Thursday, February 25, 2010

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool? That is the Question.

The word "homeschooling" was always synonymous with "crazy" in my mind. I never thought it was something that would enter our lives. I will admit I was always intrigued by the idea of homeschooling. Children having more free time, no homework, no tests, and a tailored education where the parents can dictate what's important (more music and art!). But I didn't think I would ever do it. Mostly because I didn't think I could stand being around my children that long.

But remember this post I wrote recently about our plan to begin homeschooling Mateo when we move?

While I think it's the right thing to do in our case, I still have doubts. Will I have enough time while working part time? Will I be able to teach him? Will he be able to learn from me? Will I get tired of coming up with creative and crafty ideas all the time? Will they not be socialized enough? Will he not learn the skills he needs to succeed in life? Will the state take him away if he doesn't pass some sort of homeschooling test? And the list goes on.

Most importantly, is he going to miss out on anything? That's my biggest fear. All those small experiences that only school can give you. I realize some are bad; bullying, cliques, homework, poor teachers, etc. But look at the photo below. This came home from school with Mateo last week.

(click on photo to make larger)

Is this what he's going to miss out on by not being in school? It doesn't change my mind, but it does make me wonder.


janiece said...

Its a hard decision. I don't homeschool because I know I would be lousy at it. I don't have the patience and quite honestly, as much as I love my kids and miss them when they are at school, I need a break from them. I do know families that homeschool and the kids thrive. I also know families that tried and it just didn't work for them. Just as each child is different, so is each person's experience with homeschooling.

Devan said...

aawwwhh! That's such a cute activity.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Well....I am biased....because we do homeschool. With all the behavioral issues, ADD, and special learning needs we have which vary GREATLY within our 7 children. I have seen miracles! Not that I am hateful to schools, but we LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!

Our kids are the most social butterflies. That whole thing is a silly argument because they learn social skills - from parents :) Trust me...after working in the public schools myself (as a teacher) and seeing children plenty of times at school- you can see- they are just like you know who. You can see it. It is normal- the way God designed it to be.

Yep- a challenge for sure, but worth it- many many many many times over! The thrill of seeing them accomplish something. The thrill of knowing you know your child more than a teacher does. They don't have to "change rules or behaviors".

Oh my list is long as to the whys because I have studied them. I think the whys may be different for some, but I know that there are benefits I just couldn't give up no matter what the obstacles.

I would encourage you to look up some books maybe that tell some of those whys. Or do some online research. If you would have told me that I would be a homeschool mom- I would have thought you were crazy. NOW it is the best thing in the world!

Meg said...

We have done both as well and they both have their pros and cons. Don't put too much pressure on yourself about it. Public school is always there and you can pull out or put in at any time during the year if you change your mind at any point either way.

JonesEthiopia said...

My main experience with homeschooling is with my (weird) cousins when I was growing up. They were socially awkward, and 2 of my cousins got married right after they turned 16.

HOWEVER, since that time (the 80s) homeschooling has taken on a whole new form. And it might be the best choice for you. There are so many supports and networks in place now for homeschooling families.

Of course, the fact that I'm a public school teacher (instructional coach, whatever!) probably means I should not be an advocate of homeschooling...

I'm rambling a lot. I guess my bottom line is that you should definitely try it out. It might be just what he needs!