Monthly Archives: February 2011

Homeschool vs Public School

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Okay people…here is the latest family debate in our household.  Do we homeschool, or send our kids to public school.  Now, keep in mind we live in Louisiana, and both my husband and myself have been, and are currently on the inside of the public school system.  I was teaching, and my husband is teaching currently.  So we know all about the good, the bad, and the ugly that so many parents and community members don’t know about.  Ultimately it is our desire to God’s will in our family’s life.  However, it is nice to get the thoughts of others on the topic. Below are some pros and cons to each, based on my personal opinions and beliefs.  Please keep in mind that these opinions reflect only our family’s school district;  it does not mean that every district has the same pros and cons.

 Here are some pros to public school:  diverse socialization, both parents are free to work if all children are in school,  the children are doing the “normal” things,  can be involved in the different school activities and clubs. 

Okay, here are the public school cons:  large classroom size, school begins very early, overall apathetic board and administration, other people are basically raising your children,  you can never be sure when your child’s education is lacking, children are exposed to corrupt, secular things,  kids are taught evolution, etc., grading is not always accurate (i.e. social promotion, no child receives less than a 50% on an exam), system is very unstable.

Homeschooling pros:  You can offer your children an education based on core family values, Students are not in one room behind a desk all day learning, You are able to offer more hands-on learning, more “field trips”, parents know exactly what is going on with their child’s education, you can set your own schedule based on your child’s personal learning methods and abilities, some students may be able to finish high school a little early to move on in their careers/schooling, students are typically 1-2 grade levels above other kids their age, kids aren’t exposed to inappropriate things to early in life, students are able to be very involved in the community, there are many support groups and conferences for homeschool families

Homeschooling cons:  Parents must be disciplined and capapble of teaching material or the student will fall behind or have gaps in their education, cost could become an issue, students are unable to participate in public school activities, if parents are not wise the student could end up lacking credits needed to recieve TOPS if the student wishes to attend college

I’m sure many of us can come up with many more items for each list, depending on our beliefs and ideas.  I have been doing my research so that I can make an educated decision for my family.  I am pro homeschooling because of my beliefs.  My husband is currently on the fence about the subject.  He can see the good in both,but is just trying to seek out God’s will.  So far all of the reseach I have found states that homeschooled students score higher on standardized test, have better grades overall, and score higher in the socialization area than do kids who attend public school.  Homeschooled kids have also been shown to have higher goals and achieve more in their lifetime than those in public school.  Again, I stress that I am NOT trying to persuade anyone in any way;  I simply want to put my thoughts out there and get the thoughts of others on the topic.  It is always nice to get some outside perspective.  This is a topic very heavy on our minds now that our daughter is approaching school age.  This is a choice we have dreading having to make, just because you want what is best for your children.  We have faith that God will show us exactly which way we need to go with this.

Please feel free to leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions.  Thanks for reading!

As they grow

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In just a little over a month, my baby will be 4 years old.  It is bittersweet.  Turning 4 makes her officially school age eligible, but that also means she isn’t really a toddler anymore…she is a preschooler.  It is all going by so fast.  I just want God to grab hold of the world every now and then and slow it down.  When she turned 1, I couldn’t even imagine her 4th birthday.  I was just so consumed with our little lives, and the joy that she brought me, that I just never thought about her growing up.  Now, it is hard not to think about it; and not in the sense that I’m ready for her to grow up like parents sometimes feel, but because it makes me sad.  I miss having my dependent baby.  I miss cuddling her up, and having to stop and play with her.  Now days, she is very independent and does many things on her own, and she doesn’t want anyone’s help.  She definitely gets a lot of that from her mother.  She has recently been saying how she is so ready to grow up because she wants to be a grown up and a mommy too.  I try to encourage her to enjoy being a kid because it goes by a lot faster than we think it does.  I can’t help but to think back to my childhood, and how quickly I wanted to grow up as well.  I always wanted to be independent, and never wanted help from anyone for anything.  I always wanted to everything myself, and to deal with everything myself.  I’m not sure why that is…genetics?  Anyhow, I specifically remember being a kid and sitting in front of the tv on the floor, drawing a picture of myself as I imagined I would be as a teenager.  At that moment I paused and thought to myself that surely the world would end before I would turn 16 years old, much less become an adult and have a family of my own.  All of this I see in my daughter, and it brings tears to my eyes because I remember being that very same little girl.  I can’t help but to hope that she will not have the same inner struggles that I did with having such a desire to be independent.  It is a trait that you always deal with.  Even as a wife and mother, I still struggle with allowing people to help me.  When I am upset about something, I still at times struggle with letting my husband in to help console me.  I’ve definitely gotten a lot better than I use to be.  I guess my dad’s constant encouragement to become a better communicator and to let people in has really been what helped me the most.  God has also played a major role in teaching me that I am only human, just as we all are, and that not one of us is meant to do it all on our own.  This struggle will be one that remains in my life forever, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a major struggle.  I get better about it everyday.  So it is only evident, and understandable, that I would have the same concerns for my daughter.  I even sit down with my husband sometimes and disscus with him how our reactions to things either encourage or discourage our daughters lines of communication with us.  My parents did a great job encouraging me to communicate, but so many times I just didn’t.  It wasn’t because of them, but because of me.  That is something I am trying to teach my daughter to ignore.  In order to not have such a desire to grow up fast and be so independent all the time, she has to ignore that desire and rely on God.  Yes, she is very young and doesn’t completely understand the concepts, but the important thing is the message I’m sending and the seed that is being planted.  I can’t help but think that I feel so much about my baby getting older.  How do other moms feel?  Are they eager for their children to grow up and be more independent?  Are they hanging on to every  moment as they watch their kids grow up?  Regardless, I think that as mothers, we have to learn to enjoy our kids while they are kids, and not worry about them growing up.  No matter what we do, or feel, they will grow up.  It is a part of life, and they will grow up, go to school, become hormonal teenagers, go off to college, move out, get married, and have families of their own.  It will happen and there is nothing anyone can do to slow it down or stop it, so why not enjoy it; praise God for the children we have and embrace the phases of life that we are able to share with our kids.

So, in honor of my daughter’s upcoming 4th birthday, here are a few photos from her 3rd.

December 2009

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A festive fireplace

I finally made it!December was so crazy for us! Justin and I had lived apart for 6 months..me in Monroe to finish my English degree, and him in Pineville because that is where he finally found a job. It was super tough on all of us, to say the least. However, we made it through. In December, I graduated from ULM and we bought our very first home together. We actually moved the same weekend I graduated. Needless to say, we had A LOT to be thankful for! Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Oh yea….and it was Christmas!!  What a blessed Christmas for the Kees family!

Just trying to keep up…

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Riley Grace Snow Angel

I am just trying to keep up on life, and keep everyone updated in the process.  I know this is old, but the photo to the left is our daughter Riley Grace making a snow angel for the first time.  Last year around this time, we got some amazing snow…well, amazing to us here in Louisiana.  I just wanted to briefly share some updates, so bear with the next few posts, and hope you enjoy the photos.

The Kees Home covered in snow!