Wednesday, January 19

Considering Homeschooling part 3

Higher Learning

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.


the family of mannchester estate said...

I have enjoyed your homeschooling thoughts over the last few days, but this one is my FAVORITE!
I went to three years of college to please my parents...and will finally pay off that financial debt in this coming year. I do not have a degree. I do not want to go back and get one. I love stying home with my daughter.
We haven't 100% decided whether we will home school or not (but she just turned two so we have a few years) but have already stated to many of our friends who already toalk about their toddlers going to college that if she grows up and feels like God has given her McDonald's as her mission field, we will be so proud of her for pursuing God's call on her life.
So thank you for speaking this truth when so many beleive that lack of college education makes one have less worth.


Bethany Lynn said...

Hannah, check out Laws are different for every state but Annaliese could go through them and apprentice at the same time and take Anatomy and Physiology at the local college and call it a day. No nursing classes required outside of A&P to be a Certified Professional Midwife here in Virginia. It might be different in New York but I would be surprised if it was. I am going through the Doula and Childbirth Educator certification with Charis and cannot recommend it enough. Please feel free to contact me anytime if I can answer anymore questions. I know she is young but I also know that I had my mind made up when I was that young too and would have LOVED to know this was an available option in my young mind ;)


Joy said...

That's very true about college not guaranteeing a well-paying job. My husband has a Master's Degree, and it has never helped him financially. The job he now has (he's self-employed, working from home) isn't even remotely related to his degree.

My brother, who is a welder (he has specialized welding skills in stainless steel), has had a six figure salary, and he has no college experience at all. My husband now wishes he would have studied a trade instead of an intellectual/philosophical degree. We're keeping that in mind for our sons. And you're right, what most employers are looking for is experience in the field more than just your educational background.

Amanda said...

Yes, I couldn't agree more about them having a college education. I think that education in itself today, is way overated. Education today is a factor that is pouring our country into more debt. I could go on and on.

great post!

Anonymous said...

Before I had children, a home educating family friend did a few fundraisers to send her eldest, who wanted to pursue a marine biology degree, to a 6 month marine science camp in the Bahamas. She's now a biologist, and loves that "she had no wasted time" in high school. The next sister had a learning disability and was told by evaluators that she wouldn't get very far. She began Junior Life Guard training at 12 and is now an excellent Life Guard at our local beaches, and three years into her education into nursing. She credits the specialized education her parents were able to give her for her ability to defy the odds. These stories keep me motivated! Their mom told me the other day that she used to have them make a list of ten things they were interested in every year, and she would try and center their studies around them. Sounded like a good idea...

Bonnie said...

Out of the 7 of us kids who have graduated homeschooling (my moms not quite sure what to do with only 3 kids left to homeschool!) none of us have gone to college.
I worked for almost 6 years for 3 eye doctors, being at the last place 5 years.
I had no interest pursuing college because ultimately I knew I just wanted to get married and have a family. Why waste the money on a degree I didn't need?
2 of my brothers got jobs with AT&T right after graduating, the same place our dad works.
After working for a couple of concrete companies, another brother started a very successful concrete business, when the last company he worked for folded. One of my sisters has been on the mission field in Mozambique (though home now, and waiting to hear where the Lord wants her next), another works for a housecleaning company, and the sister that just graduated this past summer, is looking for work.
Everyone thinks college is the be-all end-all, if you don't go you won't succeed, but that is so not true. As you said, the homeschoolers I know who have gone on to college have excelled!
Sorry to make this so long, I just thought if anyone reading this is contemplating homeschooling, they might like to hear from a h.s. graduate and of other h.s. graduates, who have chosen not to continue their studies, and are still finding good jobs, and supporting their own families without a degree.

Sarah (One of your readers) said...

In support of your posting. Both my sister and I were homeschooled from preK through high school.This December, I graduated from college with a 3.9 GPA and my sister is in her second year of college with a 4.0 GPA. I completely agree with you, homeschooling does not limit a child's ability to succeed at college. Instead it helps a child to develop responsibility for their own learning and development. I applaud you for taking the time to give your children a quality education and life skills. I am sure they will succeed at any life path they choose!

Becky said...

Hannah, when we first started homeschooling our children, I was so scared to ruin their education. I have some college education, but no degree & my husband has his associates degree & he too is good in math, but ultimately, I was the one that was going to be doing the actual teaching. I did it one year at a time. When I was no longer able to "teach" them myself we opted for a satellite program in which we recorded their classes on a vcr, then upgrated to a dvr & we purchased their science supplies for lab. Both my older girls have disected a frog, perch, and a worm on our kitchen table (much disinfecting took place as well as My oldest graduated from highschool & received academic scholarships for both her freshman & sophomore year, we have not had to pay a cent for her college education..Praise the Lord! My second child is a senior & is undecided on what she's like to do. She'd like to go to college, but she really desires just to be a wife & be able to be a stay at home one day (whenever that time comes in the future). I have two more lil ones, one in 1st gr & one in pre-k (we started all over again :) ) My oldest always knew she wanted to go to college & my husband & I have made every effort to prepare her for that and we have done the same with our second child as well, but we will support whatever decision she makes whether it be college, trade or homemaker.

