I may very well pull my son and any future children out of public school in kindergarten as I recently learned that my district does not offer specials in kindergarten. I would rather send them to private school where I know the teachers and know they will be getting a well-rounded education. Children that young, in my opinion, ESPECIALLY need to be getting teaching in the special subjects.

Emily, good luck. As long as you offer your children a well-rounded learning experience, they will go far.

Tammy said...

Anon,

In reply to "what we absolutely can't do is draw any meaningful conclusions about the painter"...

We CAN conclude that there WAS a painter! (creator) ;)

Anonymous said...

Tammy,

This is why science is not incompatible with faith. MANY scientists are quite religious, and many have become more religious due to what they've learned. However, no responsible scientist will attempt to draw a conclusion about something that absolutely can't be proven or disproven. We work with what IS, not what might be.

It makes me very sad to see people reject science because it doesn't support a literal interpretation of the bible. It's a lot easier for me to believe that genesis might be just a little metaphorical or based on a different timescale than it is to believe that decades upon decades of scientific work by men and women around the world is just flat out wrong and worse, that it's intentionally wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agreed with the commentator who said that, by attending public schools, at least Emily's kids would get some decent food. Many others have responded by mocking the food offered at public schools. The food offered at our local schools is quite nutritious and balanced. I worry about Emily's kids having food security issues, especially after she posted about them scooping up raw pumpkin and eating it ravenously. I worry that, in her zeal for frugality, her children are suffering needlessly. Kids need to eat. I would also like to see Emily's children attend the local public schools. I think they would learn more and enjoy it. Being stuck in that little apartment all day with a bunch of siblings isn't exactly a great existence. School would be a treat for those kids. Just my two cents worth.

Clisby said...

"I worry about Emily's kids having food security issues, especially after she posted about them scooping up raw pumpkin and eating it ravenously. I worry that, in her zeal for frugality, her children are suffering needlessly. Kids need to eat."

I'm pretty sure you're misquoting. I think Emily said the kids loved the *cooked* pumpkin chunks. Do you have some reason to think pumpkin is an unhealthy food?

Anonymous said...

I have worked with an extracurricular educational program for high school students for more than a decade. In that time, I've had ample opportunity to observe students from a variety of schools and HS styles. There are, of course, exceptions to the general tenor; in addition, I'll note that a good 90% of all the participants are at least average achievers across the board. That said:

- Private school students: highly involved, good grades. BUT seem to have expectations of achievement and recognition because they attend X and are often in higher-income families. Tend to complete activities solidly but quickly exhibit boredom. Stand-outs are quiet, bookish, and polite.
- Public school students: a broader span of achievement levels, slightly more likely to have behavior problems. BUT tend to show more interest and enthusiasm in trying new things, learning processes, doing well in the program overall. SIGNIFICANTLY more interested in forming new friendships with peers from different schools, cities, social classes. Standouts are more vocal and driven, tend to be the leaders.
- Homeschoolers: academic achievement tends to be high, particularly in skills such as writing. Standouts are creative and artistic, as well as polite and articulate. BUT: they require more attention and correction than any other group. Respect of authority extends strictly to their parents and HS group; backtalk to adults and know-it-all behavior are frequent. Levels of arrogance are high, there is little to no interest in befriending those outside their group, and other students find them frustrating to work with due to low interest in cooperation.

Yes, a bit generalized, and based solely on my personal experience. True enough, I can think of GREAT exceptions to all of the negatives for each group, too.

But in all that time, of over 400 teens in the program, only one was ever expelled from a conference: a homeschooler whose adherence to his family's rules made him feel justified in bodily shoving a girl into a wall. Her offense? She stopped by his family's hotel room to deliver a conference communication - and took one step inside the door when his mother wasn't there.

Anecdotally (and finally), on the thought of homeschoolers being ambassadors of their faith, particularly of exhibiting Christ-like behavior - I have seen such behavior in students of all kinds, and also encountered supposedly devout Christian homeschoolers who displayed anything but.

dust in the wind said...

I think it is interesting what Anon says. Emily, I think homeschooling is wonderful. I plan to start our kids off homeschooling. We will take it year by year, child by child and see where they go after that.

