Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Can't Decide About Homeschooling





We live in a society that is so contradictory; the polarities are omnipresent and divisive.
I think this is probably why I'm so sensitive to contradictions.
Someone has always to go be the butt of a joke.

To vax or not to vax.  To circ or not to circ.  Standard medical care or homeopathy.  Public school options or homeschool.  Classical or unschooling.  Democrat or Republican.  Secular or Christian.  A little bit Country or a little bit Rock and Roll.

The thing is that almost all of life is in the grey zone.  I can think of no issue at this moment that is completely WRONG or RIGHT.  Maybe I'm just very sensitive to the exceptions, to the possibilities, to the nuances, that I simply can't  see things black or white.  And that applies to homeschooling as well.  I couldn't point to the "BEST" way to homeschool if I tried.

As for the question, "Should I homeschool?", now that's a tough one. It isn't for everyone.  I'm with my kids 24//7/365.  Could you handle that?  Are you one of those parents I see all over the internet whooping it up in August when it's time for the kids to go back to school?  Are you absolutely OK having someone else do "character education", "sex education", "vocational development", and other value-laden topics?  Do  you prefer the idea of dropping them off in the morning?  Are you comfortable living an "outside of the box" lifestyle?  Do you honestly believe that someone else needs to "teach" new skills?  Have you ever taken matters into your own hands and made something happen?  Can you stand to have your kids NOT follow the group?  Is popularity and issue for you?

It's not an easy decision in the beginning.  Probably because we adults who have been schooled have a difficult time separating our experience from what an education must look like.  Does all learning have to happen in a classroom?  Does a child need structured lunches, downtime, and hang out time?  Does the Board of Education really know the best and most necessary things a child should know growing up?

As for me, I am comfortable in the grey zone.  My kids are comfortable in the grey zone.  We are incapable of allowing others to define terms for us.  As for us, homeschool is the answer.  We are productive, proactive, and ...procrastinators...

Anyway, we are living in the grey zone.  But we can appreciate YOUR lifestyle choices too.  You don't have to homeschool for us to respect your choices!

4 comments:

  1. Reading the Teenage Liberation Handbook (TLH) made me realize how judgmental I was about my kids --whether they were doing enough, learning enough--and that was BEFORE homeschool! Once I read TLH, it was clear I was trying to control their lives...more than necessary.

    The more we are together, the more natural it feels to be together. It's much easier to designate a dishwasher loader when all the dishwasher candidates are within range! Also, when they go off and do their own thing (computers or Barbies or whatever) to Let It Go that they are not in workbooks, whathaveyou.

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  2. I especially appreciate the last lines of this post, and now that my children have chosen to enroll in regular school and I've acclimated to that idea, I appreciate those words even more!! All throughout the homeschooling experience I was wishing I didn't feel like I needed to constantly defend the "different" approach we were taking, and similarly now that they are going to school I struggle with that feeling all over again!

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    Replies
    1. (((HUGS)))
      Laura, your kids are GREAT!!!!!!!!!
      (and so are you)

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  3. My stay-at-home husband and I are currently asking ourselves these same questions as we are trying to decide if we want to homeschool our 6 and 9 year old, and researching non-Christian options. Finding your blog seems to have been very timely, thank you for the honesty and work you put into it.

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