Friday, December 28, 2012

Who Are You?

My name is Betty Sue Tracy, Housewife and Homeschooling mom of seven beautiful children. I married my high school sweetheart, Andy, nineteen years ago. (Update: Now nine children and thirty years of marriage.)

I first heard about Homeschooling while talking on the phone with a relative while my oldest was still an infant. I remember mentioning that her child was old enough to start kindergarten the next September.

She got kind of quiet, and then told me he was not going to kindergarten.

“Oh, then you are going to wait until six, (the compulsory attendance age in the state we lived in)?” I had recently heard about a woman who had kept her child out of kindergarten because she was not “socially ready.” Up until this point I had intended to put my child into preschool at three, enter her into many extracurricular activities such as dance, 4H and little league, in short, make sure I did everything the “experts” say you are supposed to do to insure your child’s success. The idea that all children may not be ready for such activities at age five (much less three) had never occurred to me.

I knew the lady I was speaking to was very educated, had a similar set of values to mine, and often researched things very thoroughly. We had previously discussed the reasons we were both staying home with our babies and I knew her reasons for that were the same as mine. I was sure she had checked this issue out as well. If she believed some children weren’t ready for school at five, there must be evidence it was true.

She quietly said “No. We are going to homeschool.” (Update: Both her children are now adults, college graduates, and successful in their chosen fields. They were homeschooled all the way through high school.)

I had never heard of such a thing before so I responded with a very intelligent “Oh” and changed the subject.

But I was looking at my three month old baby lying on the floor, turning over for the first time and thinking “I don’t have to send her away to strangers? I can keep her?”

I didn’t know until that moment that I thought of school as “sending her away.” The thought of putting her under someone else’s care six hours per day, five days per week was bothering me and I didn’t even know it! I immediately realized that sending her away felt so unnatural.

I spent the next few years studying education. If another educational option would have proved better for my child, I would have dropped the whole idea of homeschooling, no matter how much it appealed to me emotionally.

But the more I studied, the more convinced I became that homeschooling was best in every way. By the time my oldest was three, I knew this would be the path for us.

I did teach Sunday School in my parent’s church for many years, but I do not have a college degree. I have continued my education on my own. I guess that is really the first benefit of homeschooling; You, the parent, get to learn so much that you missed when you were young. You get to homeschool yourself!

All scripture is from the King James Version of the Bible (unless stated otherwise), and is used with permission of the Author.

Most pronouns used are of male gender. In the English (as well as Hebrew and Greek) languages, man, he, his, and him mean “generic human being” unless the context dictates otherwise. Only females get words devoted exclusively to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment