Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The space in between home schooling and public schooling



I'm in the midst of filling out paperwork for my 5 year old to "attend" Connections Academy, which is basically public school at home.  They provide all the materials and access to teachers via phone and internet when we need/want it, and we do the lessons ourselves.  This is kind of my compromise, to prove to my husband, family, and hell.. even myself, that home schooling is possible and right for our family.  I won't lie, I'm a total scatterbrain, but I still feel really compelled to at least give home schooling a try.  I figure Connections Academy is a good way for us to get our feet wet, while still having some requirements and structure that will help keep ME on track.  Then perhaps with time, we'll branch off on our own and do "real" home schooling.  I kinda already feel like an outcast, lol.  I wonder if the "real" home schoolers will look down their nose at me for this.  And I know that it's going to be interesting with our family.  Hopefully not TOO bad, seeing as many of my cousins have been very successfully home schooled.  If my parents give me a hard time, I can say "Hey, look at their kids... now look at yours... see the difference?  'Nuff said"  In any case, she's been learning from me for 5 years so far, and she's doing grand!  Not much would change, we'd just have new materials.

Before my daughter started pre-school, they did the typical tests and found her to be "at a first-grade level" (Really?  jeez louise, I wasn't even trying!).  So I figure that even if I blow it and she learns NOTHING from me during Kindergarten (which would be impossible!) she'd still be just fine and ready for first grade.  My logic is that she ended up 2 years "ahead" according to their standards, and we were just living and helping her learn naturally according to her interests, so I can't possibly suck at teaching too bad, right?!  And she's clearly got the learning thing figured out for her end of it, lol.  

Anyway, I'm praying a lot about this.  I know it isn't a lifetime commitment, and "normal" school is always an option at any time, but I honestly don't want to have to go with that.  I'm looking at public school as a safety net, there if we *need* it, but not our first choice.  It parallels my feelings about breastfeeding and formula, actually.  As long as I can breastfeed, by golly I will.  Same goes for this.  Now I just need to cement that in my mind!   

Despite some of the nervousness I have, I'm also pretty excited.  They offer a lot of electives that our public schools don't, and I think she'll be really excited about that.  She has a lot of interest in sign language, and they offer it in every grade level!  My mother is fluent, and was a deaf interpreter, so she could even join in and expand on the lessons.  I'm excited that I have my own vehicle now, and we can go out on "field trips" or even do her "school work" at the park, grandma's house, by the lake, whatever.  I'm excited that we only have to put in a couple hours a day, rather than full school days (not because she'll be learning less, but because we can use time more effectively being one-on-one).  I'm excited that she'll have more time and flexibility to just be a kid, spend time with her family, and do other activities that interest her.  I'm excited that I don't have to surrender 13 years of my child's life to strangers that will never EVER care as much for her mind, body, and soul as we do.      

On one hand, it feels like a lot of pressure, but on the other hand... I've always been her mother.  I've always been her main caregiver.  And I've always been the person she learns most things from.  I'm not really taking on anything new.  I'm just holding on to my usual responsibilities rather than surrendering them to others.  

Deep breath... bring it on!


39 comments:

Tiffany @ As For My House said...

Good for you!!

I started my "homeschool" journey the same way, and for essentially the same reasons. I used the "Virtual Academy" through K12 curriculum for three years after pulling my son out of school.

Yeah, we did end up making the leap, though. Once you get used to the idea that it's not all about the schedule, and sometimes you learn more at the park, it's all "downhill"... :)

Welcome to the family. I'm not looking down my nose at all!

Danielle D said...

Good luck in your journey! I have a 1st grader in public school now, but I just feel it isn't a right fit for our family so I am contemplating home school next year. I would love to hear your thoughts on this once you start!

Alice and Mother said...

