As I've mentioned, learning at home gives children the fantastic opportunity to learn at their own pace and pursue their own interests. Now, every state is different, but one question that often comes up is what about college or what about subjects that we, as parents, are incapable of teaching.
To give some honest background, I never went to college. I graduated 5th in my class and went to a trade school to become a nurse while I was still in high school. When we were first married, the option to go to college was there but I knew I wanted to be a full time mama someday. It didn't make sense to me to pursue more college debt for a degree I wouldn't use. As for Sean, he has his associates degree. By God's provision and blessing he is able to make more moola-moola than many college graduates being self-employed and he has no student loans. But let me back up a little. Even when Sean did work for other companies in the field of computer programming, they were more concerned about his experience and what he knew, than they were about a degree. I share all this to say that while college is beneficial in some instances, it is not a cookie cutter solution to life. Obviously none of us want a doctor poking at us who hasn't been educated. Both Sean and I love learning and it is fair to say each of us is always studying on one topic or another, but a college education will not be the determining factor for us in whether our kids have"made it" in life. If that is where God leads them, then we will be all for it.
So...about college. In NY there are different options for getting into college after being home schooled. Granted, we've only made it into 5th grade with our students, so I am in no way an expert on the subject. We know many home school graduates who are in college and their professors love them because they are self motivated.
In our marriage, God has given Sean the math brain. That is not my gifting and so once the kids surpass my math wisdom, I will pass them on to Sean. I can't think of any other subject that we cannot teach off hand. We study German together as a family so that will take care of their language requirement when they are older. If parents do not know a foreign language they can learn along with their children or use a tutor or video class. Higher sciences that require a lab we can order supplies for. Also, know that there are a lot of different resources available for high school classes that include video classes or online classes, for parents who need or would like to have help in teaching. You can actually get entire video curriculum that self grade and do just about everything for the parent.
I am also excited about pursuing outside resources for our children as they age. Andrew has expressed an interest in flying lessons, Aiden in farming, and Annaliese in midwifery. In NY a kiddo can have a junior pilot's license at age 14 (crazy, no?) and how great would it be to drop Aiden off at a local farm for a few hours a week to work along and learn farming? If Annaliese decides to pursue midwifery, there are midwives she could shadow and nursing classes she can take. If she decides to pursue medicine, then college is the way to go. The thing here is to embrace all the educational options, instead of funneling kids through one route.
Our hope is to give our kids a fuller and rounder education than they could receive in a classroom of twenty of their peers.