I have know many homeschool families very well, and I can see what she is saying here > "Respect of authority extends strictly to their parents and HS group; backtalk to adults and know-it-all behavior are frequent. Levels of arrogance are high, there is little to no interest in befriending those outside their group, and other students find them frustrating to work with due to low interest in cooperation."

Having said that, I still think homeschooling is a wonderful option and have know homeschoolers who do not have these negative traits. We just need to be careful in the way we train our kids as it is easy to miss these problems.

Thanks for sharing Emily! Keep up the good work :)

Anonymous said...

I think it is a common misperception, that having intelligence equates to having the ability to educate and provide others with intellect. I have no problem with your spiritual beliefs that lead you toward homeschooling, but I think it is important to realize that educators go through specialized training that helps them best impart wisdom and lessons unto children. Being smart isn't enough. Many people are geniuses, but lack the ability to teach the knowledge they possess. I only point this out because I think it is irresponsible to suggest that any intelligent person can educate just as well as those who have college degrees, and quite often masters degrees and doctorates, in education. It is insulting to these professionals, as well as dangerous to the many followers of your blog who may blindly think "well I'm smart, I'm better than a teacher too!" I think your religious motives are well thought out, but as far as your high IQ being justification for being a better teacher... that statement alone shows that you are lacking a lot of information about what being a scholarly educator entails. It takes more to educate a child than being smart and having knowledge. Educators have studied the ways to best help a child absorb information, the ideal situation to enhance learning, and the brain chemistry that helps for optimal intellectual development.

Anonymous said...

Clisby, pumpkin is a perfectly fine food to eat. It is certainly more nutritious than dollar store sausage which appears to be a diet staple in this household. My concern was the zeal in which this young child ate/attacked it. I'm not misquoting anyone. I'm recalling a very vivid description provided by the author of this blog, which, taken in context with other posts, set off certain alarms to me. By the way, I wish Emily and her family well. There's a lot to learn from her and admire about her. My concern is that her regard for frugality may result in food security issues for her children. Frugality is a wonderful trait, and sadly lacking in many ways in our country today, but I believe it needs to be tempered with the needs of very young children. I repeat, kids need to eat. I also wish Emily would consider public school or perhaps a private Christian pre-K for those beautiful children of hers. I think they would like it and greatly benefit from it. They would be a fine addition to any school, as well. Just my two cents worth.

Tammy said...

Yes, kids need to eat, and after reading Emily's blog over time I believe they are eating WELL!! Better than most American kids, too. Here is a list of common foods in their home that I can think of just off the top of my head:

whole milk
(breast milk for the babies/toddlers)
eggs
100% whole wheat pasta, bread, & tortillas
legumes
tomatoes
potatoes
berries
apples
onions & peppers
beef
ham
ground turkey (made into sausage)
chicken
carrots
olive oil
butter
oatmeal
pumpkin
yogurt
cheeses
homemade peanut butter
roasted tukey

I'm sure I've forgotten plenty, and it's not realistic to think Emily has posted every single food they eat; but these are the foods they eat in ABUNDANCE. (And nowhere does she ever say they don't have ENOUGH food; I'm sure these kids get to eat their fill, several times a day.) The list is impressive! (And I have noticed her mention occational homemade treats, like milkshakes, fudge, and cheesecake.)

What I have NOT seen in her kids' diet:

softdrinks and prepackaged crackers, cookies, fruit snacks and cereals (full of sugar, trans fats and chemicals),
sugar and hydrogenated oils,
convenience foods such as fish sticks, tater tots, frozen pizza, microwave dinners, jello and instant pudding, and other processed foods (again, full of chemicals, trans fats, etc.),
sweets, chips, and junk food,
and other typical foods most American kids eat--at home and at SCHOOL.

More kids should be able to eat as well as her kids do. More would enjoy full energy and good health. Can you tell me what you think they are missing? Because I just don't see it.

Tammy said...

Another important point worth mentioning:

Even though they are on a tight budget, some foods they buy (all for better health of their family) are more expensive than the typical foods; stevia costs considerably more than sugar, sea salt is more than table salt, and the homemade ketchup cost more to make than buying the chemical/high fructose corn syrup variety.

