If you've just tuned in to this blog for the first time, any friend who knows me well is falling off their chair laughing because I'm probably the furthest thing you can imagine from the "traditional homeschooling Mom" however.. this is the next installment in my "things I've learned" series. Here we go...
While I have figured out in the last 18 years that I'm not (personally) the best choice to teach my kids math or science and have left that up to the public schools. However, I still maintain that as my children's mother, I am still homeschooling them all along, just maybe not in all subjects. So my kids may be in public schools, but I am STILL A HOME-SCHOOLING MOTHER! And no one can take that away from me.
For those who say, "But Deanna, really...pray about it...you could be a great traditional homeschooler." Well first, I've tried. And I was a huge flop. I mean, really...since I can't begin to tell you what "x" or "y" equals (except maybe a baby boy when you put the two letters together) I'm not the best one to teach them that. I barely passed high school math, and I'm being honest. With some things, my kids do need more than what I can offer, in my opinion.
Some people think if you send your children to school you have abdicated your responsibility to teach them. I don't believe that. For the record, my kids have been all three - public schooled, homeschooled and private schooled. We have tried it all at one time or another and for our family personally we came to the conclusion that our children belonged in public school and they have spend the bulk of their educational experience there. For the most part they have thrived and done wonderful. Not only have they gotten an education but they have led a ton of people to the Lord along the way and are still doing so.
I believe it's different for everybody. My personal feeling is that God speaks to us as individuals and gives us the plan for not only our family but our individual kids. My dearest friend here in Tampa homeschools and is fantastic at it. It is undeniably God's plan for their family. I have a pastor's wife friend who has one of her kids in public school, one in Christian school and she homeschools one with special needs. Why? That's God's unique plan for their family. I have friends who are among all three groups (public, private & home) and we all respect each other and affirm the other's choices.
As a mother, I take offense at the notion that because my kids go to public school I am not teaching or training them for certainly I am. While others may teach them english or math or science, I am teaching them just as important and in some cases more important things in life such as character, integrity, leadership, creativity, hospitality, how to cultivate a Godly marriage, understanding God's will, manners and etiquette, God's plan for sexuality, cooking, fundamentals of music and worship leading, giving, serving, and much more.
Right now Jordan is taking culinary arts in high school. He's got a far better grade than some of the girls in the class. His classmates are amazed at how much he knows. It's no amazement to me. He learned it all at home. He proudly tells his friends, "I've been cooking all my life. My Mom has even done a cooking show on TV several times before! And if you don't believe me, just Google it!" (They did on a school computer one day and the kids said, "that's not your Mom, Jordan, stop lying..." He said, "I swear, that's my Mom, if you don't believe me Google my name and surfing together. A photo came up on my blog saying, "there's my boy Jordan riding the waves!" and then the kids finally believed him...)
From the time Jordan was just little we've cooked together. Yes, in addition to playing football, surfing and skateboading, he's a dynamite cook. (I've included some photos of him learning here when he was just a little guy at our house in Maryland. I think he was about five years old in this photo. He'll be 17 in just a few weeks.) The apron my grandmother made for me when I was little I kept all this time and got out and used for the kids. Jordan wore it until he just couldn't anymore but he's still so proud of it, almost reveres it. I am saving it so that one day I can teach my grandchildren to cook and they can use it.
I think it's important that both boys and girls learn to cook, and learn all of these basic things in life. I believe this is the most important kind of "home-schooling" we can do, just teaching our children the essentials of life. Someone else teaches my child algebra, but I believe I teach them much more. After all, when's the last time you went into Target and bought a sweater that was priced "X or Y"? Ha ha!
Most of Jordan's friends, whether boys or girls, have no clue about many of the basic essentials in life, such as...how not to go hungry. Parents of his friends comment often that when Jordan is there the kids never go hungry. When Jordan spends the night at a friend's house, if the parents don't feel like cooking they sometimes give him permission and Jordan goes into their freezer, pulls out a bunch of stuff and starts making a feast. All the while his friends are saying, "Jordan, how do you know how to fry chicken perfectly? Where did you learn how to make a casserole?" One Mom commented, "I came down the stairs into the kitchen and hour later and on the counter was a full buffet Jordan had prepared."
He'll be a good husband someday. Jordan will bring his wife breakfast in bed just like his Daddy brings me. You see, that's part of the homeschool curriculum that Larry's teaching...