You're a born home schooler ... and so is your daughter, she's been doing it for 5 years ;-) Heard of the term de-schooling? It doesn't just apply to kids who have been to schools, it also applies to PARENTS who wanna homeschool, having to lose the idea that institutionalised learning is the only way to go. If you can do that with birth ... school is a natural progression! I'll be watching with interest! Congratulations on a marvelous - NOT FOR EVERYONE *snigger* - choice!

~Sherie~ said...

I homeschooled my older kids way back in the day, lol. We started with Alpha-Omega, it's all workbooks and very easy to use. Then we changed to Switched-On Schoolhouse, also through Alpha-Omega. All done (and most of it graded) on computer, and even easier. Have fun with your homeschooling adventure, it's certainly worth it!

Sherri H. said...

We have homeschooled for years now and tried to fall into a group, a label I guess. We did many different styles and ended up where we are...school type stuff in the mornings and afternoons free. We call it child-led learning.

mystic_eye_cda said...

Psst this one:
http://www.connectionsacademy.com/home.aspx

Is it really free or is it "free". Anyone got anymore?

I love unschooling, and I get unschooling, but sometimes I just want someone to do the work for me. Worksheets can be as much of a jumping off point as cooking, groceries, etc

Wendy said...

This may be my plan as well. I think I just need something to help me get into the swing of homeschooling. Like how do I know if I am teaching them enough? I know i will need some kind of structure at first since this is so new to me. Plus i will be able to have my little one "in kindergarten" with her big sister (theyre a yr apart) and hopefully after the first year or so we can just go off on our own learning adventures :)

Albany of the West said...

Yay for you and your kiddo! Sounds like you are doing the best thing for your family and that is (as always) the most important thing you can do. I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and the thing they always said that surprises me is they don't learn *that* much about teaching, most of what they learn is about "classroom management" and when you are homeschooling, you already have that down...I think they just call it parenting : )

Not sure if you read her site, but the Pioneer Woman has a whole section devoted to homeschooling and there is a ton of great info there. Good luck!!

Abra said...

My opinion is that you have to cater education to the individual child. I was homeschooled from the 6th grade on (unschooled really) and did quite well. In spite of the fact that I didn't do much 'actual school work' I'm still more educated than most people who graduate public school.

My son on the other hand is a totally different kid. He LOVES public school and getting out every day. He's super social and needs other people around all the time. Based on that we paid a little extra for a house in an A+ school district. Very few people thrive in public school (roughly 20%) and it's critical to make a choice that benefits your child.

Anonymous said...

GOODLUCK!
I'm a new mom of a wonderful 7mth old monster, and I've seen the school system fail for my brother and other family/friends. I've been seriously considering homeschool, since I've ALWAYS wanted to teach and I'm currently a nurse.
I am excited to watch you on your journey, it empowers me and gives me confidence that it is possible. Also it gives me an idea from all the wonderful comments on meterials to look out for, and where to get more information. You have a wonderful Support system just on this blog!
Goodluck!!

Milkshaken said...

i'm an unschooler / organic learner home schooler of my 6yo daughter and my 4 yo son. like you said, without even *trying* you are "two levels ahead". sounds like you're a natural already. not to be doling out completely unsolicited advice but i will and say above all, keep having fun and following your child. trust both of you! peace.

Laura said...

We've got something here that's similar, where you can get all the materials for a public school education at home. I guess I saw it as kind of the worst of both worlds for us. I'm not a fan of public schools and how they teach to test and all that. One thing I'd love about homeschooling would be designing or choosing a more creative curriculum. Then you still have to (for the one offered here; I don't know about the one you're using) deal with "teachers" as accountability, conferences, etc. So there are still a lot of the downsides of public schools and their knack for taking all the joy out of learning, plus the downside of me having to do all the work myself.

Honestly, I think kids will come out mostly okay no matter how you school them. If they get enough love and support, they'll be fine. I was dead set against public school, but I can't afford private and my hyper-social 5 year old begged and pleaded. So I reluctantly put her in public school. So far, she loves it. She hates breaks and early release days. She's thriving there; I never would've guessed it.

