Decisions – Summary: Choices (Part 15)

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We all face having to make decisions every day.  While most decisions are inconsequential, some are very serious, as the consequences could affect others well into the future, particularly in regards to children.  It makes no real difference whether you make a peanut butter or jam sandwich or both for that matter, and the colour of your socks will hardly be noticed, unless of course it is different on each foot. But something like deciding to home educate will have far reaching consequences.

Deciding to home educate is a very big decision that will put you in conflict with status quo expectations.  However, please remember that if everyone does the same, everyone gets the same.  More importantly, the only way to make a difference in this world is to be different.  While having different coloured socks may attract attention (our PM comes to mind), home education influences the future by producing adults who think differently from those who followed school, cookie-cutter, think-alike programming.
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Academic Objectives for Home Education: Choices (Part 14)

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Now that we have dealt with the urban legend of having to possess a high school diploma and government transcript or die, it may be necessary to explain why this lie is perpetuated in the first place and what is actually needed instead of the standard expectation.

It should not come as much of a surprise that the main motivation behind advancing the diploma is largely based on funding.  The government provides greater funding for public programming.  Why would a government do this if not to maximize the usage of its programming, which you should understand is not going to advance God’s kingdom as much as its own.
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Diploma Consequences for Home Education: Choices (Part 13)

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Most likely the biggest, most fearful consequence associated with home education is the potential for sabotaging a child’s future possibilities.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, “there will be consequences” for choosing home education, and again, you are probably hearing “that you will not like”.  At least that is what the entire world seems to be saying – loud and clear!

Let’s begin by answering the question about whether or not a child’s future will be handicapped by home education.

NO, you are not potentially ruining your child’s future.  Should they go to high school, and that is most definitely not recommended, they will have no problem integrating into their studies.
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Long-Term Consequences of Choosing Home Education: Choices (Part 12)

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Let me mention two important advantages and long-term consequences of learning at home. Remember, there are always exceptions so keep the words “should”, “could” and “usually” in mind.

The first advantage of home education is improved family dynamics. Siblings who grow up together become each other’s best friends. While there will always be contests between children and with parents, especially as children go through the transitional “teen” years, the default remains a strong loyalty to the family unit. Children who are allowed to be comfortable with who they are at home will be more likely to value the individuality of others, especially those nearest them. Educating at home is time well spent especially when considering the word love is best spelled T-I-M-E.
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Short-Term Consequences of Choosing Home Education: Choices (Part 11)

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Every decision comes with consequences. Unfortunately, the word consequences has taken on a negative meaning. We have all heard the warning “there will be consequences” and we have all heard the unspoken “that you will not like”. Truth is, consequences are directly related to the decision. Therefore, if bad decisions usually result in bad consequences, good decisions should bring good consequences.

We all know we are living in an imperfect world where the expected can elude us. Rose-colored glasses do not change the fact that bad things happen, even to good people who make good decisions. There are no guarantees other than inevitable death, taxes (if you make money), and persecution for doing good, and there are most certainly no guarantees in home education.
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More Decisions – Family Structure? Choices (Part 10)

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While choices abound for the why’s, how’s, when’s, where’s and what’s of home education, there are other decisions that must be made to ensure a sound foundation upon which to conduct your educational efforts.

One of the biggest reasons families fail to continue a home education program is because their house is out of order.  Today, I would like to address this most important topic and the decisions required to get this right.

There is an old saying that anything with more than one head is a freak or monster.  This is true, especially when applied to the family.  On the other hand, if there is no head the entity is dead, and a house lacking leadership is on a collision course with failure.
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More Decisions – Why? Choices (Part 9)

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I met my wife a half century ago.  That day changed my life forever.  What did I see?  What caught my attention?  What was it that made me say this is the girl for me?  We were both swept off our feet and for good reason.  It did not take long before we started planning our future lives together.  The rest, they say, is history.

I have been the most blessed and happy husband possible, yet I would not be telling the truth if I told you our lengthy relationship was without challenges.  I do not know where or why I discovered this, but I had a way of helping my wife and myself come back to reality and move on amicably to our next venture or adventure whenever we had a marital hiccup.
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More Decisions – Where? Choices (Part 8)

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Where to home educate is quite likely answered with a “duh”, but allow me to expand a bit.

The simple answer is home education takes place at home as opposed to at school.  However, while it may be easy to describe a school setting, home is a bit more difficult to pin down.

It is said that home is where the heart is.  Somehow, I suspect this includes more than a building where meals are most often served.  We are all acquainted with the comfort of being home.  I still remember hearing an older man stating that home is where you can scratch what itches when it does.  I like that.  Let’s face it, we are most free at home.  We do things there that we would never consider doing publicly.  Thankfully!
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More Decisions – When? Choices (Part 7)

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When should we do “school”?  This could be the shortest blog in history!

Follow a schedule that works for your family.  Amen.

We have seen everything from rigid schedules that start precisely at 9:00 AM (not 9:05) and go until 12:00 PM (not 11:50) with a fifteen minute break to virtually no schedule of any kind.  While a rigid schedule may not be to my liking, some families function better this way.  Alternatively, having no schedule at all is also not my favourite approach as I believe there needs to be some form of structure.

I also have seen home education programs start at 11:00 PM and go to 3:00 AM.  This may be why the children go to bed at 4:00 AM, get up at 2:00 PM and play until it’s time to start school.  These are likely the children that may be taking the night shift, when they grow up.  Although this is not my idea of a good schedule, it works for those who live with it.
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More Decisions – What Curriculum? Choices (Part 6)

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We didn’t know better and there was very little available at the time.  Thirty-five years ago, there were but a few well established school curricula that could be used at home.  All were based on school ideology and methodology, even if coming from a “Christian” perspective.  Still, we determined to keep it as close to school programming as possible so our children would not be harmed by our decision to home educate them.

This was a mistaken understanding of home schooling, one that has survived with new home schoolers to this day.  We are all nervous about this new venture and this is normal.  While there may be some people who have researched and discovered best practices for escaping school processes, most people know very little outside of the status quo school system and therefore feel much more comfortable with home schooling than home educating or unschooling.  This is okay.

Here is the best solution for this “what-to-do”:
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