Just a homeschooling link

We plan on homeschooling our children. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that before on the blog, but it’s a fact. Mackenzie is only 2 1/2 and I’ve already read and researched and agonized over details.

If it ever comes up in conversation, people who don’t homeschool themselves invariably ask one of two questions. I came across a blog post today that addressed both questions succinctly. Obviously I have zero experience in the matter myself, but the writer pretty much echoed my thoughts exactly about the issues of “patience” and “socialization”.

I don’t always have enough patience for my toddler (sad, but true… when I’m largely pregnant and baking hot, my patience wears out faster than I’d like). However, that would never keep me from having a toddler! The pay-off far outweighs the hard times. Likewise, homeschooling is important enough to us that I’m pretty determined to stick with it, rough days and all.

We anticipate our kids will spend LESS time in our home classroom than they would in a school classroom (and no homework!), giving them more time to run around and be kids. Play music. Play sports. Get dirty. Make friends. I went to public schools growing up but my best friendships developed from hanging out with neighborhood kids in the afternoon and playing on a soccer team. Our kids won’t miss out on either of those things, and what they’ll gain from spending more time with their siblings and parents is important to us.

The title of this post said “just a link” but you can tell from my brain dump that this has been on my mind lately! 🙂

P.S. I absolutely understand that homeschooling isn’t for everyone and not everyone weighs (or even views) the pros and cons the same. Comments are welcome!

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About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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8 Responses to Just a homeschooling link

  1. Lonica says:

    Good thoughts. These are my two BIG questions: How can I feel competent enough to teach everything? and Where is there time to fit everything in? Has your research adressed these? I’m curious to know what you might have found.

    More power to anyone who can manage it all!

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    • beanland says:

      Yeah those are two questions I had myself. Here’s what I have learned:

      The good news is you don’t have to know everything yourself when you start homeschooling. Not only are there tons of good resources and curricula out there to fill in your weak spots, but you can learn alongside your kids. Example: I know I don’t have the presidents of the united states (or the church!) memorized, but I can sure look them up and help my kids memorize them.

      One of the biggest draws for me to homeschool is actually the time factor. I feel like the very most critical things I want my kids to have before leaving the house are: 1) Solid testimony, 2) Solid relationships with family members, and 3) Love of learning . If I send them to school 8 hours a day, plus sports, etc. I’m left with very little time in the day to accomplish those goals. Many homeschoolers find they can get all the “textbook” stuff done in just 4 hours a day and all 3 of the above goals can be part of that time as well. That leaves much MORE time in the day, not less, at least in my view.

      Of course the house is going to get messier faster, you’ll have to entertain a toddler, breastfeed a baby, and teach history all at the same time… but hey at least you don’t have to worry about getting everybody to school on time! 😉

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  2. Laura says:

    I’ll tell you something, I have always been on the con side for homeschooling, but sending Ally to a full day of school in a few weeks is freaking me out. I am certain I could teach her everything she learns in first grade in half the time so she could have more time for kid things. 6 years old seems way young to be gone 8 hours a day from home. I am starting to see the merit in the homeschooling debate and if you are organized and have good structures in your home I think it can work great. I know I never would have the discipline to help my kids and be their only teacher.

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  3. Laura says:

    I’m a homeschooled kid–from sixth grade through my high school years. My experience was essentially that it requires a great deal of commitment and hard work, and really just an extension of what we, as parents, already do all day every day. And that is teaching our children–about everything. You teach your child to count at a young age. Homeschooling is simply delving deeper into these daily-use subjects and teaching them to add, then multiply/divide…algebra…………..calculus????? I’m starting to get nervous!

    All joking aside, the great benefit is that you grow with your children and you learn with your children. Don’t think about what comes next. If you are teaching addition and subtraction, you’ve got something like 5-7 years to re-learn algebra. And there are a great many GOOD resources out there. There are homeschooling cooperatives where parents band together and teach, usually older students, their subject specialty….chemistry anyone? Anne? 🙂

    But here’s where I stand on the homeschool debate. I see many, many benefits. And I think it depends on the child. Some children thrive in a competitive environment, some really do not. There are many factors to consider. As parents you know how your child learns best, and if you are willing to commit to teaching your children, you will certainly be ABLE! Try it. You many be pleasantly surprised. If not, not to worry, you are not a failure. Homeschooling is not for everyone. Know your limitations, but do not limit yourselves!

    I am totally on board with teaching my kids at home, and I am certain they will be social and I will run out of patience 😉

    Oh yeah, and about that Calculus situation….consider the possibilities of early post-secondary options. Many states pay for high school students to attend college classes for credit. They get a jump start on a college education, and get to skip out on some of the *less desirable* antics of high school socialization.

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    • beanland says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laura. Not having been homeschooled myself I’m always curious how people who were homeschooled reflect back on their experiences. And the ultimate test: Do they want the same experience for their own kids!

      Nobody comes close to knowing my daughter as well as I (and my husband) do. That gives me a huge advantage when it comes to teaching her, versus a school teacher who may be very good and invested in her job, but who has to get to know 30 new kids every year. So from that perspective, I’m confident… but I’m sure I will come to discover my limitations more as I delve into it!

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  4. lisa (lost pezhead) says:

    I would homeschool if I felt my kids’ morals would be too compromised because of materials being taught at school (which could shortly come to pass). I don’t like homeschooling because I feel you’re in a really small niche of homeschoolers. I like being in the public schools, going to volunteer in their class, getting to know other parents/teachers helping w/ fundraisers, PTO, etc I really feel like I’ve become part of the UA community and I know SO many people now (and by that I mean people outside of church). It’s been important to me to have that and to have a group of friends w/ varying viewpoints etc and to be able to share my views w/ them etc. Plus, I like having my kids GONE for a few hrs so I get a break from them! I’ll have to read the link…haven’t yet

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    • beanland says:

      Yeah I know the local homeschooling community can have a huge impact on your social circle. In some areas of the country it’s as thriving as you describe the public school as being… in other areas not so much. I do worry about that since I have a pretty narrow circle of friends right now being a stay-at-home mom to a toddler.

      About the morals thing… that is a factor for us but I am more focused on exposing them to lots of GOOD than sheltering them from the BAD, if that makes sense? I figure the bad will come, through public school, or neighborhood kids, or fellow homeschooling friends, or teammates, etc. They will absolutely be exposed to people (and friends) making bad choices. But my goal is to get them maximum exposure to our beliefs and our family’s core values. (Of course that can be accomplished without homeschooling, but that was a big incentive for us to go this route.)

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  5. Andrea says:

    You go Anne! I have no doubt that Mackenzie will grow up to be an intelligent, loving, and capable woman. I have loved teaching Jonas and Luke. It’s addicting. I love seeing them “get it.”

    Thanks for sharing that link. I’m finding homeschooling more and more appealing, although I loved being a 2nd grade teacher and felt my students got a great education.

    No matter what path parents choose, I think it’s important to have an incredibly active role in their child’s education. I’ve seen great kids come from all sort of situations. The family makes all the difference.

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