I have a friend who unschools. She has no curriculum at all and her daughter has a huge amount of freedom in her daily life, as far as how she spends her time. Her daughter is well-adjusted and tests well above average for her grade level.

So basically, I think whatever we decide to do will tend to work out because we're loving parents. How much we agonize about school-related decisions shows how much we care about our kids, and that's the part that matters most IMO.

I would love to hear what you think about this curriculum you're using as it progresses. My 2nd daughter is less crazy about school. She's a total homebody.

Sage said...

I homeschooled my oldest until 3rd grade, and then we started on our journey of 'half homeschooling'. Ours is a little different though in that the private school is only 2 days a week, and the kids come home with homework for the other 3 days. It's a great mix! I have 3 in 'school' now, with 3 more to go in the future ;)

megan said...

We have home educated for the last three years. We use My Father's World and The Critical Thinking Company material. My Father's World has a multi-age curriculum so I can teach the same materials to both of my boys who are a year apart. It also has a great phonics based reading program, my second picked up so much from his brothers first grade lessons that I never had to teach him how to read. Both include all the "basics" for that grade, so if you cover the material, you should be teaching them all they "need" to know for that grade level. I used to be a structure schedule person and them realized that just b/c it was in the curriculum didn't mean we had to do it, if they learn the same principles a different was that was okay.
The most important part is to have fun, learning is supposed to be fun. We take advantage of the library tons, story hour and I love being able to go online and request books, then all I have to do is go and pick them up. Most areas have homeschooling play group/co-ops, I organize one for our area and we have had a blast this past year.

Anonymous said...

I see the benefit of transition here, but have found charter schooling to have more negatives than positives in the end.

This is especially true if you need or want any individuality and customization in your curriculum.

Those who are religious or who have a firm belief in some practices also fear that charter schools might net some unaware parents. HSLDA remains critical towards chartering as in the experience of the organization, it has simply given the school system an inside route to the family and more power over the parents. Vaccines, religious subjects, gifted students and special needs students can all cause friction in this option.

Anyways, that's not to say that every school out there is interested in control and usurping the parental authority of schooling. But I did want to point out to others that there are disadvantages to consider before jumping into this option.

Anonymous said...

Oh PLEASE, let me encourage you to "just" homeschool!! Especially during those younger years, when the basics are all they really need, and are not difficult to teach! I think doing it the virtual way will be much harder, as you'll have to keep up with record keeping, testing, and the child will be doing most of the work on a computer screen. I think in the later years, once they're more independent and have goals in mind, and you think a more structured curriculum is in order, THEN the virutal school may be beneficial. They can learn all the basics needed for K-2nd grade without ever having to do anything structured. I've found with myself and others, the more you stick to the public school model, the quicker you and your students will get burnt out. Pray on it, hope you find what works best for your family! And thankful we still have the option!

Anonymous said...

This means you aren't going to be unschooling? :-)

Just keep in the back of your mind, that home schooling doesn't mean doing public school at home. It is a totally different concept. It is more relaxed, child led and oh so much fun! You will find once you go on your own that you can do everything you need to do book wise within just a couple of hours at most and the rest of the day is free to REALLY learn. :) Everything you do in life is learning and is a teachable moment. Baking and cooking is science, math and reading. Outdoors exploring brings relaxed science lessons, research, and so much more. No matter what you are doing, you are learning and it is the same for your children. Life IS learning!

Joy said...

My husband was homeschooled from PK-12 whereas I was public schooled. We have our daughter at a public charter school as a compromise because I hated homeschooling her. I have absolutely no patience for it. So I give mad props to people who can and do do it!

I look forward to hearing about your homeschooling journey. And who cares if you're starting off with Connections Academy? If anyone looks down on you for it then they're just being judgmental and aren't people you want to be around anyway.