So again, why are these kids suffering because of frugality?

Anonymous said...

You have three children, don't use any birth control so more children are on the way most likely, you live in a 500 sq ft apartment, you cook and bake everything from scratch using a crock pot as your "oven" plus you wash and dry all items of clothing your family wears. You blog, you're a submissive wife, you live on less than 1000 a month with inadequate health insurance and now you're all about homeschooling your children in a space that would make a sane person crazy.

Kids need love and guidance and a space to call their own at least once in awhile. I just can't imagine bringing more children into a space that is over crowded and uncomfortable just because your unwilling or unable to provide more for them. Children need ROOM to explore and to grow, they don't need to be packed like sardines into a cramped apartment -- they don't deserve that. It's a fire hazzard at the very least. There are laws with reguard to how many people can live comfortably in a two bedroom apartment.

Just because you're able to make it work doesn't mean you should. Just as being a Mom doesn't automatically qualify you to be a teacher. You can't be everything to everybody without losing a part of who you are, Emily. You're young, idealistic and perhaps a bit selfish in your thinking that you can be everything to everybody in your young family. Maybe you that is your goal -- having everybody dependent on Mom. Step back and take a long hard look at what is best for not only your children but for yourself. There aren't enough hours in the day to be successful with everything you're trying to accomplish -- you're not wonderwoman and you will burn out sooner or later.

Clisby said...

Anonymous 8:36:

I completely agree with you that intelligence is not enough to make a good teacher (homeschool or regular school). However, what some people (not necessarily you) might overlook is that claiming to be qualified to homeschool your children is not the same as claiming to be qualified to be a classroom teacher. Those are two entirely different things. I am absolutely confident that I *could* homeschool my children, at least through middle school. I would never dream of saying that I could competently teach a whole classroom full of students. I see homeschooling as closer to tutoring than to classroom teaching.

Anonymous said...

"I may not be as educated as some, but I strive to be learned in many areas, and will never quit learning. That puts me far ahead someone with a PhD who then thinks they know it all and quits seeking more knowledge."

You're an idiot. Sorry to be blunt, but you are. Do you not understand that in order for a PhD to keep his or her job new research must be completed and published on a yearly bases?

I feel so sorry for your children and the mental issues they are going to have for having such morons as parents. Good luck when you catch your kids sneaking out in the middle of the night to have a normal life with socialization (or to just stop hearing the nonsense that his/her parents won't shut up about.) And PLEASE tell your husband to take some English classes in that bogus college of his.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the food, I think that the dollar store sausage, petri dish whatever, homemade cheese which appears to be little more than oil, lack of fresh vegetables and produce, probably cancels out the nutritutional stuff Emily concocts. Also, she mentioned grazing all day instead of the regular meals of breakfast and lunch. While that's her business, I think the concept of regular mealtimes is preferable. That's hard, though, with a nursing baby.
I think she does great on the limited budget, but I wish she would accept some type of assistance for her food budget. It doesn't have to be this way. I know that Emily, through her ingenuity, can survive on her husband's salary, but I think the kids would be heathier if they got some supplemental food through a food pantry or WIC. I think WIC would help provide milk, cheese, dairy products. I'd rather hard-working Emily get WIC than lots of people who abuse the system. Atually, I don't begrudge anyone getting it if it helps children no matter what their parents are like. Kids need to eat.

Anonymous said...

Emily, I'd like to know how you plan on dealing with any learning disabilities that may arise in your children. Since you plan on having a large family, chances are there might be at least one child w/ some learning impairment. How are you going to be able to identify this and remedy this?

LD/SpEd children need regular attention from adults OTHER THAN THEIR PARENTS because their parents are (a lot of the time) ill-equipped to acknowledge, diagnose, and "treat" learning disabilities.

I also think your husband's paranoia over a public school anti-Israel adgenda is pretty evil. Israel is no better than Palestine, Sudan, or anyone else in the Middle East (or even the US, for that matter) when it comes to human rights violations, and to blindly support them such as your husband appears to do is terrible.

Our Family Is His said...

