Monday, January 21, 2013

Are you Crazy? or why we have decided to homeschool

School registration has begun in our little town. That has prompted a lot of talk about which neighborhood school everybody's kids will be attending in the Fall.

In response to one sweet Pre-K classmate who announced he would be attending the same school as the Dynamic Duo, one of my boys asked something to the affect of, "Are you going to school in our basement, too?" Then they proceeded to tell the class how we would be having school down there, but it was currently very, very dirty.

I confess.

Everything they say is true.

Especially the part about the basement's cleanliness, or lack thereof.

Ten years ago, I would have cringed at the thought of homeschooling my children. And probably argued until I was blue in the face about why it would be a terrible idea.

Five years ago, my answer to you would have been more along the lines of, "Well, I can see where some people would see it as beneficial, but it's probably not something I will do with my family."

Two years ago, I was intrigued with the idea, but didn't see how it would be feasible for my family (or my sanity).

I think you see where I am going with this. Slowly but surely, I have become convinced that this is something I think is right for us. For so many reasons. I am actually excited about keeping my kids home and being their teacher next year. Choosing curriculum caused me some anxiety, but it was also super fun.

Yes, I am a nerd. I loved curriculum planning when I was a "real" teacher.

I think kindergarten in our basement is the perfect place for my kids to be come Fall. We are going to take it one year at a time and decide what is best for the boys and for the family. A commitment to next year is not necessarily a commitment to the 12 years that follow. On the other hand, it might be.

I in no way think that homeschooling is the only way to go, or even the best way to go for every family. I hope no one gets that idea from me. The beauty of the American educational system is that we have the freedom to choose what works for our individual families and even each child. One of the reasons I am choosing to homeschool is that I don't believe in one-size-fits-all education. Thus, the size "homeschool" may not fit your family, while the size "public school," "private school," or "charter school" might be perfect.


I trust my judgement as a parent who knows what is best for my kids, and I hope you trust yours as well.

For the curious, here are a few of the reasons (some are, admittedly, better than others) why we are homeschooling:
  • education that is custom-tailored to each child's needs
  • smaller class size
  • flexibility in schedule
  • socialization not limited to age and geography
  • interdisciplinary curriculum not limited/driven by standardized testing
  • Spanish language acquisition (this doesn't certainly apply to every place, but the hubby and I are the most fluent folks we know where we currently live)
  • family time and bonding
  • interactive, hands-on education
I could go on. I could describe each of my reasons with more detail. But that sounds boring to type. If it is boring to type, it is surely boring to read.

I'm happy to answer questions if there happens to be something you actually do want to hear more about.

If you need me, I'll be sweeping the basement.

1 comment:

Brad Jenkins said...

Yes, you are crazy, and very courageous at the same time.

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