Kellieandkids said...

Just a thought. Replace "Public or Normal Schools" with Hospital Birth and see how you feel then. You are using public school as a safety net, which is what some people say about epidurals...you have to give it your all and don't think of public school as an option. You will do fine. I'm scared too, my son starts kindergarten homeschooling this year, but he is so ready to learn, he is like sponge and I can't see this being too difficult really. I KNOW that I care more about my son and his education then the public school system ever could, so, for me, public school just is not an option for us!

mandy_moo said...

How exciting!! I'm still trying to convince my DH to let me homeschool... I guess I need to get my research on, because that's how I got him on board with leaving our lil man intact--lots of research and proof.

Debbie said...

I can soooo see you homeschooling ;o).

I've been unschooling my three teenage daughters (18yo grad, 16yo and 13yo)for several years now. Our two oldest attended public school through 5th and 1st, and the youngest has never attended at all. We had to deschool daughters 1and 2 for almost a year before they regained their natural curiosities (which they'd quickly lost) and stopped expecting their *knowledge* to be spoon fead, disected and directed as they had *learned* from school (Matt Hearn's book "Deschooling Our Lives" is a wonderful resource for both parents and children who have previously schooled before discovering homeschooling).

My youngest on the other hand, has known no seperation between living and learning/ home and school. She's remained natural, seamless, ungraded, unmeasured and always curious since birth. Her spark and enthusiasm and ideas never extinguished, reduced or redirected.

They're each beautiful and unique individuals and homeschooling has brought so many unexpected gifts to our table.

I wish you the same opportunities for your family!

Charis Kelly said...

Hmm, this is obviously something that works for you. I like the idea, but I'm not exactly sure of how it all works. My son is very social, he attends pre-school twice a week, we are on holidays at the moment and he can't wait to get back. I was wondering about how you would go about social interactions for your kids? If I home schooled my son I'm afraid my son would miss out on valuable time alone with peers of his own age and interest,just time for free play (not including any sports groups or other scheduled activity) and I think its something he would need everyday. What do you think of this? Also I wanted to know why you prefer not to send your child to school. What happens when they grow up and have to be in an institutional world anyway, like college/ university or in a work institution? I guess I don't really understand it all, but I'm open to learning, I'll have to do some investigating, thanks for challenging my thoughts!

Sarah said...

I'm not criticising you, because I know there is going to be a learning curve that you will go through (from what little I do know about you- I think it will be quick) but I hope that soon you will come to understand that protecting your child's insuppressible desire to learn- not your own ability to cram stuff into their head- is going to be your greatest joy as a homeschooling parent.

Julie said...

I've been toying with the homeschooling idea for a while now. I've looked into the K12 bit too. But I'm having a hard time taking that leap (and pulling my husband with me).

Our 5 & 3 yr olds are currently in kindergarten at a morning-only Christian school. They started at that school by going to the daycare there. After we stopped with daycare this past September, we decided to continue with their curriculum until our oldest went to first grade. This will be our first summer off since previously they'd been in daycare year round.

Anyhow, I think both of my older two would benefit from homeschooling -- the older since he's apparently ahead of his class, and the younger because he can't keep his bony little butt in a chair. But I don't know how I could do it with a baby on my hip while working from home too.

Keep us posted on your progress. I'm really interested to hear how it goes.

Amberlee said...

We tried online schooling and hated it! I am not sure where you live or if you have looked at the laws concerning homeschooling to see if your child has to start school right now or not. All I know is online school is not flexible like they tell you and for Kindergarten you are better off chucking the curriculum and reading books, playing outside, running around or snuggling on the sofa together.

We are all born knowing how to learn...unfortunately we then are reprogrammed to learn someone else's way through 12+ years of school or school-at-home using a curriculum created by teachers who were taught the same way. No child learns in exactly the same way--but we all learn.

