Family

Home Schooling

On the current adoption form I am filling out it asks if we plan to homeschool. Check yes or no. I want to check maybe. Homeschooling is something that has interested me for a long time. I know a lot of homeschoolers and the kids are all happy and smart. In fact one girl who was homeschooled (by a working parent, no less!) is starting med school this year.

Homeschooling resonates with me. But I’m scared to bring it up to the husband. I don’t know why. I’m sure he’ll have a reflexive “no way” attitude but all I’ll need to do to convince him otherwise is to remind him of his own school career. Actually both our school careers are totally different but we would both probably have benefited greatly from homeschooling.

The husband:

1. Skipped about 1/3 of high school because he was bored and didn’t see the relavance to his own life.
2. Only graduated from high school because he switched to a school where learning was self-directed.
3. He’s probably ADD (he swears he was tested once and they said he wasn’t) and can’t sit still or have a conversation unless it is about something he’s interested in. This is the same guy who loses track of time and works for hours on things he’s interested in.

Me:

1. I was a high achieving, “gifted” student who was reading before I started kindergarten. I was so bored and miserable in kindergarten that I made myself vomit every morning to try to make my mom think I was too sick to go to school. It didn’t work. I only stopped hating school when I skipped a grade and wasn’t quite so bored.

2. My favorite learning experiences that I remember from school were all self-directed.

3. I remember having a constant level of stress about remembering to take the right book to class and worrying about remembering my clothes on gym days. Did I ever forget? No. I did I worry about it for years? Yes.

The 4-H group I work with here at one point was made up entirely of homeschoolers. It was great! Did we want to meet at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon for a special activity? No problem. I would love to have that freedom with my kid(s).

I think I have an unschoolingbrain. I don’t do well with a set schedule. I need variety. That’s the reason that I am a travelling vet and not one who works at the same clinic all the time.

I think schooling should be practical. For example, why don’t gym classes teach how to develop a personal fitness program instead of concentrating on team sports that are hard to play after you get out of school? I remember thinking in vet school that anatomy was taught all wrong. You spent your first year blindly memorizing all these parts with minimal practical application. Suddenly there you were learning surgery two years later and it became clear why you needed. We all said that we wished we could go back and take anatomy again once we really had an appreciation. At the same time I always hated whatever kid in school asked, “Why do we need to learn this?” I think all knowledge is useful.

Think what a kid could learn just by cooking. Picking a recipe could lead to tangents on different cultures, making an ingredient list, buying the food (counting money, budgeting, cost comparisons, price per unit), measuring (understanding fractions), cooking (chemistry), etc.

Reading the homeschooling blogs and sites like Life Without School really makes me want to have our future lives include homeschooling. I’m definately going to have to bring it up to the husband.

7 Comments

  • Steph

    I can relate to the unschooling brain, it’s how I learn too and Pixie seems to be the same way. Like you I get excited thinking of all the ways one can learn from a simple task. when the time comes you will find what works well for you. If you participate in homeschool group gatherings or take trips here there and everywhere for learning or whatever. basically if you take time to leave the house the child will get plenty of socialisation. Pixie has interacted more with adults than children over the years and I tink she handles herself very well. She tends to be seen as older than her years because of it but she truly enjoys people and interacting with them and many people see that and respond in kind.

    NO idea where she got that from, certainly not her shy, reserved mother..lol

    Anyway, good luck. Read all you can (have you read any John Holt or John Taylor Gatto? good stuff) in the meantime.

  • Pennie

    My daughter is now almost 24 years old and barely made it out of highschool. Looking back I really wish I’d known about homeschooling (it wasn’t popular “back then”). She, like you, was reading before she got in kindergarten and I kept trying to tell her teachers she was bored out of her skull.
    She’s a very gifted artist/writer and biology comes easy for her…however, she can’t do the simpliest math or do a budget to save her life. Her high school english teacher was more concerned about the way she dressed and the books she read (Stephen King, Anne Rice, etc) then on how gifted a writer she was. After that teacher she basically said F**k it and stopped trying.

    I whole heartedly support home schooling or a private school. Our public education system is a mess and I wouldn’t put a child through what she went through ever again.

  • Mommy2Lots

    I think it is wonderful you have an interest in homeschooling. We have found that after pulling out gifted children from traditional school, they are more interested in school and learning and have gotten even further ahead. They are excelling quickly and happily and I see a change in their outlook on life. With traditional school, they were limited to learning only a strict schedule of lessons, but with homeschooling, when my children are interested in something, if it’s not a part of our curriculum that I have planned, then I fit it in as extra and let them learn all they want to on that subject. Homeschooling is such a rewarding experience for the parents as well as the children.

  • Nio

    Oh, and I forgot. What they learn is now proscribed by the federal goverment and kids are taught to fill in little circles on the paper. What they learn is slanted to the white patriarchy and leaves out the majority of the world.

  • Nio

    US’s educational system, be it private or public, is based on obedience, conformity, disapline, and silence. Kids are taught they are not sacred beings, they have no control or power, and they must be taught and learn in ways that are not always suited to their persynal educational needs. They are told when to be at school, what subject to learn, when to eat, and when to play. They eat crap food at a specified time which is too short for their bodies to process the food. Even if you send them with lunch your choices are limited due to a lack of access to a refridgeator and/or stove. Lastly, they must sit quietly and raise their hand whenever they have a question, need something, or have to go to the bathroom. It’s all overtly regimented and not condusive to the well being of the kid.

    I would homeschool also. There is no way my kid would go to an educational institution.

  • Margaret Alcala

    If you have a community of home schoolers and they can have group activities and social events, fine. The thing that most concerns me about home schooling is the lack of interaction with other children. Most people had miserable school experiences, but you learn valuable lessons from painful experiences, like coping skills, how to diffuse a bad situation, & how to get along with others. We also get something from public schools (at least) and that is exposure to many different kinds of people. Becoming aquainted with kids from different socio economic levels, different cultures, & different life styles, can be a very enriching learning experience.

    I am not trying to dampen your enthusiam. You sound like you would be a great educator, and you have an ideal environment. I have just been exposed to probably the two worst examples of home schooling ever. One was a friend who took her child and left her husband. A very unwholesome relationship developed between them. Her son never had contact with children his own age. His mother was his only friend and he became an obnoxious non-stop talker. Observing him in a large group of people, he could only relate to children much younger than himself, the same age that he was when his mother took him away from a normal family life and school. The other example involves my sister. Almost twenty years ago her husband decided that they should be farmers, live simply, and be born again Christians. Formerly he had been a fashion photographer, and she a successful chemist. They actually started a commune with several families. They all dressed strangely. The women wore long skirts or dresses ALL the time, wore their hair in severe buns covered with little kerchiefs, and wore big clunky shoes. The men wore huge untamed beards and general mountain man attire. They shut themselves off from the outside world and the children live with almost no knowledge of what is out there. They are naturally being home schooled. My sister is a great math and science teacher, and manages English pretty well. My brother-in-law taught art and music. He died last year, so now those subjects are not covered. There are teenage girls who are so naive that I fear for their future if they ever do see the outside world. And they have no understanding of how the rest of the population makes a living.

    So these are two cautionary tales. If you can avoid these pittfalls you are home free, but I agree with the other person who replied. Wait until the adoption is final. The agency may have heard horror stories like I just told you.

    And I wish you the best of luck, and happiness with your family.

  • Daryl Cobranchi

    You might want to wait on the discussion until after the adoption is complete. That is, unless you know that the agency has no problem with home education.

    Daryl Cobranchi
    Home Education & Other stuff

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