Back to (Home) School Kickoff

Isaac officially started school on August 1.  This was not celebrated nearly as much as if he had gone OFF to school.  Kim and I have decided to try the homeschool route.  Thanks to some influence from friends from church, the difficult school situation in East Baton Rouge Parish, and Kim’s research and prayers , we decided to seriously consider homeschooling.  Admittedly, Kim will be the main academic teacher (home administrator, housecleaner, mother of 4 children under 6 years (!), etc.) at least intially.  I will likely be involved mainly through reading to the kids.

This past weekend, Kim and I attended a Back to School Kickoff homeschooling event at the First New Testament church on Aubin Drive near Cedarcrest and Stanley Aubin.  I think that this event did more to solidify my committment to this idea than anything else so far.  The event was just a half day, and it was a blessing that I even got to attend any of it, since I had to go to work that day.  Anyhow, I got a lot of perspective on the origins of the homeschool movement in Louisiana.  Then, a class on the father’s role in homeschooling provided a panel Q & A discussion for several of the fathers there. 

I have to admit, that at first, it was a little weird walking into the church.  I had all these negative stereotypes about homeschool in my mind.  But, as I kept looking around, all the people I saw looked fairly normal to me (whatever normal is anyway).  So I got more comfortable and listened intently to the opening speaker, John Smith.  He was the founder of the Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) of Greater New Orleans.  After several years there and in St. Bernard Parish, he and his wife came to Baton Rouge after Katrina last year.  John and his wife are now the group leaders for Ascension Parish.  His talk was simply outstanding.  Basically, it was a brief summary of the homeschooling movement in Louisiana (with a very brief story of its beginnings in America through the prayers a few people on Mars Hill in Greece, if I remember right).

John noted a couple of interesting things along the way; one of the more notable was that most statistics about families (only 25% of households in the US are traditional two parent homes now) including the high divorce rate do not apply to homeschooling families.  I cannot vouch for this right now, as I am only beginning to study this, but it was at least anecdotally interesting.  The father’s role class was also quite interesting.  The leader of the panel was Steve Douglas.  Steve is the coach of the CHEF high school football team being fielded for the first time this year — yes, you read right.  In fact, CHEF has fielded state championship teams in baseball and softball.  Anyhow, the message I got out of these two parts of the event was that you need a vision for why you homeschool.  And there are several outstanding reasons to do so that I may elaborate on in a later post.

Suffice it to say that I am convinced that homeschooling is an excellent (the best, in my opinion) education that is out there right now.  The kids in general seem to have time filled with classes, both at home and through co-ops (when a few families let one expert teach their kids a given class; e.g., British Lit, Latin, et al), and other events and field trips.  The amount of control plus the integration of education with faith in God are enormous benefits to the homeschool route.  Now, is it easy?  Absolutely NOT!  In fact, I believe it is quite difficult but immensely rewarding, from what I hear so far.  I would definitely say that I don’t believe that it is for everyone:  Each family’s situation is different (personalities, resources, etc.). 

So, we are going to try it.  Both Kim and I believe that it will be worthwhile.  Will we make it?  I suppose that you don’t look at it that way, at first anyway.  We’ll take it one day, one month, and one year at a time.  I look forward to it! 

Published in: on August 23, 2006 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  

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