Tuesday, February 23, 2010


DISCLAIMER: I know this is one of those "touchy" subjects for a lot of people. Whether you agree or disagree is fine (and I would love to hear what you think) but please be respectful of me and anyone else who comments!

First of all, I do NOT think homeschooling is right for everyone. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. I absolutely respect people who are called to teach, go through all the necessary schooling, and who have that gift.

But the classroom is not always the best learning environment. I don't think it's a reflection on the teachers or even the other students (although it can be), but it's a reflection on our society as a whole and the administration with whose policies the teachers must comply.

And every student learns in different ways. I know that I was a good student. I got good grades. But it was rarely hard. Even the stuff I didn't like, I could still do. I feel like I could have learned more and been a little more challenged with some more individualized attention.

While some smaller private schools might help some of these concerns, there are plenty of other concerns.

I know some of the biggest objections to homeschooling are that the kids will be anti-social and "weird". I only met a couple of homeschooled kids before I went to college. And they were indeed a little anti-social and awkward. But I have since met many others. One is a good friend of mine. She and I have similar personalities. We are both a little goofy and awkward and dorky, but it's just who we are! I really don't think it has much to do with the fact that she was homeschooled or I was in public schools.

One resource that is available for many homeschooling families is the development of homeschooling groups. You can share resources, take turns teaching, and socialize. It's a great thing to have available.

Even though we're a ways away from even beginning to choose a school for our kids, it's on our mind. Heck, part of the reason we bought our house here is because of the schools. In my curiosity about homeschooling in theory, I did a curriculum hunt. I found several that I did NOT like or agree with at all, either in application or in subject matter (and sometimes both!) But I did find one that I loved called Sonlight. Yes, it is technically a Christian-based curriculum, but it's not Jesusy. The religion part is totally optional. And the basic idea of the religion thing is exposure to a variety of belief systems. I think this is what appealed to me most of all.

I must admit, my addiction to The Pioneer Woman's blog has also fed my interest in homeschooling. There are all kinds of great things that she uses with her kids that I wish I'd had as a kid and would love to use with my kids.

The one flaw in my plan is that the curriculum I love so dearly is VERY literature based. I was a reader. I still am. I love to read. My loving husband is not a reader. He is a doer. Now part of this is probably the fact that he was never exposed to a lot of books when he was young. His mom didn't read to him like mine did. He had a hard time learning to read, so he never developed a love for it like I did. But my brother also never loved to read. He would rather be outside rolling in the dirt or playing ball than to be inside reading (like me). He grew up with the same exposure to books and never had a problem learning to read, but he just didn't like it. So what if my kids aren't readers either? Or what if one is a reader and the other isn't? How do I engage their varying interests? They wouldn't get a choice in their curriculum in any other school, should the get a choice at home?

On the up side, the freedom of scheduling would be awesome! You wouldn't necessarily have to wait for spring break or summer vacation to go someplace (which is when the rest of the world is going all the same places!) you could work your vacation into your schooling like a trip to DC to learn about history or even a weekend at the beach when you're studying the ocean. You wouldn't have to wait until after 3pm for doctor's appointments or piano lessons, and when they inevitably get sick, you won't have to worry about missed tests and assignments and trying to get everything made up!

There are pros and cons on both sides and I'm still not entirely sure where I sit in all of this, but I'll sort it out eventually. In the meantime, anyone have any thoughts?

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