March 20, 2012

I frequent a forum of friends, many of whom homeschool. Recently one lady asked about homeschooling, requesting “convincing” and information as she ponders the decision to homeschool. I decided to share my response to her here, for anyone who may be reading and also pondering this decision. šŸ™‚

“It is so intimidating when you are first pondering (and doing) it! But its so much more rewarding and easier than one would expect, at least it was/is for me.
Sure, there are challenging times, but the rewards have been so much better than any cons I have experienced.
I have a mix of public schooled/ing and homeschooled/ing kids. My oldest son and youngest daughter have been public schooled, and my oldest daughter has been public schooled for the most part, with the exception of homeschooling last year for at least half the year.
My middle son was public schooled for kindergarten and we pulled him out during 1st grade. His Dr (at the time) wanted us to try reintroducing him to public school in third grade, and it was a miserable, horrible fail. My youngest son will be our only child that will be homeschooled from the beginning and never entered into public school (that’s the plan). He has already learned more than I expected him to this year, as a 4 year old, and we really haven’t started “school”!

I always knew that school systems are just substandard (in my opinion and experience). They are institutions. I truly believe that the real goal is basically enough education to get by, but that the biggest thing is to create little soldiers, little “good citizens”, yes-men and a work force.
I want my kids to be individuals who think for themselves, have their own educated viewpoints, who learn at their pace and are not hindered by the institutions.

My middle son is so much better off and happier at home then in a school setting, and he has learned a whole lot!

Its interesting (and frustrating!) to have kids in both situations. Seeing both every day makes the public school’s lacking even more obvious to me, I really can’t say we have been lacking at home (I’m sure there is some bias, because this is dear to my heart, but when I look as objectively as possible, any lacking I find here at home are not so bad and entirely correctable). I can say that public school is a ton more demanding than homeschool, and my homeschool children learn much more. Public school creates a lot more stress on the entire family. Homeschooling is so much more relaxing and the stress level is minimal in comparison.

I don’t really consider myself a “teacher” – I am a facilitator. Sure, I teach things to (all of) my kids, but as a homeschooler my main job is providing the resources and planning. Its more a management position than a teaching position, sort of.
You don’t have to know everything for your kids to get a good education. We learn as we go, and what I don’t know, I can most certainly find out, or find someone who does!

There are lots of resources, and you don’t have to have lots of money invested to homeschool as well. Of course you can choose to, but it isn’t necessary.

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your area, then start thinking about how you want to proceed.
I suggest checking out HSDLA, and reading the books The Well Trained Mind by Bauer, Dumbing Us Down by Gatto and eventually later on The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Llewelyn.”


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