How much of your 12 years do you actually remember? Were you speaking before you started? How did you learn to speak? What about reading? I was reading before I started school. In second grade I was told I would have to sit in the corner with a giant BORING school written text while I waited for my peers to catch up....which would be somewhere around 6th grade...WHAT! yeah....do you think reading was interesting after that? nope...or at least not textbooks or books I didn't choose.

My children all learned to read early, on their own. One day I was reading to them the books they loved over and over and the next they were reading words to me...I am not sure how it happened. They naturally figured it out. It was something they were allowed to play with and never forced to do so they loved it. They typically check out so many books from the library that we need a wagon to carry them! They read them all. Did I "teach" them? Not the way the schools say you "have" too...in fact I don't believe I taught them at all, I modeled the behavior by reading....I read to them...I guided them through reading to me when they chose to.

The biggest thing you can do for your relationship with your darling child is ask them what they want. Give the child a real choice and trust that she will learn what she needs along the way. The other thing you can do is check out John Holt, Sandra Dodd and Pam (I can't spell her last name but she has stuff on Sandra Dodd's site)......Read read and read more and then ask the child. Yes, they know what they are interested in. Yes they will eventually learn to read, write and do basic math. It doesn't have to be all at once, or even this year. Do your research first.

If online school is your only choice because of the state you live in I feel sorry for you--it really was a pain! :( Good luck in whatever you choose. Unschooling is not work. Unschooling is LIFE it is a way of being which you are already on the path with all your other interests and the reason for your blog. You are very involved in your child's life. Unschooling (don't like the term it sounds like you don't ever learn) is about relationships and building a strong link between you and your children. Honest, trustworty, loving and friendly relationships...I hope you will look into it. :) Thanks for your awesome blog!

jennifer said...

My son is very social too and he isn't at a school age and he doesn't go to a daycare/pre-school but he still hangs out with other kids. Playing at the pool, parks, family, friends.

It's just a matter of being involved in other groups/communities. Local mom groups and they even have homeschooling conventions/groups. I have several friends that were homeschooled and they have tons of friends.


this was for the status you made on facebook....i don't see the question you are talking about though.

Lee-Ann said...

@ Charis Kelly-
Kids don't get socialization at school (maybe at lunch and recess) what they do get is institutionalization, and lots of it. I take my kids to the local homeschooling park day once a week, and they play for 4 hours with all sorts of kids of all ages. they also go to homeschool classes, like art, gymnastics and swimming, where they get to meet and socialize with other HS kids. We have ample free time each week for playdates, which we do, with lessons and field trips, and rarely feel overscheduled.
You said " What happens when they grow up and have to be in an institutional world anyway, like college/ university or in a work institution?" This seems to be a common question. Most who ask it seem to believe that without 12 or more years of istitutionalization kids won't be able to function in the "real world". Is that what you were getting at? Because the thing is the "real world" has so many more choices and flexibility in it than school does. There are many paths that don't involve desks and time clocks. The bottom line is that if the HS kid is motivated as an adult they'll just adapt to the work a day world. Just like everyone else.

Woman Uncensored said...

About "socialization" and all that...

We live in an apartment complex, so my kids get to play with other children all the time. They also have about a dozen cousins that we are close with. I prefer my kids to be able to get along with children and adults of all ages, rather than just their specific peer group.

Home school doesnt mean stuck at home unless you make it that way. Kids can socialize in their family, neighborhood, at the park, at church, at the swimming pool, at the library, in clubs, sports, whatever strikes your fancy.

I don't want my kids to be limited to functioning only within their own peer group. The "real world" doesn't work like that, they'll have to be around people of all ages, which is not something they can learn at school.

Sylvia said...

I found my way to this conversation via a link at fb, asking homeschoolers to come answer some concerns expressed in a comment.

Upfront, let me way, we're unschoolers, and have been for 7 years. Before that, we were VERY relaxed eclectic homeschoolers for a year.

