Sunday, September 12, 2010

Home Schooling....Is It A Good Idea ?

This is my first blog on blogger.com. I am very concerned about my niece and her choosing to home school her children in grades K-12.

My niece, Deb, lives in Virginia and has 5 kids, ages 1 month-11 years. Deb and her husband chose to live in a very secluded place at a very high elevation, overlooking beautiful valleys and forests. That is all well and good, but they are so isolated, and there are no playmates for her kids. She home schools them, starting at 4 years old. My niece has a BS degree in religion and philosophy, and the kids are very intelligent. She does a great job with them. She says she is shielding her children from drugs, alcohol, smoking, violence and other such negative influences. There is very little contact with other kids, except in church and with church activities. The church is also in a very rural setting with a very small membership.

The two older children have participated in soccer competition with other kids their own age. I attended soccer games and watched them. They stood their positions and did as they were told, but did not seem to enjoy it. Other kids would interact and laugh and talk before and after the game. Deb's kids stood back and did not interact at all. Except for this activity and their rural church community, there is no contact with other children.The kids are wonderful and happy, and they have each other, but no close friends or playmates outside of the family. Is this a good way to raise children?


My concern is that, after their home schooling, grades K-12, they will go out into the world and experience culture shock. They will have such a hard time adjusting. They may fall for scams, be easily influenced by the wrong kind of people, etc. They will be immature to the world at large and have a very difficult time adjusting. The family cannot afford to send the kids to college. My niece is a stay-at-home mom and the father has a low paying job. How will these kids survive in today's world?

My kids went to schools in the city in Kingston, NY. They had good educations, had many friends from the neighborhood and school, and adjusted as they grew. They saw kids on drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking and having guns at school. They were never tempted by any of those vices because my wife and I were a good influence at home. We have never had any of those vices ourselves. We sent our two sons to college and they have MS degrees from Georgia Tech. They have enormous homes and good jobs, earning big bucks. They did not have to adjust to a strange world, they were already adjusted when they left home.

Now, which way is best, to raise your kids? I can see the good and bad sides of both, but I am very concerned about the futures of Deb's five children.