Transitioning from Private School to Homeschool: Our Story
Guest post by Ellen at Joyful Abundant Life
Transitioning from private school to homeschool
Should I or should I not? Here are two reasons why we did:
- It was necessary – we moved to another state where there was not a school that we cared for them to attend and our finances did not allow for it at the time either.
- It was our preference – At this time we had already decided to homeschool no matter where we lived, because there were so many things with which we were unsatisfied in the private school.
The good of it:
- My oldest child had just graduated when we prepared to move. He had his diploma and was ready to enter college. That was a big blessing.
- My second child was entering the 11th grade when we moved. He did well learning “on his own” and was able to take a senior trip with a local Christian School as well as work some side jobs. (Being able to work and school ended up being a big benefit of homeschooling in the later years.)
- My third child was self disciplined, motivated and very thorough in his academics. Therefore, he did well even though most of what he did was self-learning. He loved math, and Saxon math worked great for him. He was entering 9th grade at the time we moved which meant he did all his high school at home.
- With my youngest child I used a computer course called Switched on School house. For the most part I was pretty happy with this. 1) my child was self motivated and was able to learn on her own. 2) The course kept track of grades, etc., making it easy for me as far as keeping records.
- I liked that fact that they were being trained at home under our influence mostly. Even in the private schools, there is so much worldly influence and different philosophies. We did have a great private school before we moved; for that we were thankful. But even so, we were seeing so much worldliness creeping in and we did not want it influencing them in the wrong way. If your children are in a public or private school, it is important that they are continually trained at home. (See 6 Ways Homeschooling Benegits Christian Families)
- I do like teaching and although I did not feel qualified to teach homeschool, I liked the satisfaction of seeing my kids learn at home and do well, of being in control of what their main influences and the company they kept, of learning new things myself, and of keeping good records. I do better teaching younger children and always like exploring new teaching ideas. However, my expertise would be more of teaching Bible classes.
The bad of it:
- There were a few areas, like math, that my children really could have benefited much more from if they had a teachers or tutors. It was hard for them to go through the lesson and figure it out for themselves.
- All of my children were very competitive, so suddenly going to a homeschool situation was hard on them in this respect. They were competitive in their school work as well as in sports. Suddenly all of this was gone.
- There was not as much opportunity for social life and for interaction with others. That has changed a lot since mine were homeschooled; there are many co-ops or other ways to get involved outside your own homeschool situation. My children also lived closed to a Christian college and had opportunities to go to chapel services as well as get involved in other programs.
It is NOT for everyone
- The fact that my children had a great foundation to their education helped so much in our transition. We were blessed that they were all self motivated, so putting them “on their own” so to speak was not that difficult. They worked diligently and completed all the the requirements for finishing High School. In that respect, it worked well for us. They kept good attitudes and did not get bitter over the fact that they no longer had their friends or sports, even though I know at times this was very hard for them.
- For myself, I was not really qualified to teach High School. This made it difficult as far as giving help in Science and math and even English. For that reason, unless you are a highly disciplined person yourself and have the time to sit and study and learn alongside your children, I think it would be better if they could be in a classroom situation with a teacher or with a private tutor if you can afford one.
- My opinion: put your children in a school if that option is available, not just any school, but a good Bible-believing, Bible-teaching school. Unfortunately, most of the time there is not that option.
- If you are not going to be self disciplined yourself in order to make sure your child gets a good education, then by all means, please put your children in school or hire tutors. You say you cannot afford it – I say you cannot afford not to. You will end up with ignorant children, children with no social graces, and undisciplined children. Ultimately you could end up losing your children because of neglect. If you are a Christian, it hurts the name of Christianity when the outside world sees what you are producing or not producing.
- Above all pray about it; ask for wisdom and guidance. We are not all the same. I know some mothers who can homeschool a large family and still keep their homes organized; this is a God given gift. Others have to work at it harder, and if the only option is to homeschool, then continually ask God for His help and wisdom. Still others need to be in the schools – God knows and He will guide. And I know yet another large family who after much prayer realized it was best for their family to put the children in school – Mom needed it and her husband cared about his wife and her needs. Yes, we are all different!
Would I do it again?
- I would do it again, because that it was God’s Will
- I would do it again, because my children were able to have such a good foundation when we started.
- Homeschool if God gives you clear direction to do so.
- Homeschool if there are no other options available.
- Homeschool if you have “seen the village” and you don’t want them raising your children.
- Homeschool if you are willing to be self disciplined yourself to study and learn and make sure your children are getting the best education possible.
- Homeschool if you can provide other outlets for your children such as homeschool coops, fields trips, community sports, etc.
- Above all, stay on your knees and ask God for wisdom and guidance.