Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homeschool Hop #3

Theme For The Week - Why?

Why? It's probably the most frequently asked question of homeschoolers, except of course the one about socialisation. So why do you home school? Are the reasons you home school today different from what they were when you first made the decision?

I started homeschooling my older children when things just seemed to be not so good in the schools for them. Our daughter was in the 6th grade, and in special education. We were told she would not go any further in her education. I was working in the school at the time as a teachers aide in special education in another class. Upon walking past her class room one day and seeing that she was holding a book upside down, I inquired as to why? I was informed that it was keeping her quiet so why turn it the right way. Now let me say this my daughter has her problems, but she is not that severely disabled. I totally disagreed with their opinions. This is what got me started looking into homeschooling.

The event that really made me pull my children out to start our venture was when my son was in the 3rd grade he had a teacher who could not cursive write so she never taught him how. In the 4th grade he struggled because all his spelling was in cursive writing. When I went in to talk to his teacher about this she informed me he should have learned it last year, it was too bad he had that experience with that teacher, and that he would just have to catch up to speed. I pulled both my kids out and watched them both just explode in their learning and abilities.

My reasons today are truly based upon these two events from my beginning, but I do have to admit my reasons for wanting to homeschool Selena have changed. I see it now as more of a privilege I have as a parent to teach my own child with in their learning styles, and interests. After those experiences I do not have a lot of faith in our school system. I disagree with educating only for the test (our State has a mandatory WASL test, a straight A student can’t graduate if he/she doesn’t pass the WASL test). I do not like the direction that education is taking, the methods the public schools use to teach, and I do not want to deal with the entire peer pressure, school lockdowns, and the list goes on.

I see children as a gift from God. He gives these children to nurture, educate, and raise to come to know him. I am totally equipped by God to do just this. I feel I can provide the morals and the value system that would be most fitting in the eyes of the Lord. God will help me provide the Social skills, through church, a good homeschool co-op, dance, music, and any other things we can find. Selena has friends, she is with other kids, yes, we are a little overly protected as to who we want her to be around, but I think that goes along with parenting. We feel it is our job to ensure that she has a balanced life, and to know who she is hanging around with, and guiding her to make the proper choices in her youth.

We also have one other reason in that Selena is advanced, possibly gifted, and it has been highly recommended to not put her in the public school system as she would get bored. She needs an environment where she can learn at her speed, not held back doing things she already knows, she is going to constantly need new challenges.

My last reason is I can homeschool. I don’t need to work outside the house, so since I can homeschool, I do homeschool.

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  1. It's great to see that you know it works, having homeschooled your older children.

  2. It is a sad state of affairs to know that some schools do not have a reputation for catering to individual student needs. Some schools are rigid and there is no flexibility when it comes to implementing and delivering curriculum. It seems to be a "one size fits all" approach. Success is all too often determined by results on a test. I believe that some schools cannot cater to everyone because they are discriminatory in what they value.

    The last school I taught at was my dream school. I taught in a multi- age classroom where we were required to implement the curriculum by catering to different learning styles and abilities. We did not use text books. Our role as teachers was to find and create resources that incorporated different learning styles and abilities. As a teacher, this certainly required a more rigorous approach, but it was the most rewarding teaching experience I had in my ten years of teaching. The students produced the most amazing projects; were excellent problem solvers and were able to think "outside the box". They were vibrant, enthusiastic and experienced success. When it came to assessing students there was flexibility within the tasks and students could choose how they would demonstrate their understanding of a topic. Ok, I think I need to get off my soap box now, I could go on and on about this for ages!

    I agree with you that one of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can cater to your child's interests and learning style. I think it is shocking that it has been highly recommended to you not to place Selena in the public education system as she may get bored. In my opinion, that is not good enough. The education system should be able to cater to the needs of all of its students.

  3. Thanks for sharing your "why" today!

  4. I have said this before but I am totally loving these posts about homeschooling! We are still in the process of deciding what we will do but all of these stories are certainly helping with our decisions!

  5. I am still routinely amazed at some teachers in the schools, both good and bad. I mean really? He'll just have to figure it out, and she's happy reading it upside down? Seriously?

  6. I respect your reasons, and I love reading about various reasons behind homeschooling decisions. I certainly want to believe that not all schools are as bad as the one that your children went to. I have to say - at this point I disagree with the statement that the public school will invariably fail gifted children. I saw many parents of gifted kids giving thumbs up to the schools their kids are going to. I might eat those words a few years down the road, but we are definitely going to give our public school a chance, especially in younger grades.

  7. Great post! :) I agree with the part about 'educating for the test''s a HUGE reason why I choose to homeschool. I had a decent public education, but I don't feel like I really LEARNED anything b/c we were SO busy getting ready for the next test or final exam :( Thanks for sharing your reasons!

  8. Thanks for sharing your 'why'! I totally agree about the stupid tests... if a child has worked hard through 4yrs of high school, and passed their classes, they should not have to take a test to prove it AGAIN.

  9. I enjoyed reading this post. These "why I homeschool" posts often rub me the wrong way because they usually include reasons such as "I don't want strangers raising my kids" or other things such as that and I feel like the thought process is that anyone who sends their children to public school is a lazy mother. I didn't get that impression from your post. I think you laid out valid and specific reasons why you have made your choice. I definitely understand why you made the choice to homeschool your children and I don't feel like you think less of others who don't make that choice. I think you will do a great job catering to Selena's needs. I can tell she is a bright girl. I know that my school district does a pretty good job at helping students who are advanced. They have a program called Alpha for advanced students. They also have multi-age classrooms. And they have differentiated reading and math groups. Last week, I subbed for a 3rd grade class and two students quietly left to a 4th grade classroom during that time to do math with the older students. In middle school, students can be placed in ESE, average, advanced, or Alpha. They try hard to place students where they need to be. With all that being said, I am a little uneasy with all of the standardized testing that goes on.

  10. So beautifully written! I can tell you cherish the opportunity to be your granddaughter's teacher. How lucky and blessed she is!

  11. "My last reason is I can homeschool. I don’t need to work outside the house, so since I can homeschool, I do homeschool."

    -What a great way to put it. I have started to think the same way. If I can do it, then I will. Thanks for sharing!