I’ve been writing this post in my head for days (actually I’ve been trying to write a why we homeschool post for months). But whenever it comes out on my screen it sounds like I’m attacking regular school. I sound like one of those hard-core crazy* homeschoolers. I don’t know how to phrase the words in my heart and mind. But let me try. I thought I’d share some cute pictures before I got into the crazy.
Afterwards we met my dad and his wife for dinner at Benihana. Isabelle was fascinated with the knife tricks. The show. Oh, whatever you call it. Even Nathan watched with interest (a few minutes only but, hey, pretty good for a baby). After dinner, as we stood around chatting before getting into our cars, my dad asked us about school and Isabelle.
I told him we were going to homeschool her. He didn’t think very much of that idea. Ok, to be accurate, he is very much against it. In a derogatory tone he was all like, “oh you’re doing THAT homeschooling thing? Like your sister?” Then he basically said I was going to ruin the kids and they’d end up having no choice but to work at McDonalds. Seriously.
I got my panties in a bunch and asked if he even knew what he was talking about. Did he do any research? I could recommend a book to him talking about socialization and how kids do go to college. But he was not interested. He didn’t even want to read about it.
It was, quite frankly, irritating his close-mindedness. I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he was speaking out of ignorance. Then, today, my sister was too busy to work with us so I was Skyping her telling her a little about our day. My dad was sitting there with this dismissive look on his face. This, you’re doing wrong by your children so I don’t want to hear about it look on his face. So aggravating but I do understand where he’s coming from.
Most people know about school. Most people went to school. Homeschooling is unfamiliar to them. It’s different and a lot of people don’t understand and have negative opinions. Or misconceptions. Like, my friend Bridgette, who when I told her that a homeschool mom I knew was going to be a grandmother she responded, how did her daughter even meet a boy?! As if homeschoolers chain their children to tables in the basements.
Like I said, I can understand where people like my dad are coming from. What I cannot understand is why they feel a need to second guess our choice. I mean I don’t automatically assume weird things for people who send their kids to school. Or if I do I’m not going to throw it in your face. Or at least I’ll try really hard not to unless you’re all up in my face about my choice. I’m not going to send my kids to school just because that’s what most everyone else automatically does.
So, why did we choose to homeschool? That is a question I get quite frequently. Whenever I hear that question I want to say, why wouldn’t we want to homeschool? After reading about socialization and the learning benefits of homeschooling, I don’t see why anyone would want to do it any other way.
First of all, education wise, I prefer the homeschooling way. Even though we are using the Sonlight curriculum we have the freedom to pursue and go more in depth into anything Isabelle might be interested in. Schools cannot meet that same need. Homeschooling can be personalized for an individual. Schools are limiting in that they are for a multitude of people. It’s like clothes. Are you going to get a better fit with something you buy off the rack or something designed specifically for your body?
On the socialization front, I prefer the homeschool way as well. I fervently believe that homeschooling will allow my children to grow into who they really will be. I don’t know if that makes sense. But schools with their cliques and bullies, no thank you. As my kids get older, I want them to have the independence to grow into who they’ll be without being judged or influenced by other kids.
I want them to learn to behave properly from me. From Alan. Under supervision. And schools, they don’t do that either. There aren’t enough teachers.
I mean if we really truly think about it, kids socializing in school, that’s not natural. Kids hanging out with kids all their own age, that doesn’t happen in real life outside of school. I don’t know about you, but me, I’ve never worked at a company where everyone is the same age as me. And so in school, kids learning how to behave based on the examples of other kids their own age. Ummm…no. Really. NO.
And plus, with homeschooling I get to enjoy the wonder as Isabelle discovers and learns new things.
Science “class” about air on Flickr
Homeschooling? Yes, definitely the right choice for us. Or hey…maybe it’s all the naysaying I’m getting about it. You say I can’t do it? I say, WATCH ME.
*hard-core crazy homeschooler term from Bethany.