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« Ask RESTONMOM - 6/23/08 | Main | Paper's Edge »

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Jessi

I can totally identify with your fears/hesitations about homeschooling...I shared all of them, but because of a seemingly irreconcilable problem with my daughter's 2nd grade teacher, we were forced to consider the option - and took it. (I felt like the issue with the teacher would leave permanent scars in my daughter emotionally in her attitudes toward school and her own self, and just felt it was not worth it.)

I've just completed my 5th year of homeschooling, and am now teaching 3 of my 4 kids at home (the 4th is pre-school age). Every year we re-evaluate our childrens' individual needs and decide what the best education option is for each one...but I become increasingly sure that homeschooling is better on most fronts - and definitely all the really important areas. But we always stay open to making changes as God leads us in nurturing each child.

This year 2 of mine will be doing a totally free virtual charter school where all the curriculum and also teacher interaction is provided as a public school, but all teaching is done at home by me. They also provide opportunity for monthly outings for all the students to interact with one another. It's going to be a new experience for us and I'm really looking forward to it.

My sister also homeschools and together we've made a pact to NEVER start wearing jumpers (the #1 typical sign of a homeschooler!), baking our own bread or sewing our family's clothes!!

One thing to keep in mind for people who are concerned about the weird/unsocialized stereotype about homeschoolers... the kids tend to be like the parents (whether in school or not)...if you have weird, unsociable parents, the kids will be that way too. If you have normal parents who have lots of social interaction, the same will tend to happen for the kids. That's been my observation, and for the most part it seems to hold true. And if the ONLY social interaction my kids got was at school, I should be more concerned about that! I find that because my husband and I are involved in many social settings, my children are now MORE socially adept in interacting with not ONLY other kids (which they do much better than I did as a shy child, and I went to both public and private schools) but they also can handle themselves around adults as well.

After saying all that (I know it was a lot - sorry!) just one final thing is that I always appreciate when homeschoolers are not 'militant' about it, and graciously acknowledge that it ISN'T for everyone; parents must each recognize their own make-up, family values and lifestyles, etc. and make the choices best for them. I am always careful to recognize that there isn't a 'best' choice - they are all good for different reasons, and what is best for some is not for others. I think many people have been put-off about homeschooling simply by a judgemental attitude displayed by those who feel they've made the only correct choice to educate at home, and that's really quite sad.

Jessi

Just a quick edit to my 2nd para... where I said homeschooling is better on most fronts and definitely all the really important ones... that means for our individual family and based on my own childrens' needs and personalities. (Just so I don't sound 'militant' myself!) :)

Stephanie Balvin

I remember us talking back in DC at the Whiteboard conference about you homeschooling. I was thinking that is something I could never do. However, in the last month or so, it's been heavy on my heart. I still worry about my patience level and abilities, but I want to find our more. I've been working in my son's school this year, and I am always saddened by one thing or anther that he has to deal with at school. I don't want to do it to shelter him, but I believe I am doing so much teaching at home anyways, why not take it to the next level. Do you have a book you would recommend or website to look through curriculum? Anything would be great- you can email me if that would be easier. THANKS!

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