Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why Homeschool?

Recently, I reconnected with a childhood friend (gotta love Facebook!) who is considering homeschooling her daughter. She asked why we had decided to homeschool, and once again, it really made me think about how to put my answer into (less than 10,000) words. I told her that I always wished that I had a simple one-sentence answer. But, our decision was based on so many factors that it's hard to express it that concisely. Here's the best I could do to streamline it:

- I was an independent, expectionally fast learner, so the classroom setting didn't work well for me. I was always really bored in school and at some point, I stopped enjoying learning. I want my kids to be able to learn about subjects that interest them (and things that are important to me) in the way (and pace) that best suits their learning style.

- I think it's hard for kids to learn to interact (properly) without a high ratio of adult supervision. I know that kids are testing out different ways they can act and, as a result, often end up "learning" on each other. However, with homeschooling, there's always a parent nearby to step in and correct the problem. I know its inevitable that my kids will see other kids acting in ways I don't approve of; I just think it's really important for them also to see a parent (or other adult) correcting the behavior - and I don't think it's possible this would happen every time in a classroom of full of kids.

- I think it's important for children to interact with kids of all ages and with adults on a regular basis, instead of solely with their peers. The kids in our homeschool group play very inclusively (even with the really little ones) and actively converse with the parents at least as much as with the other kids (just ask my friend Missy, who was once cornered by my son for a 20 minute conversation we had to drag him out of!)

- It seems like there's a certain amount of conformity required for a traditional school. Sometimes having two kids talking at the same time drives me crazy, so I know that a teacher with a full classroom needs to keep the kids quiet. But, I think that the rules required to make a classroom work go a long way towards squelching creativity, an inquisitive nature and independent thinking/decision making - all things we want to encourage in our children.

- The thought of having them in an unknown situation all day long scares me. I'm not willing to give up control of what they're being exposed to (control issues, I know - LOL!)

- I can't imagine missing out on seeing them learn.

So there it is in a nutshell - or at least six paragraphs!

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