We have decided to home school Jane this year instead of sending her to government school for first grade. This post isn't about the reasons we decided to home school (although we can discuss that in the comments), but about our home schooling association meeting last night. There are about 60 families in our county that belong to a home schooling association. The association doesn't have any requirements about religious affiliation and takes pains to be inclusive. There were a couple of Amish families present and everyone else seemed like typical American folks. There is another home schooling group in our town that requires members to sign a "statements of belief" on the trinity which made us ineligible. I think such a requirement is not unusual for many Christian home schooling groups.
The meeting was held at a park and was mostly just informational for parents. I spent most of the time watching the kids outside while Taliatha attended the meeting. We met one family that had children similar in age to ours and I think we will collaborate with them on some activities. They are devout Catholics and were very friendly. For whatever reason, I find that I am consistently impressed with devout Catholic families. I chatted with a few other dads who were watching their kids. Most seemed like pretty decent fellows. Then I talked to hippy dad. In an attempt to make home school small talk I asked him which curriculum they were using this year. He said, without any hesitation, that his fourth-grade daughter was studying "sex, words, and sunlight." What?!?! Sex and sunlight? Okay, I made up the "words" part but I distinctly heard the other two pillars of their curriculum. I tried to act unsurprised and probed no further. I don't think we will be collaborating with his family's home school any time soon. I'm a bit worried about what they are teaching their fourth-grader about sex. Besides, how can you spend a whole year on the topic? Also, how much is there to learn about sunlight? Hopefully it is just one unit they are doing and it won't take the whole year.
Hmmm, the purpose of this post wasn't to make home schooling seem weird, but I may not have helped the cause. My conclusion is that home schooling attracts all types and parents need to be discriminating in selecting curriculum and other families to work with. At any rate, we all know that home schooling can put out great kids (the Randle family) and we feel it can work for our family. Stay tuned for more posts on our home schooling adventure this year.