Monday, August 4, 2008

Why We Homeschool

When people ask why we homeschool our girls, even through high school, I now have the perfect response:

I had looked over the 9th grade Summer Reading list for our local high school. I quickly and easily eliminated the books that even in their "school published" summaries included things like, "Interweaves stories of students at a high school with a"zero-tolerance" policy as they get caught doing things they are pretty sure are wrong, from drinking and having sex during a senior ski trip, to organizing a gambling ring, to bullying freshmen, to honor students behaving dishonorably." I just don't understand how reading something like this as a 14-17 year old could be beneficial??

So when I read this little summary: "Esmeralda Santiago discusses what it was like to grow up as a Puerto Rican teenager in New York and to go against the wishes of her over-protective mother and discover her true identity," I thought it would be a good book for Abby to read. She likes books about other cultures, particularly books about girls growing up in other cultures. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!

This book has sexually explicit passages about Esmeralda's experiences on subways, with uncles, boyfriends, and even her eventual "first time going all the way" with a guy she hardly knew! And the story begins when she is 13 years old! How can this be on the shelves for 14 and 15 year olds to read? This is what is considered GOOD reading for our teens? No wonder kids are having sex, oral sex, casual sex. The school tells them to read these books, where sex is considered a "coming of age" act!? Rebellion against parents who advocate and enforce abstainance and purity is the "norm"!?

There was ONE christian author on the list. ONE! There are books about teen murderers, abusive boyfriends, witchcraft, demons, time travel, cannibalism, and apparently, casual sex. There are so many GOOD books out there, why are these the ones they ask our children to read?! I am not saying that they should only choose christian authors, but a few more on the list wouldn't hurt! I have read so many wonderful books that would be appropriate for teens, aren't necessarily written by christian authors, tell wonderful stories, and would be giving positive goals and role models for our teens.

Now I will be reading all of Abby's books BEFORE she reads them, unless they are by an author I know. At least my daughter had the sense to bring me the book and say, "I don't think you knew this was in here."

Why do I homeschool? Because at the last fair a group of parents were sitting around talking. Some of us homeschool and some had public schooled kids. A mom of a high school student was talking about how the kids make out in the hall ways during breaks between classes. Her attitude was that it was no big deal. I was shocked!

Even when I was in high school, which I realize was nearly 20 years ago. If you were caught kissing in the hallway, you were in serious trouble. The kids knew the dark corners and alleys to hide in but they definitely did try to hide in order to kiss. Now, it appears it is perfectly fine to "swap spit" out in the open for all to witness! And apparently we're not talking the peck on the lips, "see you after class," kind of kissing either. Abby still cringes and gags if Sam and I do more than a peck on the lips, and sometimes that even bugs her. Which is the way it should be!

Why do I homeschool? Because obviously the school system can't be trusted to enforce even societal rules of decorum: French kissing with heavy petting is not done in the halls for all to see and certainly shouldn't be done by 14 year olds!

I homeschool because my girls are being raised that sex is something between two people who are so committed to each other, they have gotten married. It is not something that one does to prove they are a woman. How would I teach that to them if for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 37 weeks a year, they were seeing and hearing otherwise.
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