Friday, October 24, 2008

Homeschool!?

This started out as a response in facebook but was too long to leave as a comment. So it became a post instead.

On the discussion of home school, we will continue to do so as long as it is working for our family. Hubby and I knew would homeschool within the first year of marriage, long before we had even conceived. One reason being that Hubby grew up next to a homeschool family and they dispelled every myth and fear one could ever have about homeschooling. These kids are the most well rounded socialized people we have EVER met. They are extremely bright. Involved within the community and just great people to be around.

So much has changed in the realm of homeschooling since the days of ding dong ditch, when kids literally had to hide the fact that they were home schooled out of fear the government would take them away. Michigan now has embraced the parents right to educate their children and with that the doors of opportunity have flown open and continue to grow. There are now co-ops, shared teaching, sports for home schoolers, science fairs, group field trips, mentors, music ensembles, choir and symphonic bands...the list is endless. There are used curriculum sales and state wide seminars. There are more curriculum choices than you could ever imagine. Not to mention resources found on the internet, at the library and different organizations.

Other reasons we home school are we feel it the parents responsibility to teach their children. I am not one that cookie cutters every family and says ALL should home school. I think it is a personal choice that each family has to make. Our family has chosen to school at home. We have the freedom to teach our kids what we feel is important. Mainly being our faith. While omitting, at least in the fundamental years, that which we do not believe to be of value or that which we feel is detrimental.

I like that we can individualize their educations. No two children are the same and I love that we can strengthen those things that are of greater interest. We can also spend more time developing those areas of weakness. We can go on field trips galore and turn everyday life experiences into moments of learning. I find that since I have this responsibility of being the sole educator I am very mindful of what is being taught. I discuss in greater detail. I talk to my kids like they are people, with their own thoughts and ideas. I love dialoguing with them about what they think about certain things. Because I know what they are learning or experiencing I am able to reinforce things throughout the day or while driving in the car. I also know what interests they have and make opportunities for them to grow and excel in those areas.

I think so many parents want to be involved more deeply in their kids life and education. I have many friends that are successful in this. One in particular has made it a point to read every evening with her kids and the rewards have been great. She has great readers and writers. It is a time they all look forward to. It is also a time where they can discuss things going on in their world. My biggest pet peeve with public schools is not the teachers, or the kids. It is not the curriculum. It is the other parents. I see far too often parents disengaging themselves completely from their childrens education. It appears that the mentality is school is for learning and it ends there. The church should teach you all you need to know about God and it ends there.

If I were to encourage you, whether you homeschool or not; be involved in your kids lives. Ask them questions about their day. Take interest in what they are learning. Read with them even when they can read for themselves. Take them new places and create new learning experiences. Your enthusiasm or disdain will rub off on them. Find out what your kid is interested in and give them freedom to explore it. And as I mentioned in my previous post, get them outside; enjoying nature. Nature can be one of the best teachers of all.

3 comments:

Craig L. Adams said...

Thanks for writing about this. I've had mixed experiences with homeschool families. And, I was wondering what your rationale was. Robin was once very involved in the public school (as a school nurse), and so we are aware of some of the problems there as well.

J said...

I enjoyed reading this post! Thanks for sharing.

Kellie said...

Thank you for the inspiration. Love ya.