Okay, to tackle those questions....
****
If I home schooled my son I'm afraid my son would miss out on valuable time alone with peers of his own age and interest,just time for free play (not including any sports groups or other scheduled activity) and I think its something he would need everyday.
****
My kids have plenty of time with peers their age. Older and younger friends, too. They have neighbor friends (schooled kids), and other unschooled friends. Since all our time with peers is unscheduled, and I'm nearby -- but not hovering -- the boys enjoy plenty of *alone* time with peers, with no risk of playground bullies.
We're able to visit public parks, the zoo, skate park, etc at off-hours while everyone else is in school, so they don't spend their entire 20 minute recess waiting for a turn that never comes.

****
Also I wanted to know why you prefer not to send your child to school.

****
I did send my oldest son to school for 12 years, including pre-school. It never went well for him, tho he's a very bright boy. And by the time he was 16, in 10th grade, he was very broken. I gave them one of my beautiful, magnificent children and they sent him home broken, discouraged and hurt. It took years for him -- and our family - to heal. Never again.

****

What happens when they grow up and have to be in an institutional world anyway, like college/ university or in a work institution?

*****
Technically, no one HAS to be in an institutional world. We're not sold into slavery.

The choices my children make in higher education and employment will be just that -CHOICES. We all make choices, some of them more expensive and unpleasant than others.

My oldest son, at 25, has completed several college credits at the local community college. He's worked in a variety of jobs. Currently, he works piecemeal. He does odd jobs, trades labor at a local sustainable farm, helps his girlfriend's parents turn around rental apartments. He takes the jobs he wants and spend his free time as he wishes.

My husband, after 20 yrs working in an office as a gov't contractor (don't get much more institutional and soul-sucking than that), and began a second career as a truck driver. He's worked for several companies, and even over the road for 2 yrs. Currently, he's working locally and loves his work, largely because he does an honest day's work with no office politics.

My point being, that no one HAS to work a job they hate. No one HAS to go to college if they don't want to. Every single thing we do in life is a choice. Recognizing that is one of the most important things I've learned about life in our time as unschoolers who re-invented ourselves in middle age.

Sometimes, often really, living a big, joyous life requires a huge leap of faith - in ourselves, in our partners, in our children.

Anonymous said...

What parents need to ask themselves is: what is the difference between socializing and socialization?

Socializing is when we interact with other people...for pleasure, for business, for learning and more.

Socialization is when we are taught specific social behaviors and/or made to follow them.

A traditional school provides both of these forms. Children will inevitably socialize with other children and teachers. But it's clear that the focus is not on socializing, but on socialization.

Those who school outside the system will get plenty of socialization. Oh yes, that is quite a misunderstood myth.

It is also a myth that children who are not institutionalized are unable to integrate into society. And it's a myth that all children want to integrate into society. Their life, their choice. As adults they can decide. My mom left that choice up to me and although I easily traverse into instituionalized areas of society, I am glad I have the choice to socialize on a broader level. By 15 I had started a business, by 17, I started another one and became a retail manager. I was going to college full time and paying out of pocket, but my grades and papers opened up the academic world fairly quickly. So now my university pays me to go to their school. Yes, I make about $1,000 each semester after they pay my books and tuition. My majors are neuroscience and clinical psychology. I hope to be a neurophysicist after I wrap up my master's and licensing.

I still have my little business on the side. Oh yeah, I'm married, have a toddler and I'm pregnant, too.

Thanks, mom, for not putting me in a box.
~guggie

Julie said...

Sometimes, often really, living a big, joyous life requires a huge leap of faith - in ourselves, in our partners, in our children.-- Sylvia

That's the most comforting -- and most frightening ... no, challenging -- thing I've heard all day...

Sabrina Hlavaty said...

