Monday, November 05, 2007

Why Homeschool?

Homeschool, originally uploaded by diahn.

It's a question that we've often been asked, generally right after the "asker" has just asked the boys where they go to school, and then paused uncomfortably as if we were going to start speaking in tongues or something. I try to explain our school situation, which is unusual, as it is a combination of home and traditional schooling, where the boys attend a private school three half-days a week, and we homeschool the other two.

It's funny how this seems to relax them, as if it says perhaps we aren't so crazy after all. The next thing out of their mouths is usually something like this. "Oh, well - I just don't have the patience for something like that - I don't know what I would do if I couldn't get away from my kids for those hours." Yikes. I always want to ask them who taught their children to use the toilet, because that's a heck of a lot more patience-testing than anything we do. And, while I enjoy a nice break away from the kiddoes on occasion, I also really enjoy being with them. Maybe that makes me some kind of mommy-freak...I don't know.

In any case, our reasons are plentiful. We love the flexibility it gives us. No one asks for a doctor's excuse if the boys miss school. We just make up the work at home and it's like the absence never happend. If we want to have a long weekend, we can get our work done on Thursday and take Friday off - no problem. I know exactly how the boys are progressing - not just based on a progress report or report card, but because they have to read to me and do their math fact sheets right there where I can see them This actually helped us head off some difficulties with our oldest, who was having difficulty reading. He was in a classroom of 10 students, rather than one of 25+ and between his teacher and me, we realized quickly there was a problem and worked very quickly to get him back on track.

Another reason we homeschool is that we feel we are ultimately responsible for the information that goes into those malleable little minds. I don't want our county deciding when it is time for my children to learn about sex. I don't want my government telling my kids that it is okay to have sex as long as you use protection. See this article, if you haven't heard about THAT already...,2933,303058,00.html

I don't want my school board to tell my kid it is not okay to say a little prayer of gratitude when it's time to eat. Sure, someday they'll have to face those things and they'll have to figure out how to deal with them. I just want to make sure they have good information BEFORE it comes up, rather than after things have gone nuts.

The biggest reason, really, is this: I love watching them learn. I love hanging out with them and taking "field trips" with them and watching them experience life, rather than sitting in a classroom all day. I love it when I've just explained a concept to them and I can see the light go on in their beautiful little brains and they GET it. And then they talk about it the rest of the day, and want to call Daddy at work to tell him about it, too. I love that they love to learn because it's never boring and tedious (or usually not boring and tedious). I love that they are understanding that gaining knowledge is not only necessary but really, really fun.

Just sign me...