Friday, September 19, 2008

I DO Have All the Answers

Periodically, at the homeschooling message board I go to, we get new homeschoolers who ask questions about what its like to homeschool, and we're always willing to chime in with our answers and share what we know about this thing that we love. I wrote the following as part of a response to one girl today, and I wanted to come here and post it, not because I think I'm some sort of genuis, but so that I can come back at a time when things are a little rough and remind myself why I'm doing this thing that I love.

Is it worth it to homeschool?
Oh, more than I can even say! We're heading into our fourth year of homeschooling and before we started, I always said, "Well, if we could afford private Christian school, we'd probably go that route, but we can't, so we're homeschooling because public school isn't even an option." Now, four years later, I don't even think we'd do private school if we could afford it! I simply can't imagine not homeschooling!The one perfect example I can give is that when I hear Reilly read, I'm still amazed at the fact that I'm the one that taught her how to do that! It's wonderful!

How can your children socialize with other children if they're not in school and don't go to daycare?
Aaah, that's the Question of the Day for all homeschoolers or potential homeschoolers!
To be honest, I'm not sure why the world is stuck on the idea that putting 25 kids together in the same room for 6 hours a day is what makes them learn how to "be together". Where else in life are we around only people of our exact same demographic? I believe that most "socialization", even for public schooled kids, occurs [i]outside[/i] of the school setting, either after school with friends, at ball games, at church, at the playground, at the store, etc. etc. When you really think about it, while the children are in class, they are in fact encouraged NOT to socialize because it disrupts what the teacher is trying to teach!One of my favorite things to see is a group of homeschooled kids together, because inevitably they range in age from preschool to middle school and are interacting within that group, many of them engaging with the adults in the group, with a level of ease that I'm pretty sure is a byproduct of the fact that these kids are used to being around kids (and adults) of all ages, at any given time of day.
(Warning: political statement ahead!!!! If Obama wins the election, I look forward to saying, "Well, my kids will learn enough about being Socialists from the president!")

What are the pro's and cons?

The pros are that I get to be such a part of what they learn, I get to reap the joy of watching them as they grasp a new concept and watch their eyes light up when they finally "get it". I see what they've accomplished and how far they've come (specifically for Reilly right now, seeing as how she's farther along than Declan) and get such joy from knowing that it was ME that did that for her, not someone else.
Also, being a Christian, I have a huge objection to a lot of the worldview that is taught in school. For example, I don't believe that it is anyone else's job to teach my kids about sex, nor would I want abstinence being taught as an afterthought.
Also, as far as safety goes and all the junk that goes on now in PS, my "classic" line is that if my child is not at the school, I won't be the mom on T.V. saying, "We never thought it would happen at our school!" when a student has just gone in and shot up half the student body. (Just trying to be blunt, not callous.)
The cons? Periodic waves of pressure, knowing that their education is in my hands. These are getting fewer, though, the farther we get in this journey! Sometimes I do think that it would be "nice" to have time away from The Kids. But, honestly, I'm really used to that whole aspect now and when I really sit and think about it, I know without a shadow of a doubt that it will only be a blink of an eye and they'll be teenagers and off with their friends a good portion of the time, so I'm going to just cherish this time that I have right now.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

Good answers :)

(And I LOVE the Obama/president/socialist comment.)

Tisha said...

Well said!

Mama Teaching 2 said...

Great blog!