the following is the text of a note I wrote back to a friend who also homeschools and has been an encouragement to me. This friend home-schools exclusively, not using any public school partnered programs, which is a conviction many have. I wrote this in defense of a program I am involved in with my children. When public schooling and home-schooling mix, sometimes it's not a great thing. Public school may meddle a little too much, trying to make home-school in to "school at home," but other times, there are partnerships like our school, which reminds me of University style learning...you take classes in what you are interested, and therefore learn better.
Thanks for your note. I know that the programs like ours are a way for public schools to get more control over home schoolers and I understand the dangers of that. These programs are a great choice for people who like some of the aspects of school, but prefer to have direct control over their children's education. The fact that our school is a thriving and vibrant community of families is a testimony to the fact that hybrid programs like this CAN be successful. I am seeing more parent involvement than ever, more support than ever, as well as a wonderful variety of classes. I know that our school has been a valuable asset to me in support from other moms, teachers, classic learning for my children and enrichment learning. I also know that most homeschool public school programs are not as varied and awesome as our school. In my opinion our school offers a great option for people who are not totally opposed to public schooling as an idea. I am one of those people. I believe that public schooling is a great resource, if the funds are channeled correctly, and the children are cared for intimately by parents and teachers alike. I don't think the way public school is set up works at all well, but I think having resource programs like our school is as viable an option for homeschoolers as the public parks, libraries and county extension programs. When homeschoolers enroll in these programs knowing that they essentially are public schoolers, I think it is ok. It's possible the government could decide to put its fingers more into homeschooler's lives, and that would be really tragic, but I feel that fear should not be the only deciding factor for me in the education of my children. When something works in their learning, I do it. I understand that it is against the convictions of other homeschoolers, but I stand by my choice, and I am glad I made it. I am thankful for getting to homeschool my children, and I am also thankful for the option of public school resources.
Thank you for your concern for me! I appreciate it, and I hope you don't feel offended by my response. I am glad we go to our school, and I see it for what it is...a public school program that can model to public school a different and successful format for learning. Knowing that I almost sent Eva to public school this year, I really don't have a problem continuing to be a part of our school. Thank you for your encouragement to continue homeschooling. I am glad we are doing it, though I am also sensing the need for Eva to leave the nest a little. Our school is providing a way for her to do that and still get the benefit of homeschooling. I have five children, and a husband who works 50-60 hrs per week. My resources are stretched thin as far as endurance, patience, and energy. I rely on God deeply, but still, I am a fallen human who snaps when I'm crabby and isn't able to do all I wish I could. Having the help our school provides enriches my kids' lives, and helps to still make homeschooling all of my children possible, affording me some respite as well as peace of mind, knowing that while I take that respite, the kids are learning from wise people. If i lived on Camano Island, I would likely participate in the Co-Op program, but I prefer to participate in our community, so that my kids know people who live near us. I appreciate your concern, but I would rather not watch the video you suggested. I know essentially what I am getting into, and would rather not hear doom and gloom about my choices. I am sure there are sad facts related to programs like our school, but I prefer not to know about them. It may make people think I don't care about homeschooling, but I don't have time to worry about one more thing.
I think the Lord knew I needed to talk to you that day, because your talk and the talk I had with the Klesick family were instrumental in me keeping Eva at home. Thank you for your encouragement. I am getting lots of encouragement from other homeschoolers, though many I know are opting for public schooling for the elder years. Once I weighed the benefits and detriments of public school for Eva, I realized that there are other ways I can achieve what I wanted to by putting her in public school. She can gain independence through our school classes, as well as confidence. She is always brighter and talkative after her times in our school classes. She can get the extra help she needs in math and writing in the classes she will be taking there next year as well. I have gleaned wisdom from many, many homeschoolers in my attempt to make the correct choice for Eva, and it was those countless conversations that brought me to keep her at home and renewed my confidence in the ability God gave me to raise my own children! I cling to the joy of raising children to know Jesus and the depth of His love for them. I praise God for the resources He has made available for me to both raise children wise in His ways, and knowledgeable in their understanding of the world they live in and the people they live among.