Is homeschooling the solution for your family?
Homeschooling is considered by many as a structure to protect their children. It reduces risks related to travel, bullying, and classroom sickness. However, most consider it because we have a changed culture. The non-biblical proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” only works if the village’s morality, worldview, and social health is acceptable to the parents. Surprisingly, some feel this proverb’s theme is still needed regardless of the village’s condition and the downward spiral of culture and statistics. Read some of the reasons why homeschooling is a priority today.
A 2011 National Center for Juvenile Justice report clearly shows an increase in juvenile court caseloads from where we were in 1960. A CDC.gov 2010 survey stated that almost 1/3 of high school students were in a physical fight in the previous 12 months with 1/3 of those fights on school property. There were 17.5% that claimed to have carried a weapon in the previous 30 days with 5.6% carrying on school property. Approximately 6% claimed to have carried a gun in the previous 30 days. There were 7.7% that reported being threatened by a weapon on school property in the last 12 months. The FBI’s UCR database shows in 2009 that 41% of all arrests are people 24 years old and under. Statistics for youth across all areas have gone the wrong way. Youth crime is increasing and adult crime is decreasing.
Negative juvenile behavior has been a matter of the ages, however many feel we are in uncharted waters and heading to disastrous results. Several changes in our world have taken place recently, many for the first time in man’s history.
Education practices have changed drastically in relationship to history. With the introduction of public education in the last 150 years, all children are placed in a system where academics must be their strength, whether they are naturally gifted or not in that area. A young person that might have excelled in a non-academic area is less likely to experience that today. With traditional education, children that have to work harder for academics have been placed in classrooms with identical age levels for 13 of their first 18 years. All the struggling student learns is that he is stupid, a failure, and a disappointment by constantly comparing himself to others his exact age. This causes behavioral and self-esteem problems.
The United States has seen a decline in church involvement that has left a void in parent training. Other than a grandparent’s impact, a church has been one of the main sources for parent training. Children are able to hear from someone else, besides their parents, how children should honor their parents. Children are encouraged to please God and parents. They also learn many other values such as treating their neighbors as they would want to be treated. Young parents are able to learn parenting skills from the values taught and wisdom shared by older parents attending the church. Parents learn how to be better examples to their children. There is also some built-in encouragement for parents when around other parents pursuing similar values.
In 1962, public school prayer was banned in the United States. The next year, all religious activities were prohibited in public schools. In less than ten years, the theory of evolution replaced almost all references to a “Created” universe, which many believe undermined the belief in God. The posting of the “Ten Commandments” in the classroom was also prohibited. Without consistent character-building and values training, children’s morality will be affected. It should be no surprise that whatever is being taught from the parents and church can be greatly undermined or supported depending on the educational choice when there are five days of school each week. With public school, several character areas often become more subjective than absolute.
Although parents have had the ultimate responsibility for training children through much of history, this has greatly changed in recent decades because the number of both parents working outside of the home has increased. Hopefully with the advancement of technology, this trend will reverse with at least one parent being able to work from home. In 1900, 15% of women worked outside of the home. Today, it is 75% and growing. Due to the increase in daycares and preschools, we can see parents are giving up a substantial amount of caregiver time for their early adolescent children. For busy parents, it also means older children are not supervised as much after school and during school holidays. Both parents working have also impacted the traditional family dinner table, plus sacrificed good nutritional practices. Statistics show teens that frequently have dinner with their families are at a lower risk for substance abuse. For many, the financial gain of both parents working outside the home is substantially offset by the increased expenditures. Some of those increased expenditures are obvious while many are subtle or hidden. After comparing a true financial gain with both parents working outside the home, one also has to wonder how that affects the true expense to the family.
Only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents. That is the lowest figure in the Western world. The United States has the highest rate of divorce in the world. Each year, about half of all marriages occur between couples where one or both have been previously married. This indicates a large number of children are in a single parent home for at least some part of their life.
There is a truth from Moses that still stands today. “Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be set apart for destruction just like them.” Deuteronomy 7:26. A person would think that parents would not allow their child to be exposed to detestable objects right in their home. However, in the last generation, technology has created several ways for this to happen. Even if the parents stay on top of this at their home, other homes the child might visit may not think that way and be impacted there.
Cable television and video devices have become a natural babysitter in the home for most families. In the last ten years, TV programming and movies have become available with Internet devices as well. Along with all this access, the ratings for movies have changed with our culture. Movies in 1969 that were rated “X” are now rated “R”. Movies that were rated “R” are now rated “PG-13”. The exposure to violence and adult themes has been cited as affecting behavior in several well-known crimes.
Video games entered the world for the first time in history. In 1972, Atari began selling video game consoles. In 1980, IBM’s personal computer became available. The video game industry took off. Once again, another tempting babysitter is allowed. Although there are several educational games today, most are not. Many of the more popular games are violent, disrespectful, and offer the player to be the “bad guy”. The content is not the only bad influence. The addiction to playing games robs from important child responsibilities.