I plan on homeschooling too and my ideas were we'll get to spend more time with family, many of my close friends have children close to my daughters age, church twice a week plus additional activities they put on, I go to a La Leche League meeting 3 times a month and there are usually plenty of other kids her age, I want to start going to a MOPS meeting where I assume there will also be children her age. I figure if I start networking with other moms now, especially homeschooling families, and build a community that there will be plenty of play dates, field trips and other activities. Also I remember home schooled kids being able to do certain electives available at my MS and HS. Oh and city league sports. Gymnastics, ballet, etc. There are always free family friendly events going on at parks, museums, churches.

The possibilities are endless and it seems like there would be more flexibility. It will take a lot of planning and hard work for sure, but I'm sure it's worth it.

When I was in school we only got to socialize at recess and lunch and the 4 minute we had to get to class in MS and HS. Recess/PE wasn't more than an hour and lunch was 25 minutes....

WrapYourBaby said...

I want to address the socialization issue, too. In public school my kids would be in a segregated group of same-aged kids from the same neighborhood and, potentially, similar ethnic and economic backgrounds.

They would be sternly told to "save the socializing for after class," and they would sit quietly in a room with other people, listening to the teacher, taking tests, and remembering not to "cheat" by collaborating with colleagues.

In contrast, my daughter is with me every day and has the opportunity to chat with grocers, learn how to use the post office, learn how to run a home based business (by watching and helping me), interact with her younger sibling, play with friends for hours a day at the park, and experience the real world instead of staring glumly out a window.

She is not assigned friends (by getting stuck in the same class) but meets friends either randomly in life or through classes with other kids with similar interests (the same way adults make friends) like in her ballet class, or at a lego club.

I hope that this is preparing her for a non-institutionalized life as an artist, entrepreneur, or stay-at-home mom (my personal passion). But I know it will be advantageous even if she decides to go to college, or become an employee in a giant corporation.

Tiny Footprints said...

Charis, there are wonderful and exciting ways that you can give your child the same social benefits that a child in a public school gets. You seem to think "free play" is important but kids in public schools really don't get a lot of that, a home schooled child probably gets a lot more "free play"! The sky is the limit when you are looking to socialize your home schooled child. And one of the nicest things about that freedom is that you are not limiting your child to the age specific group that a school does. Children in a public school are lumped together by age. When a child is schooled from home you can introduce them to camps over the summer and theater classes, choir through your church, young adult classes at your church or your library, the list can go on and on. The best part about it is that your child now is in an environment where they are socializing with children of many ages, which is far more appropriate when they have to use those communication skills in life. Also once you get the feel for what your child would like to be a part of it becomes socializing with children of many ages who have similar interests. Also there are homeschooling co-ops where you have a number of homeschooling families who work together to insure not only that the children get quality education but that they also get a chance to socialize with peers. Not only that but if one person happens to be an engineer and can teach math and physics and another happens to be an Ad rep who has a degree in English and takes on that portion of the schooling what you have is a well rounded education with the opportunity for a child to learn with different people who have different manners of approaching the art of teaching. So you have a child who is then learning to socialize with adults sometimes many of them.
As to why I would prefer to delay my child moving into the institutional world, well I can say this, I very much believe that for some children it impedes learning. For some children I suppose it works. For other children not so much. We have an epidemic of children who are being diagnosed with ADHD, because they talk too much, they can't sit still, they can't follow directions, the list goes on and on. But the truth is that some of these kids are very creative bright children who are squares being pushed into a round hole. Kids are sponges and they learn so easily on their own terms, but we put them into school and they wilt and fail. There are answers for that problem at home. There is flexibility at home that there isn't in school. So your child has trouble sitting still when doing his math exercises, get him a balance ball to sit on. So your child can't get his mind around geometry sitting there looking at a book, get him a block set and let him experience it first hand. Once you realize that your child isn't learning from the method that you are using and change the method then you might be able to create success where there was a chance of failure. There isn't that opportunity in a public school. This creativity and flexibility creates the opportunity for the child to learn more and open up venues that might not otherwise have been opened. The child can learn about institutions later, and most likely will have to. But if I can give my child the knowledge base that she needs to be able to do anything before the world tries to tell her that she has to spend the rest of her days in a cubicle than I have done her a world of good! When she goes to those institutions as an older person with a sense of great accomplishment and confidence then she has a tool that she can use along with that knowledge base to perhaps blow up the box that every one talks about and live her life on her own terms.

