The good, the bad, the ugly
Homeschooling. This term causes people to pick up arms fast–for or against it. I have seen homeschooling executed excellently. I have also seen it fail miserably. Putting good and bad examples aside, working in public education made me realize that I wanted something different for my future children.
I didn’t want my kids’ creativity limited or their teachers stressed about standardized tests. Don’t misunderstand me. Public school teachers are amazing! They work harder than most people I know. I have nothing against people who choose public education. Growing up I always loved going to school! As an only child it was a social place for me, plus it gave me opportunities to shine academically. Nonetheless, I am intrigued by some of the unique opportunities homeschooling offers, if structured well.
I was discouraged after deciding against being a public school teacher. Even though I hate disappointing others, I had to let go of other people’s expectations for me and unashamedly pursue what I was really passionate about.
I remember asking God, “Why did I spend the past few years pursuing teaching and gaining K-12 experience when I am not going to use it?”
God answered me while I was working as a nanny. I needed a break from the public schools and my friend needed a part-time nanny. It was the perfect chance to change pace for awhile. Working with her sweet two-year-old daughter on learning colors, numbers, and letters made me realize my experience would never go to waste. I thought, someday when I have kids of my own, I will use it. Perhaps even in homeschooling!
I had already been exploring homeschooling after watching TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting. Their children were raised with their faith and education centered at home. They were faithful to God, smart, polite, and motivated. I remember thinking, that’s what I want for my kids! Minus the skirts and perms. Though, I have on many occasions seriously considered perming my hair. . .
The opportunities it opens up are numerous!
- I can have more time with my kids.
- I can nurture their creativity rather than squash it.
- Homeschooling allows kids to explore more of their passions, while still gaining a strong foundation in all subject areas.
- Field trips! We can take as many as we want and connect what we are learning to them. Field trips can bring learning to life in unique, hands-on ways.
- Community. If done correctly, homeschooling is not always the solitary activity people imagine. There are organized groups that meet and learn together. For example, homeschool PE, theater, or music classes with other families.
- My kids will have more opportunities to learn about God and study the Bible.
- Character building. Public schools attempt this one a lot. However, it rarely seems to work. I think what helps it stick is the affirmation of those qualities in the home. I love this idea of nurturing Christian character qualities in my children through vocabulary lessons, scripture memorization, and of course, practice!
- I can custom-design content and pace to fit my children’s needs.
- College classes are available online when they are in high school. Like AP classes in public education, homeschooling allows for older kids to get a head start on their college degree.
- We can take “summer break” in December if we want to do so. We live in Arizona, and I think kids would benefit more from outdoor time in the winter than the blistering hot summer.
Even if you do not homeschool, you can still employ some of these approaches and opportunities, such as character development, creativity, and family field trips!
For more information on homeschooling and whether it is right for you, check out this free guide from Onlineschools.org:
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