School starts in a week here…
Just the other day I sent in our letter of intent to home school our middle son.
Today, we enrolled our oldest son in public school.
Two years ago, we home schooled that son.
I find myself not fitting molds or extremes a lot of the time.
I notice that when making choices such as homeschooling or not homeschooling, there are usually two sides.
The side that thinks Home School is the ONLY answer.
The side that thinks Public School is the ONLY answer.
There aren’t a lot of opinions near the middle, and even within those sides, there is division about what MAKES a good home school curriculum, and what makes a public school a good one.
I often find myself feeling caught somewhere in the middle.
For one reason, I myself was home schooled. I was taught at home until I was in 9th grade. I went to public school for 2 years, and left to finish through home school. So that’s a total of 10 years I was home schooled for anyone keeping count.
I have had my own children in public school for most of their lives.
I had Ian home for a short time in second grade, and all of his 8th grade year.
Josh has been in public school since he was in Kindergarten.
It bothers me that the choice to home school or not to home school seems to be made because one is “better” or “worse” than the other. Taking on this attitude seems to lead to judgment of anyone who isn’t making the same choices for their kids. There isn’t much acceptance on EITHER side for the other choice once a choice has been made.
There are so many directions I want to go in and share with you right now, but I’ll save some of them for later.
For now, I will say. Our choice to homeschool this year, is simple. I can tell you what it’s NOT.
It’s NOT because I don’t like our public elementary school.
In fact, the teacher Josh would have had this year is one that I would have requested.
It’s NOT because I think that homeschooling is the only way to go.
It IS because I WANT to.
I want to have my boys with me. I mean really. How could you NOT look at this face, and want to spend more time with the person inside?
I want to share in the joy of learning with them.
I want to share the style of learning that I had as a child.
I want them to feel loved.
I want to explore the world with them.
I want to teach them the world of art as I know it to be.
We may be moving this year. If we do, home school will make a move easy as far as changing schools goes, because we’ll be taking school with us.
I hate being asked WHY we have chosen to home school.
The question is rarely asked without the inquirer sounding like I was talking about having a finger amputated for no reason.
Not of course, by everyone, but by folks who give me the feeling they are only asking because they assume that my reason must be founded in some dirt about our school they haven’t heard. So the question usually sounds like they think I’m NUTS for choosing, or they sound interested in the DIRT that made me choose.When I say because I WANT to, they always seem to lose interest. lol
Funny, because I’m pretty sure people wouldn’t be that way about other things…
You chose THAT doctor? WHY?!?!
You chose THAT car to drive? WHY!?!
And people as a rule, don’t go around questioning parents who choose public school why they did THAT… (although I really think it’s a good question)
I wish more people were of the mind set that education is PERSONAL.
As parents, HOW we choose to educate our children is just that. A CHOICE. A choice whose right answer is as individual to EACH CHILD as their fingerprints. That sometimes, even within a FAMILY, the choices for each child are not the same. That keeping one home and sending the other to school doesn’t mean you love one more than the other, or that one is too hard to handle, so you ship them off for someone else to deal with… Just the same as sending your kids to public school and enjoying personal time without them while they are gone doesn’t mean that you’re not as good a parent. I wish that there were more places in the middle where parents of home schooled kids and parents of publicly schooled kids met, and made sure that EACH group of kids were getting the BEST education they could. Where BOTH sides could appreciate that the other is choosing the thing that is right for THEIR child. In THAT moment. Because no child left behind shouldn’t be about TEST scores… it should about each CHILD.
INTERESTED in learning.
CURIOUS to discover.
and providing each child with the environment to achieve their best.
Maybe I have a uniquely unique vantage point. Having BEEN home schooled, having home schooled my own kids in the past, and having them in public school as well.
OK. More later, taters. We’ll chat about what our home school STYLE will be.