Danielle R said...

I have some younger cousins whose mom decided to home school them after they had been in public school for a few years. Most of us in the family were pretty apprehensive about the whole thing because my aunt tends to get wrapped up in other things and we were worried that the girls studies would not come first. However, with this program they do ... See Morehave a few classes that they take at "school" which is a group of other homeschoolers. I was pretty ignorant to the ways of homeschooling and didn't realize how structured some of the programs and curriculum actually can be. The girls have been doing this for a few years now and are absolutely thriving! They are also very involved in their chirches youth group and one of them is very involved in a drama club.

I think it takes a patient parent and a good parent/child relationship. It is something I wouldn't mind giving a shot but it wouldn't work with my families dynamics stepson/ shared custody of my own son etc.

Smile and Curtsy said...

Thank you everyone for your comments. Woman uncensored also posted my question on her Facebook page and I have just read ALL those comments too. It's amazing how excited I feel now. Today I'm going to spend some time learning about what my state offers in regards to homeschooling,(I live in Sydney, NSW, Australia) my eldest son is 3 and a half, he is clever and I have often wondered how he will go at school. His current preschool teachers are always commenting on how much he already knows. I always believe that you should never limit what ability a child has to learn, I never hold back on teaching them anything, I've never thought "my sons too young to understand that". I think home schooling would really support this.

SYLVIA; Your comment was great, thank you :)

Thank you Woman Uncensored for writing your home-schooling blog, you have really challenged my thinking!

Charis Kelly

mystic_eye_cda said...

"just time for free play"

Ok just think this through for a minute, really think for a minute...

You need an institution to provide unstructured play? That's what parks, play "places" (McDonald's, indoor playgrounds, book shops), any open space in a mall, culs-de-sacs, and anywhere else is for. Unstructured play is by its very nature not requiring structure or institution.

When the slightly older kids (ages 5 and up) are out playing at the park and culs-de-sac in my area they truly get to PLAY. There are no adults around to tell them not to play tag/red rover/or other banned games, no one says "You can't play X unless everyone wants to play X", not to throw sand at each other, or resolve disputes. There are no banned games.

Nope I don't need an institution to give my kids unstructured play -I just need to open the door to my house. Heck not even that, my 4 and 2 year old disappear for up to an hour playing all on their own in their room and there aren't even any toys stored there (they are allowed to take toys in there but they usually have to be gone by bedtime).

YIKES

And when they get to work or college and are at least 16 years old, and have well developed self-esteem, conflict resolution skills, and the ability to socialize with all age groups they will do fine -because they will be old enough to decide if the "rules" are worth putting up with for the "reward" (and its not always, which is why people quit jobs)

Brooklyn said...

Good for you! Much of what you are feeling/felt is exactly how I am feeling/felt. Thanks for putting it out there!! (We'll be doing the 'homeschool school' next year for our daughter, too. I found that I needed the structure more than my she did! .....)

Mama G said...

"Like how do I know if I am teaching them enough?"

the same way you know they're getting enough breastmilk. As someone else said, think of public school as a hospital birth. Just let them tell you what and how they learn, and you'll go far.

It's normal to feel some anxiety when you've been public schooled yourself. We all have to decondition, what the learning process is actually like. Mine are now 11, 9 and 9. And they are some of the brightest and most well read and well spoken children I know. If you read books, they will read books.

Just like anything else, whatever you show interest in, they are going to want to do too, cause you're the coolest!!!

If you need resources, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy your new adventure!

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