Rarely if ever in history has there ever been a time where parents knew less about technology than their children, until recently. Beginning in the late 1980’s, a growing percentage of young people became more knowledgeable about computers than one or both parents. This trend seems to be staying with new technologies. This keeps the parents at a disadvantage for implementing family rules until after the fact, which can create attitudes.
In 1991, the Internet became available. Along with it, came chat and email. Chat has evolved into services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, but the historical change is that children can communicate with people the busy parent does not see or know. A concern is how young people will associate openly with a friend of a friend so quickly via the Internet. A recent news release from Facebook states they found the “Six Degrees of Separation on the Earth” is now 4.37 people to know anyone in the world. A teen’s circle of relationships can easily develop without the parent’s knowledge! With many Internet services including virtual worlds, it does not even take a friend’s introduction to meet a stranger. The ability for a parent to monitor a child’s acquaintances is diminishing with technology.
Just in this last decade, cell phones have become so popular that even pre-teens have them. The ability for parents to communicate with their child has encouraged the practice. Texting and accessing the Internet can be hard to monitor if parents let their guard down. Young cell phone users can even privately access these communication tools while in proximity to parents, because the screens are small. Many are concerned with the mental health impact from today’s technology. Some studies show alarming increases in such areas as narcissism, and discuss a possible connection with social media and other tools.
It seems overwhelming, but there is hope. Homeschooling is not going to be the single answer, but can be a major platform for success. Homeschooling can keep children from comparing themselves daily to others their age in academics. When education for children is competitive, there has to be losers. Even if your child is a winner, participation contributes to a system that negatively impacts those where academics is not their primary gifting. With homeschooling, students are not held up or passed up with the pace of a class. See Why use an individualized curriculum? Homeschooling can protect the child from the random influences of a campus-based school. Some say that homeschooling is sheltering too much, but come on, just think about it. Homeschooling can prevent the undermining of faith that takes place in public school curricula. Homeschooling creates the stability of a stay at home parent. If a person isn’t just trying to keep up with the Joneses, and really needs the income, a person can look for a home-based job. Before homeschooling is going to really help, the parents need to make parenting a priority.
For the parents of young children, parents need training, self-discipline, parent networking, and sometimes a financial sacrifice. For the parents of older children, it is a much greater challenge to turn things around, but can be done! You have to make it a priority. Keep reading our posts for detailed help.
Many of the challenges above have a common thread of solutions. Love, open relationship, and involvement will greatly help in behavior problems. For an open relationship, it is important to implement rules or “understandings” long before they are needed. It is usually a given there will be an attitude if waiting to make a rule after the need for it. Family values and rules must be established as early as possible, then consistently supervised and reminded as needed. Consistency must be a priority, even when tired or overwhelmed. Surprisingly, children want a leader more than a buddy, but parents should regularly reflect to see if they have made any mistakes in leadership. It is essential the parent asks the child for forgiveness when the parent has said or done something that was not good. This also teaches the child to ask for forgiveness when needed, and keeps a good open parent-child relationship. With technology and culture changes, we are bound to be sideswiped with new areas that can negatively affect our children, often too late unless we are constantly thinking ahead. Because we live in a fast-changing world, it is very likely some family boundaries won’t be set until after the need for them lands in our home. It is equally important to ask the child for forgiveness when something that should have been said or done was NOT. This doesn’t just apply to a broken promise, but also when implementing a rule after when it was needed. For example, “I am sorry I didn’t clarify this rule before. I missed covering that with you. I am trying to do my best as a parent, but I messed up. Can you forgive me?” These are things that help make a good leader.
It just makes sense to enroll with Southeast Academy Online!
- PreK through 12th grade for continuity and family efficiency.
- 35 years experience.
- Two accreditations.
- Combination booklet and online option up to 8th grade.
- High school science labs for a better homeschool experience.
- In-home achievement test included.
- Manages record keeping, plus parent portal to view current G.P.A. so no surprises at semester.
- Teacher support for high school and optional for 3rd-8th grade.
- Nationwide in case you ever move.
- Experience with thousands of families all over the U.S.
- Discounts for siblings, military, and ministry.
- Payment options to fit your family budget, plus a referral incentive if needing help.
- Much, much more!
- View the By Grade page for your situation, then register!
- $125 Family registration fee, then first tuition payment before 1st day of schoolwork.
CDC Youth Violence Facts at a Glance 2010:
National Center for Juvenile Justice clearly shows delinquency is increasing:
2009 crime type statistics showing 24 years old and younger:
Seculare changes in U.S. schools from 1962-1972:
Statistics about marriage and effects on children:
Quiet Revolution – Women going to work:
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse – Family Dinner and Substance Abuse:
Effects of Violent Video Games:
Example of addiction recovery service including video game addiction:
Study that included academic impact from overuse of video games: