Why Aren’t you Homeschooling?
by Jim Willson
Do you truly know what schools are teaching your children? If I wagered a guess, 9 out of 10 parents do not. The only sure way to know is to educate your children yourself. Before last month, I would have said that homeschooling was a wonderful educational option for any family; it is rewarding for both the child and the parent. Based on what I saw a few weeks ago, I no longer feel that any parent, concerned about the education of their children, can consider homeschooling optional. I now believe homeschooling is essential to both the survival of the American way of life and family values.
What pegged my needle so far to the right? For about 15 years, I’ve watched the revision of American history taking place in our schools and textbooks. It has now become extreme. My homeschooling family recently tested our children using one of the two main national standardized tests. When you consider that most schools these days teach to the tests, the questions for social studies/history were appalling. Most of the questions aligned in 4 categories: 1) American Indians (white-washed and white oppressed), 2) slavery and civil rights, 3) women’s suffrage and 4) the roll of unions. Whereas these are all valid issues in history, there is more to our nation’s history. For example, the forging of this nation and it liberties, and the mistakes our nation made during reconstruction and the great depression. Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. We are seeing this today. We must reverse our destructive course back to the original course plotted by our founders.
It has been shown repeatedly that homeschooling is a superior method of teaching. But more important than quality of education is that in homeschooling, you get to choose the values taught to your children. So, why aren’t more parents homeschooling? The typical responses I get are:
1) “I do not have the patience.” I respond to that with two questions. What do you have the patience for? If you are honest with yourself, you will find that you always have the patience for the things you value most. Second, who is going to have more patience, a teacher dealing with multiple children or the parent that loves them?
2) “I’m not smart enough to teach my children.” Good news! You do not have to be the Grand Wizard of All Knowledge. I know parents that spend time piecing together their curriculum from scratch and I know parents that buy or subscribe to canned curriculum where they only need to administer them.
3) “We couldn’t afford to give up a source of income” (the two-income family trap). Although there are a few cases where this is true, in most cases it is not. The answer may be, “We cannot afford the same standard of living.” This gets down to a matter of budgeting - what is truly essential vs. what you value more than your children’s education. In a few cases, you may not be able to afford to live in the same home. However, real estate experts will quickly point out that the more expensive homes are in the best school district. The good news about home schooling is that school districts do not matter. You may be able to get more for less living somewhere else.
Though it was hard, we’ve never regretted making sacrifices for our children. They are happy, well-educated and negative-peer-pressure free. They are fully socialized with other families that share common family values. Judging from the peers that they associate with, I have great hopes for the long-term survival of this nation. A remnant of leaders are still being trained and educated for the future.
Jim Willson lives in Nesbit, MS with his wife and four children. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, served in the Navy as a Naval Flight Officer. He is currently a manager in a Memphis based corporation and a freelance writer (jgwillson at sign earthlink.net).