* H is for homeschooling

At one point in my career, I wanted to homeschool our kiddos.  Our young son looked skeptical and asked, “What could you teach me?”  He already knew that his third grade math skills exceeded mine.  Our teenage daughter, now deceased, looked alarmed and squealed, “What about my friends?”   Never had to guess about her priorities.  That ended my feeble attempt to walk down a homeschooling path.

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As a special educator, I’ve seen many parents make the decision to homeschool when they are dissatisfied with the service provided to their kids.  In fact, that concern was the impetus for the growth of some charter schools in this area.  Not all those school survived.  It’s quite a task to get a school off the ground.

Other parents have fled the school system in the face of increasing pressure to label their child with a disability.  Most often, the school was pursuing Other Health Impaired (for kids who appeared to have significant attention issues) or the A word (Autism Spectrum Disorders).  Parental concerns about racial profiling were usually a factor.  The black community has reason to be wary of over-identifying black boys, in particular.  In my opinion, not all of the school efforts to label kids were off the mark.  Some of those kids needed specialized instruction.

I have worried at times about the quality of homeschooling, just as much as I have been worried about the quality of a public school education.  The teacher makes or breaks a class.  The majority of homeschooled kids I’ve seen do very well, often merging into the school system in later grades.  I do know a few homeschooled kids with attention problems who would probably end up dinged and dented in a large group setting.  And a few homeschooled kids were dinged and dented at home.

Could I have really homeschooled our kids?  I don’t think so.  I am used to having a certain emotional distance which protects me from button-pushing on either side.  I worked with our son for weeks on shoe-tying, to no avail. I paid my niece $5 to teach him and it was accomplished in one session.  Well worth the money.  As for our daughter, just getting her to do homework was too much for me.  After all, she had better things to do with her time!

4 thoughts on “* H is for homeschooling

  1. My kids always nagged me to homeschool them because our friend did so with her two girls. I had four, 2 boys and 2 girls, so declined their sweet offer to stay home and give me the pleasure of teaching them, academically (I had enough of a job giving them lessons on life in general). Our friend’s sister, however, gave in to her four boys and homeschooled them for six months before herding them back to the classroom, exclaiming that their aunt only had two children to teach – and they were girls!

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  2. In Sydney, we have wonderful groups, which organise many activities. Since I have been homeschooling (five terms now), my nine year old has acted in plays, attended Shakesperian plays at the Opera House, attended a chemistry workshop run by a university professor, been to two different universities for programs, and much more. We tend to alternate home days (where we do workbooks and online lessons), with opportunities outside. At the end of each day, I write a report on what was done and what curriculum targets were reached. She is flourishing. I have discovered that over time, it has made her a self-starter, and she will get her work going whilst I am still in bed at times. As a parent, you second-guess yourself, and I certainly did when I started homeschooling, but it has been wonderful! I loved seeing the photo of your beautiful kids. Xxx

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    • What a great testimony of your homeschool adventure! I want to come! It’s interesting to see some of the advantages she’s gained in the process. I would guess that becoming a self- starter is less likely to happen in a class where kids are waiting on the teacher for directions. Fabulous activities!!

      Liked by 1 person

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