Home-school Thoughts

I know that there are a lot of strong feelings for most people when they hear the words “home school.” Some thoughts and feelings may be positive, but for many others there are more negative thoughts than anything else.

A lot of what homeschooling looks like in real life is up to the style and organizational structure of the parent. I know several people/families personally who have home-schooled. Quite frankly looking from the outside in, I can appreciate the negative sentiments that many people share.

Two acquaintances of mine over the years, whose families home-schooled them and their siblings are self-admittedly not as bright as their friends that went to public schools. One girl shared with me that she was left at home the majority of the day to school herself while her mom worked. This type of “home-schooling” curriculum seems confusing to me. I imagine self-teaching myself during high-school and I truly believe it would be impossible to teach myself things that I didn’t know…I mean, how can you ask the question if you don’t even know that the question needs to be asked? i believe that teachers are imperative to the learning process and in the case of a home-schooled child, the parent serves as the teacher. Their presence and structured involvement is imperative to the education of the child. In many conversations with these acquaintances I was shocked at the lack of information that they had on many subjects.

I know others whose children struggle to read even in to late elementary school. There are others who learned how to sew and play musical instruments but lacked basic communication skills with others (or so it appeared at first glance). I have yet to meet an exceptional home-schooled kid (well-educated, prepared for college, plays a musical instrument, learned a foreign language, plays a sport, and communicates well with others)…You may be thinking that sounds like an exceptional kid all around…well not from what I see the public schools in the suburban areas pounding out (I have met many kids from public schools that fit this list above).

My personal opinion is that a lack of providing education to a child, specifically a home-schooled child, is akin to neglect in our culture. A parent that decides that a child ought to stay home and complete their education at home ought to ensure that their child is not only educated but also equipped for adulthood. A parent that chooses to embrace the “at-home” education is responsible for the well-being of the didactic education of their child, as well as their physical and spiritual nurturing, as well as other dynamics to ensure that the child is whole.

Conversely, a child that is educated either through a parochial school program or a public school education ought to ensure that those that are educating the child are equipped properly in providing a well-rounded curriculum for the child. The child still requires physical, spiritual, and core-educational foundations to grow into a healthy adult.

There are parents that have no desire to home-school either by choice or because of the necessity to work….and that is ok.

There are parents that sacrifice working to stay at home to educate their children….and that is ok, too.

I believe that judging a parent on whether they want to sent their children to a public school, private/parochial school, or to keep the child home for at-home schooling is unfair and narrow-minded.

I am very open to all three schooling options. In less than two weeks, the Chicago school system will begin the new 2018 school year. I was hoping to get my little Honey Badger in to a preschool program of half days starting this new school year, but the way everything worked out, I missed the application deadline and was only able to select two preschool options (one she was on a waiting list for and the other she wasn’t able to get in to at all…and they are public schools). The private school options range anywhere form $4,500 to $12,000 for preschool and that is just something that we cannot afford at this point in our lives.

Last year I researched and purchased an at home school program for the Honey Badger before I knew that I was pregnant with the Snorting Warthog. Having a second baby changed my ideas of being able to home-school my precious Honey Badger, but the situation with schooling in Chicago this year has forced me in to making a decision to home-school. Most of the women that I have met in city are proponents of the public school system or work full-time and only have the option to send their children to public schools.

Recently I met a group of women in the city that home-school. Their main reasons vary considerably. Some want to take control of their children’s schedule (so that the children have more options for field trips and hands-on learning). Others want to engage their children to excel beyond their grade level. Still other mom’s want to shield the influence that other children will have on their children. I have heard from a couple moms that they are scared of the increasing violence or potential for mass-shootings at their child’s school. All of these arguments are different and may fit the needs of their specific family.

I have heard negative things from many people, such as home-schooling will handicap a child from social situations and interacting with other children. I could potentially agree with that argument if the parent of the home-school child doesn’t take their child out in to the real world and force them to interact with others. However, from my experience being a stay at home mom, my child gets exposed to people of all ages all throughout their day. From small children and babies at the park or music class to adults and elderly at the grocery store, church, or out walking. My daughter has no problem interacting with others.

I recognize that this is just pre-school, but I believe that if I am going to continue to home-school my child past Kindergarten, I need to have a “test-run.” And there literally is no better time than at three years old for pre-school. The curriculum I have chosen is the Home CEO Academy Preschool. There are two separate curricula (one for 2-3 year old and one for 3-4 year olds).

There is so much material that I actually went ahead and paid to get it printed through their print shop. I believe I made the right decision, because the volume of their material has already filled up roughly around 8 binders and I don’t even have the entire year put together.

I don’t want to home-school to shield my child from the indoctrination of public school. In fact I want to teach my children both the parochial and public way of learning things. An example of this would be evolution. I believe that many Christians want to shield their children from the teachings of evolution, but I don’t believe that this is a smart approach. My children will be exposed to the ideas and thoughts of science. TBF and I want our girls to be able to thoughtfully and poignantly carry on an intelligent conversation with their peers. Our kids won’t be able to do that if they are not taught the same things that their peers are taught. I believe that could potentially handicap them at some point in their life. I want my children to learn about the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, Creationism, and others and make the decision for themselves based off of the facts and their ability to logically think through these issues (age appropriate of course, as physics and algebra won’t be in the curriculum this year for the Honey Badger)! haha

I am looking forward to blogging about my experience as a first time home-schooling parent. I am nervous and eager as I am still finishing up some last touches and getting some of my library books picked up, craft supplies purchased and ensuring that I have everything where it needs to be. Stay tuned!

 

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