I came across this article today and it got me thinking more about homeschooling.
Homeschooling has been around for centuries and yet it still seems to conjure up a lot of controversy. To be completely honest, I’m one of those moms who has stated more than once, “I will never home school. Unless, for some reason, it would become necessary to do so.” In my mind necessity equalled living on an island without any public or private school system in place. But just like homeschooling has gone through changes over the years, so has my view of homeschooling. So I sit on my little island (no, we’re not literally on an island, unless you consider a small town in the middle of corn and soybean fields an island) and there are school options, none of which are bad, but my little island doesn’t come with a public or private school option that feels right for my children. Maybe it’s because in the same way homeschooling has changed over the years, so have the private and public school sectors.
I ave asked myself several questions over the last few weeks.
– What is best for Lili?
– What is best for Naomi?
– What is best for our family as a whole?
– What would homeschooling look like in our home?
– What benefits would we have in sending our girls to private school?
– What benefits would we have in sending our girls to public school?
And I have a friend who have suggested some other alternative such as after schooling and now ask myself if that is something that could work for our family.
I’ve done a lot of research and have been considering all the pros and cons of each choice. None of them perfect in my book, but certainly some more perfect than others for our family.
So where am I in making a decision you ask? Today, I would have to say I’m leaning toward homeschooling. I say today, because I’m still leaving options open for consideration should something change.
And why homeschooling you ask? I’ve been researching, reading blogs, articles and looking at websites, in an attempt to determine the best option for the girls and for our family. Then about a week ago it all became very clear to me when I suddenly realized that other than the 3 mornings a week Lili is in a private pre-school program, I’m already homeschooling. We do workbooks to help learn letters, numbers, shapes, and colors; we do art and crafts projects; we have history lessons; we study geography and social studies; we read; we go on field trips to the zoo, museums, parks, etc.; we have lessons in the different sciences; and the list goes on. Lili’s teacher tells me she is definitely above average and I would like to believe that it’s not only because she’s one smart cookie, but it’s also because Dave and I have encouraged her to love learning. That is part of our job as parents and we’ve taken that responsibility seriously.
Even though we do many homeschooling activities in our home, I’ve not structured our day as a school day and that part of homeschooling is something I would have to work on. But I have been homeschooling none-the-less.
I’ve talked a lot about Lili, but what about Naomi though? Naomi loves learning as well, but in a very different way. While Lili is not only content, but prefers to sit and work on workbooks, loves reading and art projects, Naomi prefers to be on the move. She loves imaginative play and learns a lot by watching everyone and everything going on around her (which can be both good and bad). She too loves reading books, but doesn’t want to sit for long periods of time working on workbooks or art projects. She is much happier being up and moving around.
As I look at the benefits of homeschooling, a big one would have to be the flexibility that is given to meet each of my children’s individual learning styles. While I can imagine Lili sitting at a desk all day, I can’t imagine Naomi being successful sitting all day. And yes, I realize she’s only 2 1/2, but even at 2 1/2, I could imagine Lili being successful sitting in school all day. What I certainly can’t imagine is either of my girls being happy or satisfied sticking with a required curriculum instead of being given the flexibility and opportunity to spend ample time pursuing their interests when those interests are at their peak. I can’t imagine telling either of my girls, “I know you want to learn about the solar system, but we only have 15 minutes tonight because you have homework, dinner, baths and bed so you can get up and head to school tomorrow morning.” While this works well and is preferred for many children and their families, I just don’t we fit that same mold.
Fortunately, we have some time before we have to make a decision one way or the other. I basically have between 4 and 5 months before we absolutely have to make a decision. This allows me the time to give homeschooling a trial run. I can check out curriculums, set up a schedule and program that will help us better determine if homeschooling is something that will work for the girls and our family.
As always, I’m open to suggestions and opinions, so please feel free to leave a comment here on my blog. And I ask you to leave the comments here because they will be much easier for me to go back and look at later.