Today I'm gonna tackle a topic that has a tendency to be a tad touchy. I would like to say first and foremost this post is not about slamming other methods of education. It is merely a post about the reasons why we have chosen to homeschool.
As parents we have many options open to us as soon as that wee little one makes his or her appearance in the grand world. Will we breastfeed or bottle, will it be disposable or cloth diapers, will we do attachment parenting or not... the list goes on and on. Choosing how to educate your child is just one among many choices. When we were faced with thinking about our first born child and education I thought we would do what seemed that everyone else was doing and that was public school. I had little to no contact with people who homeschooled. It wasn't really until I started this blog that I was even really aware of it as an option. The more I read of homeschooling, the more intrigued I became.
For me, it wasn't the idea that I was opting out of public school, it was that I was choosing something different. We looked at public school, private school and homeschool and out of those options we chose to homeschool. Is one better than the other? Not necessarily, they're just different. Homeschooling is what seemed to fit for us, for our lifestyle and our needs.
I enjoy homeschooling because it allows me to be there for the discovery and adventure of learning. I love watching my children as they "get" a concept or realize how something works. I love the freedom it gives us. We have our own schedule and if family is coming to visit we can adjust our schedule to get the most out of their visit. I have additional time to share my faith as the opportunity presents itself over the natural course of the day. I like the fact that I am able to assess the level the children are at and go with it. For instance, Sean may be at a grade two reading level but at a grade one math level and I can plan for that and teach to his strengths and improve his weaknesses without him feeling behind in any one subject. I know I have only so much time with these kiddos before they'll be grown and out of my home and I would like to spend as much of that time together with them building strong family bonds. That's not to say you can't do that with conventional schooling, it's just that I have more time to do it in.
Many people often ask, "What about socialization?" The fact is my kids aren't growing up in a bubble. We go out to grocery shop, to the playgrounds, pools etc. We meet people and interact with them and that pretty much takes care of the socialization. They do not HAVE to be in a class of 20 of their closest peers in order to accomplish that. I've been told that homeschooled kids are awkward or not well adjusted...think back on your own public school experience, can you honestly say that every child that came out of that was well adjusted?
Homeschooling is what is working for us. Will we use public school some time in the future? Maybe, depending on circumstances and such. But for right now this is where we are, and we love it.