On Homeschooling and Sunday School

As a homeschooling family, one of the regular socialization places my son has with his peers is Sunday School. Not that I always have to defend homeschooling. But we all need some enlightenment in this area, even as homeschooling is just starting to get some kind of recognition in the Philippines.

Allow me to share what Dr. John Wesley Taylor, homeschool researcher and author of “Self-concept in Homeschooling Children has to say of homeschooling (Delahooke, 1986, National Home Education Research Institute, Fact Sheet 1):

“Homeschooling helps create and encourage the environment for these to happen and allows children the freedom to reclaim the essential ingredients for healthy living, positive psycho/social development. It liberates, it rebuilds and in time it heals. Children that are never confined to an institution or spend little time there unless by choice thrive socially. Recent studies on homeschooled students have clearly shown that they develop much higher levels of security and self confidence, are far less peer dependent and in general, experience much more security in their ability to relate to human beings of all ages – those younger and much older themselves.”

“Regarding socialization, it appears that very few home-schooling children are socially deprived. Critics who speak out against home schooling on the basis of social deprivation are actually addressing an area which favors home schoolers. Apparently, the research data indicates that it is the conventionally schooled child who is actually deprived.”

Source: http://www.moorefoundation.com/article/49/about-moore-home-schooling/moore-foundation/articles/self-concept-in-home-schooling-children

When people learn for the first time that we homeschool, it is more often than not, followed up with questions like, “How about  socialization?” If you have met our son, you will know soon enough (even a few minutes from initial greeting) that Jed has no social issues. Some may say that it might come with his inborn personality. But during the course of our homeschooling (more than three years now and counting), if homeschooling does pose a threat to a child’s socialization skills, it must have manifested one way or another after three years of homeschooling.

I digress. The plan is to blog about my son’s recent Sunday School adventures. But along the way, I just had to squeeze that in as it has been a while since I last blogged anything significant about homeschooling.

More than my son’s recent Sunday School adventure, this really is to express our appreciation for Sunday School teachers who take to heart what they do. Like Teacher Robi! Thank you, Teacher Robi! 🙂 My son has plenty of energy, just like normal kids his age. I can only imagine the challenge of bringing a handful of kids to listen during class.

Aside from the appreciation for Teacher Robi for well prepared lessons and activities for her students in Sunday School, what brought my eyes to discuss his most recent Sunday School Quiz was Jed’s prayer request.

Please ignore the wrong spelling. I asked Jed about it and he said he was in hurry. 🙂

But of course, I had to be discreet about my concern, even as we discussed his 9-page Sunday School activity/quiz over dinner. As much as I would like to jump right down to asking him why his prayer request was “have lots of money,” we went slowly from the first page to the last (where he wrote his prayer request).

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Jed knows this verse by heart.  Aside from our homeschool curriculum (School of Tomorrow) incorporating Bible verse like this in the lessons, we refer to this every so often to remind him that “there’s time for everything,” when needed.

Jed said that Teacher Robi had them write the books of the Old Testament and his friend Cheska shared with him her Bible because he forgot his. Jed has memorized the Books of the New Testament. I was surprised when he recited them in order one day when we were having this leaders meeting in church last year. Apparently, Lola Lynn (my mom), taught him a song that allowed him to memorize the chronological order of the books of the New Testament. Thanks, Mama! 🙂

It’s fairly easy to spot which ones are drawn by the little guy and which ones are by Teacher Robi. 🙂

“…while everything else changes… our God remains the same.” — Teacher Robi 🙂

Soon enough we had to ask him as I was holding the paper up with his written prayer request. Jed read his prayer request, “have lots of money” and when we asked why’s that (with a very neutral tone). He, as a matter-of-factly, answered straight away that he wants to help the church. No second of him to consider and wonder if what “the right thing to say” was while he was heartily munching his dinner away. I was kind of expecting him to say, so that he can buy all the toys he want. Jeff and I exchanged smiles across our tiny 4-seater dinner table. 🙂

This affirms the importance of getting the context of what our children say, or anyone else for that matter. It is rather easy to come into a conclusion right away, pre-judge, without knowing what’s behind a story, a phrase, or similar things in this regard. I always knew there was something behind that phrase. It was never for our son to want things for himself. If we’d ask for a gift he wants, he mostly always answers, “Nothing. I have everything I want.” So we mostly go around the things that interests him, and probe him for a wish list.

We’re truly thankful for this, and how we are able to see through our son’s heart during random conversations like this.

Thank you, Teacher Robi! 😀

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14b

On Homeschooling and Sunday School

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