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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why we home school

In a home school forum that I am part of the question was posed, What is your main reason for home schooling? 12 choices were given, one of which was OTHER. I found that many of the choices fit our reasons, and it also gave me 'inspiration' to answer the question in my blog. *So basically our reasons are these (in no particular order):
*Better education at home (higer test scores, more in depth study, etc)
*Poor learning environment/safety issues at school (class size, bullies, fights, drugs, etc)
*Customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child
*Prefer the freedom homeschooling offers (Vacations, travel for work, Dr. Appt, etc)

Many would have thought that religion would be on the list, but I feel that religion can be taught at home without the need of home schooling. I don't feel that religion needs to be taught in every subject, we will touch basis on it in History, but otherwise it will mostly be focused specifically during religion/scripture study. Religion does have some influence in our decision, but more along the lines of that we prayed about it and feel this is the right path for us.

There are certain things about being a parent that I always knew I wanted to do, like being a stay-at-home mom for instance. Home schooling was never one of them. It really came into play when C (my oldest) started getting a bit older. Not to brag on my child, but he is pretty smart for his age, and I just couldn't see the school system being able to challenge him. Where we were living in MD, there were no 'gifted' programs for children until 2nd grade, and you had to provide the transportation to the school that offered the program your child was accepted to, considering we were in a very rural part of town, and most of the schools that offered the programs were at a minimum of 30min away, that would be 2hrs of driving a day, having to load up all the younger kids to take C to and from school. A friend of mine whose son had already started K was having similar issues to what I had anticipated for C. He was not challenged, he was bored, and the schools answer to this was to just send home more work. So now you have a 5yo who sits at school for 8hrs, and then has to come home and do more work, b/c he is smarter? Additionally in MD Elementary school went first, so the children were sent to school at 7am. I worried that C's boredom would lead to bad behavior, acting up and being the class clown....we've all seen it happen. After serving as an intern in a local first grade classroom to receive my MS in Early Childhood Education, I was even more convinced as to how impossible it is for one teacher to meet the needs of 25+ students. Every child is different, they all learn differently, they are all on different levels. There were a few students in the class that could not read at all, already at 7years of age, these children had in many ways been given up on. Then there was another child who was light years ahead of the other kids in reading and math. He was given advanced reading group time, where he was still light years ahead of the other kids, for a short amount of time, 1-2 days a week. This child was bored, this child got in trouble all the time. I discussed with the teacher (my mentor) about his boredom, and her response was that if he was bored it was his own fault! What???!!! And unfortunately his parents were not involved in his education, and they missed the deadline to apply for him to go to magnet school...so 2nd grade will be much of the same thing for him.

My first and foremost reason that I decided to home school is that as an Early Childhood Education Major, we are taught that kids learn by DOING, hands on activities, experiencing things...however directly after preschool this form of learning comes to a screeching halt! (and even sadder, I have seen it not used in preschool programs as well). Kids are not allowed to be kids, they are not allowed to learn how they learn best. I don't agree that children in kindergarten need to sit in school all day, and then be given homework! That's crazy...I can teach them all they need to know and more in half the time (or less). In school they are taught what they need to know to pass tests to make certain scores to make schools and teachers look good...when if they taught correctly, the children would learn it anyway. We have more and more kids graduating high school not remember a lick of what they learned those 4years! It starts with early education...teach them right!

Anyhow...for those of you who are interested. Those are my reasons. I have to remind myself of them every so often, learning should be fun...it should be interactive, it should be enjoyable. I want that for my kids...and I try my hardest to give it to them.
We will reassess the home school situation after 4th grade...but it will all depend on where we are living and what is available for education there.

3 comments:

  1. We have done the same thing to remember the why behind we homeschool. Our children are our number one reason!!! I found your blog through The Ultimate Homeschool Blog Roll and have really enjoyed checking out your blog, my son really liked the owl pellet too.

    Lil' Momma
    Living with one hard working husband, two preschoolers and one middle schooler

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jennifer, I decided to homeschool our kids when they were starting high school. I need a little more freedom to customize. Anyway, I hopped over from BlogFrog Hip Homeschoolers to visit you. Thanks fore sharing your insights about homeschooling.

    Coach Theresa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! My 3 yr old is smart {sounds like your son} and we had no options with the local schools if she did test advanced. Both my brother and I got into trouble in Elem school because we breezed through assignments and then got bored. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete

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