While I did say in my last post that there are families that shouldn’t homeschool, I wanted to clarify that I don’t believe that’s the case for most folks. I really believe that more people can do it than think they can. So this is just a quick post to encourage anyone that has even been enteraining the idea. There is probably a reason you’re even thinking about it. Start by writing that down. Pray about it, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance. Then do some research. Talk to people who homeschool, look at blogs, read books. I will put together a page of my favorite books and blogs, hopefully soon. If I haven’t done it yet when you’re reading this, then remind me. 🙂 One more thing, as you’re doing all the above, when the doubts creep in and you begin to think “I can’t,” ask yourself, “why not?”
The good, bad, & ugly February 6, 2009
Well, I’ve jumped on the Face-book bandwagon this week. I had a growing list of folks who’d invited me and decided to stop ignoring them. It’s actually rather fun, but I must take care not to go over board as I’m prone to do. 🙂
So, today, as I was browsing around, figuring it all out, I ran across a group of folks who seem rather opposed to homeschooling. As usual, their main issue involved socialization. I really wonder how on earth the human race got on before we came up with the idea of sticking 30 kids in a room together with one or two adults in order to socialize them for the betterment of society.
OK, I’ll dispense with the sarcasm, as I do have some thoughts on the matter. I really don’t think that homeschooling is the be-all-end-all answer for all the woes of society. I love that we live in a free country with lots of options for education. But here’s the thing – homeschooling happens in the context of a family. And, frankly, some families just shouldn’t choose homeschooling – at least not without addressing other serious issues, first.
It appeared on this group that many members were once homeschooled youngsters who didn’t like being homeschooled. But, I know many young adults who were once homeschooled youngsters that loved their life education. So, should the fact that some folks had a bad experience require abolishing homeschooling altogether? Absolutely not! I know too many families that found homeschooling to be a lifesaver for their struggling kids.
I don’t really want to bash the poor folks who’ve had bad experiences in their home education. I’m sure sorry things turned out that way for them. I do want for people to steer clear of sweeping generaliztions that no one should homeschool based on their own personal experiences. What about the poor kids who had nightmare experiences in public school? Should they then campaign that no one should put their kids in public school? I hardly think so. I have many friends with awesome kids who just happen to be in public school. Go figure!
I really think it comes down to the family unit. Considering your kids’ education takes so much thought and consideration. If you are considering the home education option, give some serious thought to your family dynamics, as well as what your motives and reasons are for even considering it. All of that should be quite clear in your mind before any serious moves in the direction of bringing your kids home. Home schooling needs to be considered with eyes wide open, taking a hard look at the health of your family and your reasons for wanting to bring them home.
I believe it also requires an open mind – open to the possibilities outside the education box. Your first step should not be looking for and purchasing a curriculum, in my opinion. Once you’ve decided that it is a good option for your kids and your family, spend some time getting to know your kids. I mean really getting to know them. What makes them tick, how do they look at the world, what are their learning styles, etc . . . Read and learn, yourself, first. Begin to open your mind to the possibilities.
Now, no family is perfect, most especially mine. Personal family struggles certainly don’t automatically mean you must rule out homeschooling. But we certainly need to be aware of them and willing to do the hard work they require. We’re growing along with our kids, or should be. We never stop learning and growing this side of heaven. If you are thinking of homeschooling, keep on thinking about it. Do the soul searching, and the research, and talk about it with the family. Pray for clarity of purpose and direction. It is not a decision to be made lightly or hastily. But how wonderful that we do have a choice and can decide for ourselves the best option for our kids’ education.
Life-schooling January 30, 2009
“Home schooling” seems to give the wrong impression of what so many of us are doing with our kids. Oh, sure, we spend some time reading and studying at home. And that is great! But, that’s not all there is to it. Of course, that “all there is to it” will look pretty different from family to family. That’s what’s so great about the homeschool lifestyle. It’s a custom made education. So here’s a bit about my little family.
I’m a mom of one almost six year old social bug. He is all about people and fun. We spend about an hour each morning on short lessons (more on my education philosophy and learning/teaching styles later). We have meals and chores, and free time for playing, creating and exploring. After lunch, we may be heading out to volunteer at a local food bank, head to the park, run errands, visit friends, you name it. On Fridays we participate in a homeschool co-op. Yesterday we joined a group on a hike at a local state park.
If we’re not going out, social bug will have a couple of chores to accomplish after lunch before having TV time. Yes we do watch TV, although I am pretty selective regarding programing. I, of course have my list of chores to accomplish, as well. As he’s getting older, I’m seeing him exploring his art and craft desk more and initiating more activities/projects on his own, which is what I have been hoping for.
Then there’s church and community activities. He’s involved in AWANAS, and Upward Soccer. He took swimming lessons last summer, and we’re considering spring little league – he’s very athletic. Soon will come music lessons – in a year or so. And he’s participating in science classes at a local nature science center.
And what about the stuff that happens in life? We recently had my inlaws staying with us for a couple of months. My mother in law went into the hospital while visiting with us, then a hurricane hit their area as she was released from the hospital, knocking out their electricity. Since she was on oxygen, they stayed with us until that was restored. While life got a little chaotic during this time, making the morning lessons difficult to get to sometimes – I am thrilled with the things social bug learned through that experience. Not only did he get to spend some precious time with Grandma, he learned a little about compassion and caring for the sick and elderly – stuff you just can’t get in a classroom. I now see him rush to open a door, or help pick up a dropped item – there’s hope yet he may grow into a kindhearted gentleman. 🙂
Oh, we went to the Grand Canyon in September/October with my folks. That was awesome. Social bug still wears his Jr. Ranger badge and is quite proud of it. We can take trips like this at any time, as the budget permits, of course. Fall is a beautiful time to see the Grand Canyon.
I suppose my point is that learning – education – is not just happening at home in an isolated environment. Learning is happening in real-life – as it happens. So for this blog I initiate a new term for our educational choice. We don’t just homeschool, we life-school.