This post is actually more related to parenting rather than homeschooling. But really, they go hand-in-hand. Homeschooling is an extension of the immersion parenting we do when the kids are very small.
The decision to homeschool is rarely made lightly. Those of us that choose to teach our children at home give up free morning and afternoons. We give up the option of maybe getting a part-time job to help with bills. We open ourselves up to a myriad of criticism of how our kids will be too sheltered, unable to communicate well or have decent social skills. They may even end up being really dumb since they won't have a "real" teacher instructing them. If they're not full out dumb, they'll be behind (*gasp*) on what their peers are learning.
I rarely question myself and whether the decision was the right one. I gain something far beyond what I lose. I gain the benefit of truly "knowing" my children. They are with me all the time. I can see the small daily changes in the kids. I am aware of the things they've seen, who they've talked to, what they've experienced.
That's why I was so disturbed to see this story come out in the Portland area near where we lived before. Do not look at these with small listening or reading kids around.
Fox News video and interviews
Graphic Booklet distributed - Oregon Live
Closeup of Pamphlet
I'm going to point out in case you missed it that these booklets were distributed to children from Kindergarten through 5th grade.
There was a small discussion on one of my Facebook friends page where people were defending the school and the lack of attention (how this got through all those adults). That it's hard for the schools to pay attention to everything and that it is a great opportunity to show the kids God's word and what he says about crime...sexual crime in particular. These are christian friends I have and I know they want the best for their children. In the past these same people have pointed out that if we pull all the good kids out of school, then there will be no one to minister to the non-christians.
I almost don't know how to respond to these thoughts, except to personalize it. My job is not to minister to other children over mine. My childrens innocence will not be sacrificed on the alter of "saving" other kids. You CANNOT get back innocence. The things in this booklet will forever change the way a child thinks about others and himself. How many 2nd, 3rd or 4th graders have ever thought they were capable of molesting a small child? How many of them know what molestation is? How many of these kids know what sodomy is? Why should I have to explain it to them because numerous people in leadership either made a mistake OR had an agenda?
I homeschool my child for the reasons I listed above. But I also do it because I want them to simply be kids right now. Most of the time I can reduce their exposure to things before I think they're ready. One of the blessings of all of this is that I have been able to preserve their innocence. They are simply children.
The world is an amazing place. But it also has a lot of evil and suffering. They shouldn't have to deal with those things until they're emotionally ready. I pray daily for God to guide me to know when to let go at the right times so they can experience life in HIS time. I will protect my children because they are MY mission field. They are the reason God has me here on earth at this time. I will not abdicate that responsibility for the "greater good".
These are my thoughts and are not a judgment on how you chose to raise your own children. I was put on this earth at this time to raise the children God has given me, not to decide how someone else will raise theirs. The example I listed about is just one more reason why Dave and I are on the same page with how we've chosen to bring up our kids. We will protect and guard our children to the best of our ability until we feel led to "let go" in HIS time, not someone else's.