Thursday, May 24, 2007

Home School Flirtations

The end-of-year madness has begun. The next two weeks will be one activity after another for school and extra-curricular stuff.

And, I've had two people talk to me out-of-the-blue about home schooling. I'm torn about it. It would free us up to do some more interesting things, but I'm worried about losing my last neuron. Any thoughts?

Home schooling...
Is a better option than public schools.
Is a worse option than public schools.
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had seriously looked into home schooling three years ago. I loved the concept and the freedom it gave the children to learn more naturally and, the freedom it would give them to express themselves much more freely. However, I also realized that my nerves are not always the strongest and I was not conviced that I would really qualify for such a big job. Home school mom's disagree with me on that. I decided to try public school first. As it turns out, my son has tested into G/T in three subjects and has had plenty of interaction with other children in school to learn social skills. My second child does wonderful as well and she NEEDS the social interaction.

I spoke with a dear friend of mine at that time about home schooling and she was totally against it. She even wrote me a three page letter explaining to me her reasons. I simply asked her to be open minded about it and at least attend one meeting and check some of the material out. She did and she was hooked. Her child has ADHD and other issues. He is extreemly bright but seriously lacks in social skills. Most kids just thought he was weird and would often pick on him in Kindergarden. My friend felt she had to do something. She has been home schooling for two or three years now and she loves the flexibility and the vast/diverse things they are able to study.

My husband and I are concerned once middle school starts and Junior High because of bullying (he was bullied as a child.) If it turns into an issue, I will still be open to homeschooling at that time. Nothing is ever set in stone and that's what's great about this country.

I'll be praying for you for wisdom, that you guys will find the very best solution for your child/children.

MaxedOutMama said...

My mother was homeschooled at one point for a few years. She shot up several grade levels, which became a problem when she went back to a regular school. As a teacher, while my mother believed that good public education was extremely important, she also believed that homeschooling could work very very well for many families.

I think, Dr. M, that you have a lot on your hands already. It sounds like your children are doing well, too. But if you want to try it, nothing says that you can't try it for a year or so and see how you feel about it and how your children and husband feel about it.

What about your son who was born prematurely? Is he getting special education that really works for him? Sometimes public schools are absolutely wonderful at that, and sometimes they aren't. My ***purely personal*** feeling is that homeschooling is better for kids who are not only children, and that I'd hate to have one child in school and others not. If it were me, I'd like to keep all going out to school each day or all getting homeschooled. But you have coped splendidly with exceptional challenges, and I would guess that whatever direction you take it will work out well.

tess said...

I nearly completed my undergraduate degree in secondary education, but switched to biology at the last minute.
Everything I learned about being a teacher reinforced my decision to homeschool my own children.

Anonymous said...

tess, I would be interested to understand as to why that was reinforced while you were studying to become an educator. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Dana said...

OK, as passionate as I am about homeschooling, it really depends. Why do you want to homeschool? And why exactly are you worried about losing your last neuron?

Homeschooling is wonderful, but can be extremely challenging if you are trying to replicate what happens in a school environment. You will likely always feel you are falling short. The school structure is meant for controlling and teaching 20+ students in a confined environment. It isn't natural in a home.

The nice thing is, you don't really have to do formal school for 6 + hours per day. Most kids learn much faster with the individualized attention...plus you have perfect home/school partnership meaning you can bring up difficult concepts through conversation throughout the day. I'd recommend taking some time to really thing about why you want to do this, explore the options available, talk to some homeschoolers and see what you think.

You could "try it out" for the summer, but I know if I went into it with that attitude, I would have quit and never gone back. The first year was tough (I was trying to run my homeschool like I did my classroom when I taught), but now I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Anonymous said...

Hey There! Stumbled on your blog a while back after reminiscing with my sister-in-law in Michigan, “Hey whatever happened to Steve and Melissa???” Read occasionally and enjoy seeing the same hard-fast opinions I remember.

I must comment on home-schooling. My husband and I have a two year old son and are worry about his educational journey. Should we do public, private or homeschool? As a former Corporate Trainer and Project Manager turned stay at home mom I feel I could manage homeschooling and would probably enjoy it personally. But, here are my thoughts and concerns: My desire for my son (and any future children we may be blessed with) is that he be thoughtful, generous, open-minded and recognize that God is bigger than any opinion or idea he may have or believe to be right. Does homeschooling and private schools offer the diversity that is critical to social and emotional development beyond white, suburban America? I think not. I am appalled anymore by going to Church on Sunday – so clear what is right and wrong, all or nothing. There is gray, there is good with the bad in other religions, economic classes, nationalities and family dynamics. Who are we to judge where God is and is not? We continually say in our home, “Let God out of the box already!” I want my son to get that. I want him to see a family different than his in every way and see God there. While at the same time, to see what he should steer clear of. How can I afford this opportunity of growth by sheltering him socially?

On the flip side: Do I want him to be exposed to diversity enough that I am willing to put him in a classroom with a knife-toting homicidal train-wreck…no way.

Today our answer is Catholic school (we are Methodist) and travel, travel, travel! Expose him to as much of the world and others outside his school, church and family as possible.

As an adoptive family, and looking at our next child being from India, I have become more sensitive to diversity than I was a few years ago. The experience of being an adoptive mother has offered me the gift of seeing Gods massive hand and realizing how small and silly I am to ever assume I know how He works. I need my children to get that. Living in a beautiful suburb, attending churches and schools where everyone lives a cookie-cutter lifestyle is fearful to me because of what it with do to my childs idea of what God approves or disapproves of.

Forgive me for wandering off topic and thanks for the platform (very few at my mommy’s group are too interested!).