Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Review: TOS WeE-book: Is Your Homeschool Ready to Collapse

The Old Schoolhouse has started a new line of e-books that they call WeE-books. They cover a variety of topics. The first one that I have read is by Deborah Wuehler, the senior editor of the magazine and a homeschooling mom of eight. 

WeE-books are designed to be short (this one totaled 26 pages) and easy to read. They are meant to encourage the homeschooling mom (or dad) without having to spend a lot of time.

I think it was rather ironic I chose to read this one today. I have a 12 year old boy. Well, to be fair I guess I would have to say I have a 12 and a half year old boy who is fast approaching 13 & all the joys of puberty. He doesn't want to sit & spend hours doing school with me (well, neither do I). He wants to get it done. He wants it short & sweet. And he's not adverse to whining & complaining about it along the way. To be blunt, he's driving me bonkers.

In fact, in the back of my mind today I was seriously considering giving him a taste of what "real" school is like (i.e. public school). You see, he's never been. He spent two years in preschool at the ages of three & four. He remembers little to none of it. 

I thought about driving him around for an hour at about 7am so he could get a taste of what it would be like to ride on a bus. I drive a Suburban which is about the size of a small bus. Then I thought about having "periods" for each subject (is it still about 45 minutes per subject?). I don't think sixth graders get recess. A thirty-minute lunch break and two breaks? I think that's what I had in high school. We'd start promptly at 8am & finish by 2pm. He'd have to raise his hand to ask a question and get a hall pass to go the bathroom. 

But then I read the WeE-book Is Your Homeschool Ready to Collapse. This reminded me of why I chose to homeschool. When B was in that preschool for his developmental delays (he wasn't talking & had "sensory issues" on the autistic spectrum) I had never heard of homeschooling. I just assumed I would follow what most parents did & that was put him in school at age six (since he has a late August birthday & we had planned to hold him back a year). After all that was what everyone did.

Then I became pregnant with my second son when B was almost four. When I was six months pregnant we sold our home that we had only been in for two years to allow me to stay home to raise my boys. That's when it hit me. I had quit my job & sold a house so I could stay home and raise my boys! But then in just a few short months I would have been sending B off to school where he would have spent the majority of his day being influenced and raised by someone else entirely. I couldn't do it. That's when I called a lady I knew from my hubby's office. Her hubby worked with mine & she had been doing this "homeschooling" thing for years. Her oldest at the time was eight or nine. 

Lise changed the way I viewed education. She fielded more than one call from me assuring me that I could do this & that I did not have to follow the book word for word (this was HUGE for me!!). In short, Lise helped me start on this journey & supported me enough that now I support others just starting.

This WeE-book is a short read (it literally took me less than 20 minutes) but helps one focus on the reasons why we homeschool. One thing that really stood out to me was when the author likened sending your children off to public school as "going to the enemy's camp for training." The public school does not have a Biblical worldview. They do not base their teachings on the Bible. I want my children to grow strong in their faith. I want them to view everything through "God glasses." I want to do as God would have me to do. He has called me to homeschool my children & I'm going to continue as long as He allows me to. Lord willing, my plan is to go all the way through high school.

If you are wavering on why you are homeschooling or need a pick-me-up to remind yourself why you are doing this journey, you may want to check this out. The TOS Store sells them for only $1.95 each. Not a bad price for some great encouragement.

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