I have learned that if I can homeschool & put a child through highschool & into college, then anybody can through God's grace & mercy. Whom God calls, He equips is my motto. However, my ultimate goal is for my children to serve God & love Him with all their heart, soul & might & that they know the basic skills in life to help them thru no matter what they choose to do.

**Just want to add, that my husband & I are firm believers in tithing & we have taught our girls to tithe. I believe that God has provided for many of our needs & we ha e not lacked. Could we have had more, of course, but we had sufficient with one income & I have had the honor to stay home with my children & educate them myself. I hold so many memories in my heart that I wouldn't have if my children were taught outside our home. God is good!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the insight.
sue in NJ

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

Thank you for this article. When so many are so focused on formal schooling being the be all and end all of life, it is refreshing to hear someone with a brain speak about the real needs of children and their education. I have 3 1/2 years of college and no interest in returning. Me going to college would mean yet more time away from my child. Right now I work 48 hours/ week, but my job accommodates my son's needs~ I can do flex hours or have him in my office with me. Any other job would not allow this. He is in public school, but I also home school out of necessity. The school barely provides the minimum education required, so children who are not supplemented with homeschooling are doomed. If I could stay home, I would pull him out of school and teach him full time!!!

Nele (extrafruity @ said...

Ihr lernt Deutsch? Dann viele Grüße aus Deutschland (Düsseldorf / Westdeutschland) von einer treuen Leserin! ;-)

Thanks for sharing, I enjoy reading your blog (though I don't always agree... But it gives me things to think about!)! :-)

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

Sometimes the blogs we don't agree with are better as they make us re-evaluate ourselves! :)

Anonymous said...

i am absolutely shocked at these comments, to each his own and i completely believe college is not for everyone but for people to say education is completely overrated these days makes me sick... we don't live in the 1900s we live in the 21st century, where last i knew, education was necessary... hannah did great going to nursing school.. but seriously ... i dont even know what to say i am at a loss for words ... this whole simple life thing is wonderful but not realistic for all.. not that this is going to happen but what if one day one of your kids goes into the real world and cant socially interact on the same level as the other children because they only learned at their own pace and were never truely challenged by both a teacher and their peers?

Me said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am so sorry this revelation is upsetting to you - that a college dregree may not always be required for a happy, productive life. :) I'm not sure how you consider midwifery or professional pilot living a simple life, but those are two of the professions my children have expressed interest in, which certainly DO require higher education, and which I clearly stated I am not against. I do enjoy sharing Sean and my educational history.
I'm not sure where the idea arose from within you that homeschooled children are not challenged? Hmm... Do you know any homeschooled families? If not, here is a little info. Homeschooled children routinely score higher on state testing than their peers and do better in college than their peers. Not bad for not being challenged, eh? Our kids Do learn at their own pace, but often the benefit of that is that their pace may be much quicker than their peers. Our eight yr old does math up to 2 grade levels above him. I suppose I could hold him back to a 3rd grade math book. :)
Thanks for your comment and if I can clarify anything further for you, or point you toward other homeschooling blogs, where the kids are plenty challenged, just give a hollar.
Hope you have a great day,

Me said...

I realized i missed addressing your comment on socialization. {smile} I find our kids are very well socialized, not having to spend their days stuffed in a classroom with kids only their age, but free to interact with all ages, paths of life, during the every day, making them much more rounded, loving, accepting...
There's a quip that the only way you'll recognize some homeschooled kids is that they'll start a conversation with an adult...

samantha said...

Have you ever heard of a hospital not taking a patient in a God forbid emergency situation if a home birth is used with a midwife? ... something to think about

I would also like to address something that your post made me think about.. I recently graduated from a very affluent university and have to say that throughout my years in school I never met any student that was home schooled. I am not saying home schooled children don't go to college obviously, but it was just weird to me that out of all of my friends and people I met, everyone had gone to some form of school.

Me said...

Hello Samantha, thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm not clear on whether you're asking a question as to whether hospitals will accept a homebirth transfer patient or whether you're telling me that they won't. If it is a question, then the answer is yes, they will and they do ~ it would be illegal for a hospital to turn away any patient in an emergency. I have heard of homebirth transfers being done in several cases and they went just fine.

How strange it must be to know only people with one specific sort of education! I am guessing that your university did have students that were previously homeschooled as I don't believe there are any that turn away homeschoolers in this day and age. In fact, about a yr ago I read that a few of the top colleges, like Harvard, now have specific openings/recruiters for home educated kids. Pretty cool stuff, eh?