Why I Homeschool Redux

I just heard about this request for input from homeschoolers at I’m Just Saying from lorem ipsum’s blog and thought I’d give it a go!

1. What was your motivation for homeschooling? Was it based on religious reasons? Was is it based on curriculum – did you want more freedom in choosing what your children were being taught? Was it based on socializing – wanting to have more control in the people with whom your children came into contact with? Was it based on logistics – the nearest school being 20 miles away? What made you finally decide to go this route?

It was not based on religion, let me state that up front. We homeschool secularly. I also have one child who still attends school.

My decision was based on was the fact that my children have some learning disabilities that place them firmly in the “not really able to keep up, but not quite bad enough for real help” camp. In other words, they fall through the cracks. My oldest, who is now 14, went to school until she was 9. They had her in remedial classes, that didn’t really help but pulled her out of class while the subjects she didn’t need remediation in were being taught. They were using the same curriculum that didn’t work the first time around. The teachers were really wonderful, and were trying their best, but it just wasn’t working for her. Add to that the fact that she was a target of severe bullying (mental not physical) and we had both had enough by the end of 4th grade. When her brother was due to enter Kinder, he didn’t 😉 My continued motivation is a little different. We really love the freedom that comes with homeschooling; freedom to follow our passions educationally, freedom to have time to do things like dance and write and read, there’s lots more but I’ll stop now.

2. Don’t hate me for asking this. How to you handle socialization? What steps do you take to make sure your children are around other children and adults? Are you active in a home school group? Do you spend a lot of time at church activities? Maybe you utilize the local Y for activities and they meet friends there?

My children attend a homeschool group, they dance (which means not only the contact within their own classes but time they are there and not dancing spent with other kids who aren’t dancing), we have a child that comes here for child care 4 days a week, they are friendly with our children’s librarian, the guy at the butcher shop and the caregivers in my mom’s group. We have a foster granny who visits every week and plays with the kids.  We have our own extended family that is a big part of our lives. My 14yo even has a facebook(and er..so do I)!

3. Do you use the public school system for any part of your child’s routine? Some children here come to the school for band or chorus, or maybe for science class. Do you send your child to the public school to take advantage of any of their programs?

My youngest does get some special help for reading/math at the local public school. Due to his severe LD we need to figure out what kind of program will work for him and they have more resources then I do (or more then I can afford-I could get pretty much everything they have if I won the lottery). He also receives OT and speech therapy there. Other then that, no. My kids do sports and *extracurriculars* outside of the school system. We take advantage of private orgs for cheer, dance, soccer, horseback riding and gymnastics (not all at the same time!). We have science class, art classes, music classes and such as part of our homeschooling group.

4. Do your children begin and end school at the same time each day? Do they have a strict schedule, at least as far as waking up and reporting to the school area of your home? If not, when/how will you transition your children into following a more rigid schedule – awaking at the same time each day so that they can follow a routine outside of the home like for college and work?

No. My kids basically follow their own schedules: IE-waking when rested, eating when hungry etc. We don’t really have a school area or a set time for school. My DS tend to pull the workbooks out when he gets up and before bed, DD does her work when the other two are in bed or before she goes to sleep in her room. I haven’t found that I have needed to train them to follow (what I consider) an artificial schedule so they know how, our life does that. When we have things outside the house they are able to get up and do them. When there is work to be done, they do it. I usually give DD a planner with her weekly assignments in it on Monday and she has until Friday. She has no problems with this setup. She worked this week volunteering and made it there everyday with a minimum of fuss.

5. How many spelling bees has your child won? Oh, I’m kidding. We all know most of the recent national spelling bee winners have been home schooled children. I just wanted to throw a little funny in there?

That is funny, especially if you know my kids! Spelling bees they aren’t going to win LOL! Now History bees or science competitions? Maybe.

6. Do you have a sense of humor? It’s probably a little late for me to ask that but…

I’d like to think so 😉

7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?

Some is self made, some is ordered. I try to attend the state-wide conference every spring and I get lots of catalogs. It’s taken some trial and error, but we seem to have found our niche as literary based homeschoolers. Here is a run down of what we will be using next year.

8. Do you have any worries at all about teaching your teenagers the higher level math and sciences? I, for one, could not teach chemistry to my children but I could probably teach them calculus. Is this a concern for you?

Not really. I will be teaching Biology this fall and have found a text that is directed at the student. I’ll have no problem with Biology (it was my college major) but they have chemistry too 😉 If I find this approach isn’t working for DD and me then I can sign her up for a single class at the local student directed school, the homeschool coop or find a homeschooling parent who is more knowledgeable to help.

9. What bothers you the most about the reputation homeschoolers have? What things do you hate to hear people say about you for your choice? I really hope you don’t say that it’s my previous post.

That we are all over controlling, over sheltering, uber religious parents trying to hot house our kids. Or on the other end of the spectrum that our kids aren’t learning anything and we are keeping them home to do the chores for us.

10. Be honest, do you, at least in your mind sometimes, judge those of us who choose public school? Do you ever think we are making a bad choice for our children? Are you vocal about that disapproval?

I am never vocal unless asked. Do I think you are making a bad choice? Only if school is a bad choice for your child and you are ignoring that. If your child is thriving in school that’s great! PS works for a lot of kids.

Personally I do have a problem with school as an institution. I don’t like the whole premise of “do this now, do that then” and lots of other things about the school system. That is not to say that I think badly of teachers, children in school or even administrators that truly have the children’s best interests in mind. I just really feel the whole system needs an overhaul. You can read more about my thoughts on this here.

11. Is “home school” one word or two? I’ve seen it both ways. With spellcheck, it shows it as ONE word when used as a verb, but two words when used otherwise. Please enlighten me.

I use homeschool or sometime the acronym HS, which gets confusing once your child is beyond the 8th grade 🙂

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for responding to my questions.

    I especially appreciate the respectful tone of your comment. Some have had a tone I would describe as…well…something other than respectful; but maybe my questions came off as such to those readers.
    I am becoming enlightened on homeschooling and the many different reasons behind the choice, which was my purpose – to conquer my own generalization.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Reply

  2. It was fascinating reading your answers — I always appreciate the peek into someone else’s choices. Nice that the school is willing to help with your child’s LD!

    Reply

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