Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Public School Teacher Talks Homeschooling

A Public School Teacher Talks Homeschooling
June 23, 2011

Hi! My name is Jenny Buttler, and {{brace yourselves}} I don’t homeschool. Now, before you shooo me on off, let me reassure you that I would if I could. Huh? It’s not too late you say? I know. But I’m not gonna. And I’m not here to convince you that you shouldn’t either. In fact… I’m here to encourage all you hip homeschoolin’ hotties…. and support you and to reassure you that as a homeschooling mom, you are making the right choice.

So who do I think I am, comin’ all up in here and preachin…. well, for starters, you can find me at my {new} blog Our Southern Grace, where I blog about life in the south, God’s abundant grace, and life inbetween! I’ve got three kiddos, Nathan (12), Gracyn (6), and Whitley (3). I’m a Texas girl born and raised, and if you’d like a taste of the South (both literally and spiritually), I’d love nothing more than if you’d hop on over for a visit. But before you do… A little about my non~homeschoolin’ background…

So why don’t I homeschool? Well, I’m just gonna be honest and say that I’ve got three very strong willed children and I don’t feel like I could keep the comittment to give them what they need in education. I am a teacher though, and that’s another reason why I don’t homeschool. Because teaching is what God has called me to do, and He knows that we are in dire need of some christian teachers in public school. As a public school teacher, the biggest question I receive from homeschooling friends is…. are they doing the right thing by homeschooling. Is public school so bad? The quick answer… yes. And no.

So, what makes public school so good or so bad? Besides the processed food they serve in the cafeteria’s…. Here are ten reasons why you should homeschool your children (from a public teacher point of view):

1.Individuality: All teachers {should} believe that individualized education is better than one size fits all education, but sadly… many just ignore the individual and teach the group.

2.Time Management: There is no time wasted (taking role, taking 25 students to the bathroom 3-4 times a day, standing in line for library, music, PE, lunch, recess, to go home, etc.). I used a timer one day to prove a point, we wasted almost an entire hour forming lines for these things.

3.Standardized Tests: There are no standardized tests, which means that your child won’t have to sit through three hours of instruction on how to write his name in squares or how to fill in bubbles.

4.Substitute teachers: There are no substitute teachers who will play movies all day (while on facebook) while you are gone for training on how to give standardized tests.

5.Seating arrangements: At home, your child does not have to sit next to the kids from The Children of the Corn.

6.Religion & Spirituality: At home, you won’t have 2 Jehovah Witness parents, one Muslim parent, and one African-American parent complaining that you are teaching religion at Christmas time when you are really teaching cultures from around the world, and reciting the constitution to you during your parent conference, or not allowing their child to participate in a class party.

7.Dress Code: This may sound like a silly one, but when you homeschool – there are no backbreaking back to school shopping sprees. There are also no fashion shows, and no one to judge your children if they are not wearing the latest trends.

8.Lesson Plans: As your child’s only teacher, you have plenty of time to carefully plan out how you are going to teach. You won’t have to worry about missing school for training, observations from your superiors to make sure you are teaching what is going to be tested, you won’t have to hold tutorials or parent conferences, you won’t have to document special needs children, you won’t have to grade 35 research papers, or make 20 phone calls after school.

9.Sheltered: Oh yes. If you choose to homeschool your children, they will live a sheltered and secluded life, barren from friends and any type of socialization. Sheltered from things like lockdowns, and drug-raids, and children who are so emotionally disturbed they have to be removed from the classroom by two grown men. Things like children who think they are gay because they have two mommies, or children who know about s-e-x at the age of 10, firsthand.

10.Field Trips: In public school, we were limited to one field trip at the end of the year. When you homeschool, you can choose where you want to go to deepen and enrich your child’s education. And the choices are limitless! Art Museums for Art, Ballet Recitals, Concerts of all sort, plays at a local theatre company, children’s museums, History Museums, Galleries, Aquariums, Zoos, Nature Hikes, Weather Observations, PE events. I could go on and on!

Don’t get me wrong – there are an abundance of good things about public school. And I teach, because I feel that it is what God has called me to do. Most teachers won’t tell you that you shouldn’t homeschool. Because we know why you are making that choice. We live it, we see it, we teach it. We go to bed thinking about how to manage it, how to challenge it, how to make it flourish and thrive in a world that is full of challenges and limitations. We know how much work goes into every aspect of planning a school day, and how unforeseen events can unfold.

We know what takes place in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in the restrooms, in special ed meetings, and in the principals office. And it’s not pretty. So as a public school teacher, who chooses to look at my students through the eyes of Christ… I want to commend you for making the choice to teach. But I also want to challenge you.

As public school teachers, we do not have the same freedoms that you homeschooling moms have… things like projects, field trips, which curriculum to use. You do. We don’t have the freedom to focus for an extended period of time on one subject when students are struggling. You do. We don’t have the freedom to take multiple field trips to supplement curriculum. You do. We don’t have the freedom to challenge our students in creative ways that make them use both sides of their brains thanks to things like standardized testing… YOU DO!!

So I want to challenge each of you reading this, to look at homeschooling with fresh eyes, and after this summer I want you to teach your kids with passion! Look beyond the frustrations and temper tandrums and the I don’t want to’s and see your children in the classroom that you have given them and remind yourselves that teaching is a full time job and your children deserve the very best.

Whether it is taking a field trip, or working on your schedule, or changing your curriculum….. let’s generate some discussion that we can all benefit from….. What area’s do you need to improve in… leave us a comment or question below on how you are going to go above and beyond and challenge your students!!

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