I'm saddened and concerned by the current LDS homeschooling trends I've observed the last couple of years. I think it started with TJED and the idea that they are raising the leaders of the future. Now I'm seeing families declutter their houses to the point that they hardly have anything left for their children to do besides read old classic books. I'm not against decluttering, but I think they are taking it too far. Also, they focus on classic literature and don't seem to be encouraging and helping their children to excel in other subjects such as math. I think math is a hard one to catch up on. I'm afraid these children will not be well prepared for adulthood and this will put a bad light on homeschooling.
People don't seem to know how far to go or when to stop. Like I said before, decluttering is not a bad thing, but throwing everything out is. The public schools definitely have problems, but that doesn't mean that everything they do is evil. What I'm seeing with this group of homeschoolers is that in an effort to push away the bad they see with public school, they are trying to do the exact opposite. For example, some of them blog about how their house looks like a home and not a school. That's fine, but is it such a bad thing to have an area where your kids can really study? Maybe they would like a desk to spread out their books and to be able to write and work out problems. Does that look too much like a school?
The public schools definitely have problems, but they do have their good points. As homeschoolers and especially as LDS homeschoolers I would like to see us take the good things done in public school and incorporate it. I would like to see us take education to a higher standard and excel in all the subjects-- not just classic literature. We definitely need logic skills, critical thinking skills, math skills, computer skills, reading skills, writing skills and a good solid foundation of history as well as of religion.
Anyway, I'm disappointed that so many have enough courage to take their children out of school, but then really don't teach them even what they would have learned in school. Out homeschooled children need to know what they teach in school -minus the social agendas and missocialization- plus way more. Homeschooling is a great opportunity to give our children a really strong foundation and a great education. They should definitely learn Latin and formal Logic and Calculus.
I like the path we are on. It hasn't been proven because my kids just aren't old enough, but we are beginning to see the happy results. It is a lot of work, but so worth the effort! I don't think everybody should do what I'm doing and use the same curriculum I use, but I do wish there were more LDS homeschoolers concerned about the best way to teach math or science rather than writing super long posts on how their kids' friends are so inferior because they play video games and read Harry Potter.
My take on video games and Harry Potter is that it is O.K. in moderation. It can be overdone and like everything we need to find a healthy balance. The healthy balance for us to only play video games on Friday and Saturday with minutes they have earned throughout the week. The healthy balance to Harry Potter is to read lots of books, then the kids will discover the difference between entertainment and a great book. Entertainment is not bad in and of itself, just when it is out of balance. Same with deep study and reflection- it is good, but we can't do it all the time-- we need to unwind. Balance-- it's all about balance!!