Why I Homeschool

| 9/19/2011 11:14:00 PM

Sarah S HeadshotIt is official, I went to the ESD office and signed Little Man up for homeschooling. That entailed something like 5.2 seconds of paper work: child’s name, address, birthday and the signature of the parent/guardian (that’s me), oh they wanted the school district and grade he’s “supposed” to be in – all in all a pretty simple deal. What isn’t simple is the 35 (or so) public school teachers we know that seem to take it as a personal affront that Hubby and I have chosen not to utilize the public school system. All of them are great teachers or retired teachers and none of them happen to work in our school district. If they did, we might have chosen differently. (Might, but probably not.)

 The top three questions I keep getting asked are: “What is your curriculum?” “What about socialization?” and “How long are you going to homeschool?”

 To the first, my answer is “We’re eclectic.” For those of you not in the homeschool community I will translate… It means that I haven’t gone out and purchased a $100-$400 all encompassing curriculum for my son. What I do have is a science work book that we use for reading practice, I write down math problems for him to add and subtract. We work on telling time and counting money, and we utilize the public library A LOT.

 Just this weekend we had an excellent hands-on money lesson. Cycle Oregon was in town. Cycle Oregon is an annual event with 2000+ bicycle riders touring a section of Oregon. Sometimes it’s a linear cross-state route. This year it was a loop that started and ended in our town. The finish line was in front of our house, so I asked Little Man if he wanted to set up a lemonade stand. (I make a killer strawberry lemonade.) He answered in the affirmative and promptly set to making signs. He had the pop-up awning out of the garage and in the driveway before Hubby was off the couch.

Cycle Oregon 2011 Finish Line 

 Little Man is shy with strangers and quite frankly I see that as a good thing. But, I wanted to push him out of his comfort zone a little and show him that it was okay to talk to strangers in a supervised setting. So I told him that it was his stand and that he had to ask people if they would like to buy a glass of lemonade. He thought I should ask too, but I was firm on this point.

Suzanne Cox
9/23/2011 10:03:48 PM

Sarah, we also get much of the same response from people who find out we home school. Our children are almost 6 and 4 1/2. They are in 1st grade and kindergarten. There were many reasons we decided to home school. Over crowding was one, a lack of quality instruction another, respect and manners were a biggy, and also a moral opposition to some of the things taught locally. We are blessed to have very well behaved children and everywhere we go people comment about their behavior, in a positive way! Most of the people who criticize our decision do so based on the socialization issue. However, our kids play sports and do karate with children their own age and go everywhere with us, even on my business trips. They do NOT lack anything socially and are well rounded and balanced little kiddo's. We use every opportunity, on the farm or traveling away from home, as a learning experience. And our children are all the better for it. They know things that children twice their age don't and thankfully they DON'T know about some of the things other children have to deal with. We have no regrets or second thoughts about our decision, and I hope you have as wonderful of an experience with it as we do! Good luck with your home-schooling adventure.

Nebraska Dave
9/22/2011 10:03:05 AM

Sarah, I can certainly see why you are getting so much criticism. Any time some one does something outside the normal folks will try to convince you are wrong. I applaud you for standing up to the flack and forging ahead in your teaching methods. In my humble opinion little boys were not designed to sit quietly in a seat and listen to a teacher all day long. They learn from doing, touching, experiencing things. However, I also think that it takes special parents to home school. Quite frankly I couldn't do it and my wife could not have done it either. Stick to your guns and I think little man will turn out just fine. Maybe even better with life skills. Have a great home schooling day.

Mozi Esmes Mom
9/22/2011 9:35:07 AM

I love the lemonade stand style of schooling! :) And you've pinpointed one of the reasons we're going with eclectic schooling: being tied down to a set curricula/schedule just doesn't work for us! We're not unschooling, by any means, but we're free to deviate from our workbooks, and we can jump ahead when my daughter masters material rather than plod through carefully-sequentialized textbooks.

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