Anonymous said, "LD/SpEd children need regular attention from adults OTHER THAN THEIR PARENTS because their parents are (a lot of the time) ill-equipped to acknowledge, diagnose, and "treat" learning disabilities."

This couldn't be further from the truth. I have TWO children with multiple special needs each. One of the major reasons we decided to homeschool them was because we DID send them to public school. That was a hard lesson in how ill-equipped many school systems are to help our children with different needs. The "education" my son got was very lacking. Oh, he did come home with a lot more bad habits that he learned from other children. He even learned two new curse words. But, after we fought tooth and nail to get him just the very basic helps for him in the public school system (ever done an IEP, what a horrible thing for most parents to go through), we realized we were doing a lot better for him at home.

For example, they saw his severe speech delay. This is very common in children with his diagnoses. They were thrilled to offer him 19 minutes each week of GROUP speech therapy, no one-on-one at all, ever.

Now that he's home, he gets 1 hour, twice a week, of speech therapy that's sensory based. This is working with his real needs instead of putting him in a tiny box and barely giving him what the state requires. He gets what he needs instead of state minimums.

We also have him in feeding therapy, OT, PT, and sensory therapy. He is given many things to do at home (the school gave us nothing and only communicated once a month on how he was doing. That communication was very basic.). Communication is wonderful between us and the therapists.

I can help him where he needs help in a learning environment. For example, he has a block in an area of counting. Instead of losing this need due to having 10 other kids in the classroom, I can address it until he gets it. I can help him excel.

I know him better than anyone in the world. My husband and I know his needs better than his therapists, better than a school teacher, better than his doctor. Only God knows him better. For all his years prior to his school years, I was competent to find his many, many specialists, learn very intricate and important medical procedures quickly, find qualified therapists, deal with his (and his brothers) many medical issues, teach him everything he needed to know to excel in life, help him with his socialization skills(most people don't get the difference between socialization skills and socializing. When they ask about HS and socialization, they really mean socializing.), and so much more. But, he gets one day older and suddenly I have lost the ability to do any of this? Suddenly a total stranger is the only one qualified to help my child? Makes no sense, even to those against homeschooling children with special needs, if they were really honest.

Steph said...

"If you look back over recent history since the nation of Israel was established, each nation who has supported them has prospered and those that turned their back on them have declined."

Oh. Like Saudi Arabia?

Melissa said...

@ Pittsburgh Pair

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Which in and of itself has nothing to do with Israel. Logic much?

Anonymous said...

Hands down, homeschooled kids are the WEIRDEST kids I have ever met. They don't develop the social skills that public schools give them. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." How exactly can your kids share the gospel of the Lord which you so obviously want to teach them if they never have an opportunity to do it? I suffered persecution and ridicule throughout my years in public school for being a Christian, but I never faltered to the point that I lost my faith. Instead I shared my faith with those who didn't believe (most of whom didn't have parents that believed either) so that a lot of people I never thought would set foot in a church often ended up coming with me. I'm not saying that I was the savior of multitudes, but Christ used me to witness to some people who might never had heard the Word otherwise. Aside from crippling your kids socially you are in fact preventing them from spreading the Gospel to some who need it most. How can they go into the "highways and the hedges" if they're not even stepping foot outside their home for more than a few hours a week. Christ was preaching in the temple at 12 years old, so you can't say you're building them up for 18 years so that they will be strong Christains when they reach adulthood. Send your child into the world so that their light may shine because we all know that it's easiest to see a bright light in a dark room.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just wow.
I just spent quite some time reading all the comments to this post. And I realize that I am very late in responding. But I still felt the need to cheer you on.
Homeschooling is a wonderful thing. I am glad I am doing it and glad so many others are seeing it for what it is.

Last night I watched "The Children of Caesar- Whoever Controls the Schools Controls the World" and if you haven't seen it, it would be worth a watch. My favorite line from it is "If you send your kids to Caesar for their education don't be surprised when they come back as Romans."
One of the statistics used in the video is that 70-88% of children in public schools turn their backs on their parents faith by their freshman year of college, while 90-95% of homeschoolers keep the same faith as their parents.
As a literal Bible believing Christian, that says enough for me.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

~Mae

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