Linking up with Kelly once again!
This week,we’re looking into the future. Kind of.
My boys are still quite young, but I think every parent starts considering their schooling options pretty early, especially if you live in a not-stellar school district and don’t easily have room in the budget for parochial or private schools. So here we are: seven reasons I’m currently considering homeschooling (once we reach the school years).
– 1 –
Especially as the mother of two boys, I am very concerned with the pattern of schools cutting free play time and recess in favor of more cramming for standardized tests. Kids learn best by playing in the early years, and they NEED to get their energy out in order to be able to focus on learning while sitting still. But a lot of schools insist they “don’t have time” for recess. Of course, the time they save by cutting it will probably result in more behavior problems in the classroom and poor learning anyway…
By homeschooling, we can build in movement throughout the day and take breaks whenever needed.
– 2 –
Many teachers express concerns about parents homeschooling when those parents have had no training in pedagogical methods, classroom management, etc. But the thing is, you don’t NEED classroom management skills when you’re instructing one-on-one. What you need are parenting skills to connect with your own specific child. And who’s better at that than mom?
Plus, in all honesty, I’m pretty smart. I’m confident in my ability to understand and transmit knowledge to my kids. I like writing (obviously–wouldn’t be blogging otherwise!), I’m good at math (started working as an actuary after college) (quit it) (but that’s another story), and I like to read about lots of varied subjects. I feel personally up to the job.
– 3 –
I’m also really concerned about the fact that kids in school who learn at a slower pace than their classmates (which happens! Kids develop on their own timelines!) effectively learn that they are “dumb” by getting poor grades over and over at school. And once they label themselves as dumb, all sorts of other problems pop up, like a belief that they can’t learn, or don’t like learning At home, the comparison game can be avoided. Each kid can learn at his own pace in each subject, and hopefully enjoy it all more.
– 4 –
The problem with Catholic school: the private schools are expensive (like, the nearby classical Catholic grade school is over $8 grand a year!), and the diocesan grade schools vary wildly in quality. The one nearby us is… okay? But I’m not thrilled about the prospect of paying even 3 or 4 thousand dollars a year for an “okay” school.
– 5 –
The problem with public school: sure, it’s free, but our school district is also only okay, and public schools also come with other issues. Specifically, the relativism, materialism, bullying, and gender-confusion so pervasive in our society.
(Even accepting the shaky premise that biological sex and gender are independent things, why would bathroom use be based on gender identity and not body organs?!)
I might be tempted to overlook some of these things if we lived in a truly great school district (and combat them at home through discussion during the out-of-school hours), but we don’t. So why bother with them in the first place?
– 6 –
Homeschooling also provides a good opportunity to build in catechesis. The religious education curricula in most schools and CCD programs aren’t in great shape, either.
I could go on and on about this topic, but suffice it to say: schools and CCD classes have too many felt banners and not enough of the actual Catechism. It’s such a shame. Our faith is full of beautiful ideas and solid reasoning, but most Catholics have never been exposed to so much of it.
– 7 –
And then there’s the key, comforting aspect of homeschooling that makes it all possible: the knowledge that trying homeschooling for a year doesn’t lock us in forever. If all goes well, great! If not, well, to school we will go.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained… but it’s good to know there is an escape hatch available if necessary.
And that’s a wrap. Have a beautiful November weekend, lovely readers!