After reading Em's post on homeschooling, I reflected on my own decision to home-school my children. When Grace was a mere toddler, I had already considered homeschooling (well before the preschool incident) partly because I had an incredible sis who had much experience in the home education world. I also had different reasons to embrace this educational choice:
- Making learning fun. Though both my parents are teachers, I despised school as a child. I loved reading for fun, but any recommended or required book tortured me. Sitting still, listening, and studying were not skills that I possessed naturally. I remember going to Epcot in Disney World and thinking, "They are trying to trick me into learning." I do not want my children to have such animosity towards learning, and I think that homeschooling might be the solution. I am doing "unit studies" this year and each unit incorporates food, crafts, videos, and field trips based on these concepts.
- Adaptive Lessons. Ems alluded to the flexibility of homeschooling, and I embrace that concept of learning and development. When children are toddlers, everyone says, "They all learn to walk and talk at different rates!" but as soon as they reach elementary age children are streamlined to learn at exactly the same time. Grace was an early reader so I am able to teach to her level of phonics, but keep her age-appropriate for math.
- Socialization on my terms. The first question people always ask about homeschooling is always socialization. Personally, being surrounded by 20 other children the same age for 12 years does not seem like the "real-world" to me. My kids have their siblings on a daily basis, play dates, a formalized play group, and everyday socializing (i.e. library, church, errands, etc.). PLUS, I bring my kids to a nursing home every month to learn to socialize with the elderly and disabled. Learning to interact with a variety of ages (from baby to senior citizen) seems more well-rounded to me!
- Freedom! I hate crowds, especially when shopping, going to museums, or playgrounds. I can homeschool anytime, anywhere. We have the freedom to go on vacation during "school times" (we get a great discount too!), and I love going to museums on school-days. We get one-on-one attention from museum workers who are more than happy to educate us-for free! I did our science lesson in the car the other day while driving; I play Renaissance music during lunch, and I even work on math while grocery shopping.
Lissie at SEE Science Center, NH
- I love hanging out with my kids. It's as simple as that. I love them and I want to spend my time with them (well, most days...). If my kids really challenged me all of the time--I probably wouldn't enjoy homeschooling. I love watching them "get something" during school, and being the one who knows when they are struggling with a tough concept. My children expect me to teach them things wherever and whenever, and they view me as an informational resource. They come to me with their questions first!
Easy Rule #4560- Besides creating a safe haven for your children, homeschooling can offer a creative, loving, learning environment for your whole family!