Je ne regrette rien

Education: Decision Made

socializationgifI’m Catholic, not quite non-practicing, not quite practicing. I have issues with some of the doctrine of the Catholic church and it has been quite some time since I have attended mass, though I have sought counsel with a priest when I was facing one of my more difficult times in life. My daughter has religious education free of dogma and I don’t believe that I NEED to gather with a bunch of people of my same faith in order to have a relationship with God.

Another thing that I’m not is an uber-conservative. I am pretty liberal, actually, empathetic perhaps. I don’t really subscribe to one political ideology and have voted both conservative and liberal, but I have no real ties within the religious right that guide me in my decision making process. I don’t agree with the two party system, nor do I agree with bailing out for the sake of bailing out, or voting based on what the church tells you to. That’s just me. Life isn’t black and white, and I tend to live in the gray.

After much thought, I have decided that I am going to homeschool my daughter. There, I said it out loud to someone other than my friends, so now it is real.  Why did I bring up my religious and political beliefs? Because I didn’t want the basis of my decision to be lost on the stereotype that tends to follow homeschooled parents around: ultra-conservative and very religious.  My decision is based upon the fact that: 1. New Orleans public school system is a disaster 2. More specifically, the Recovery School District is a disaster 3. With the exception of a handful of schools, the schools are a disaster 4. I value my daughter’s education.

Somewhere between the pro and the anti  propaganda lies the truth about homeschooling.  I’m a middle ground kind of girl – see religious and political beliefs – so I choose to take that as I go into this venture. It isn’t something I went into lightly. I did my research. I compared teaching models and curriculum. I spoke with people who had both positive and negative experiences homeschooling. And I weighed the pros and cons of keeping her in the particular school she was attending while in the Recovery School District, and the pros of homeschooling her far outweighed the pros of not.

There are some things that I am still researching and a few people I plan on contacting about their experiences and recommendations, but to homeschool is the final decision made at the end of the day. I do wonder, though, how many have chosen this option (if it is even an option with the fact that so many families need two incomes to survive) because the schools lack a lot of things down here, the good ones are impossible to get into and  waiting lisst extend out what seems endlessly, and private school simply is not an option for them?

Another point of interest, at least to me, is that back in the small area in Wisconsin I spent most of my life, many people I went to school with have opted to homeschool their children and the education system doesn’t face nearly as many challenges as ours in New Orleans. Are more people simply deciding to take control of their children’s education?

I have decided to create another blog, though, to chronicle my adventures in homeschooling. Mostly as a reference clearinghouse for myself, but to share my struggle with the decision and the steps I have taken. I’m not only a list maker, but I’m a chronicler too. 🙂

5 Responses

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  1. liprap said, on February 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    More power to you. This city can make education of one’s kids a very hard row to hoe. I look forward to seeing your homeschooling chronicle once it’s up and going.

  2. pistolette said, on February 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Good luck to you. If I thought I had the patience I would do it. Alas, I am plagued with hyperactivity myself and would be an awful example to my kids 😉

    As for homeschooling in general, I know of a lot of non-Christian moms who do it these days. The green movement, as well as some basic libertarians all find some comfort in removing their families from the ‘indoctrination’ of the public school system and educating their children properly. Even South Park did a really funny episode about how all of HS kids were smarter and more mature than all the other kids 🙂

    Btw, this woman blogs about homeschooling in a way I can’t take my eyes off. Such pretty photography:

    • Amy said, on February 10, 2009 at 12:07 am

      I’ll homeschool for you 🙂

      I think that this is a really good optio for us. In speaking with my daughter, the relief that she is expressing is heartbreaking. I am just glad that I am in the position to at least give this option to her.

      The link that you sent is awesome! Thank you!

  3. greg p said, on February 10, 2009 at 1:41 am

    We homeschool as well, due to the nature of the Lafayette public school. It’s been up and down, but overall a very good decision. You’ll start to find more and more moms like you as time goes on — they’re out there.

  4. Moraal Heather said, on May 6, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Hello – I don’t know you, but I stumbled upon your blog in a search for non-religious homeschooling. We’re also very new to hs and it is refreshing to find someone who is not doing it for religious reasons.

    Anyways, your post was interesting, and I would be interested in reading your homeschooling blog. Mine can be found here, in case you’re curious…

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