You may have thought of home schooling your children before, but are not sure if it’s really right for you. Maybe you think you are not qualified nor organized enough to do it. And do you really want to be your kids’ educator as well as their mother? What about socialization? So many questions. As a former public school teacher for 13 years and now a homeschool mom for 8 years, I’ll try to answer some of your questions with the research that is out there and from personal experience.
Organization and Curriculum
If you were a mother of homeschoolers past like, James Madison, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Eli Whitney, The Wright Brothers, Stonewall Jackson, Charles Dickens, Robert Frost, Beatrix Potter, Louis Armstrong, Benjamin Franklin, Ansel Adams, Albert Einstein, Brigham Young ( and the list goes on), chances are you did not have as many resources that are available now for modern day homeschoolers. There are so many boxed curriculums that you can purchase either online or in hard print. Chances are your community even has a homeschool organization filled with parents happy to share by giving or selling their books that they’ve already used with their children. There are plenty of choices out there.
The S word. Will my kids be able to function in the outside world if a public school system doesn’t socialize them? The funny thing is in many schools; kids are told to be quiet, stop passing notes, keep their eyes on their own work, and do everything but socialize with the friend in the seat next to them. Homeschooled children have more opportunities to be out in the world on a day to day basis socializing with people of all ages. My daughter and I enjoy taking farm animals into retirement centers, assisted living centers, veteran’s hospitals and places that service disabled people.
She’s also been part of a group of homeschoolers that sing Christmas Carols and Easter Hymns with other children at various community events. Being on a free schedule means more time to be out and about in the community doing community service while socializing. In a family unit kids learn to socialize with all ages, but somehow that word socialization is later brought up to mean they can interact with a large group of kids all the same age, placed together in one room.
Hardly is this representative of the world at large, and from what I’ve witnessed and have read in my educational readings, kids learn better from humans of all ages. If you put a bunch of toddlers together they will learn toddler language of babbles sentence fragments compared to if they are placed with older children and adults. This same rule applies to socialization when you limit kids to one age group.
What About The Parent’s Education?
People have said to me that I can successfully homeschool because I’m a certified teacher. I have my bachelors and masters in education. While I may like to take credit for this, the truth is studies have been done to prove that the parent’s educational level has no bearing on their homeschooled children’s academic success. Homeschoolers score 15-30 percent higher on standardized achievement tests and significantly higher on college entrance exams regardless of the parent’s education. Parents who are feeling unqualified to home school their children, did you hear this? You are highly qualified to teach your children. If you’d like to read more about research on homeschool facts, click here.
Is Homeschooling Right For You?
Only you can answer this. Chances are you already know the answer. You may be afraid to give homeschooling a try. For me, I knew when my daughter was born that homeschooling was right for us. We live on a farm and I can’t count all the missed opportunities that she would have missed if she had been gone half the day. Getting to see animals born, and helping with their care is something a school setting just can’t duplicate.
Knowing we won’t be breaking any rules by starting our school day in prayer, is important to us. Being able to at the drop of a hat go down the river for a bald eagle sighting seeing trip on a beautiful day or take part in a community event any time of the day, like helping at our local soup kitchen, is such a bonus. I like that my daughter can sleep in when she needs more sleep and have a healthy lunch that we prepare together each day.
For us, the biggest benefit is being together and not missing out on those big life moments. I saw her learn her first words and figure out that first big math equation. I know when schools start each fall, we don’t have to part ways. Homeschooling is a beautiful choice for some people. Though it may not be right for everyone, it is the perfect choice for many. If you’ve had any fears of trying homeschooling, I hope I may have helped you put those fears to rest and encouraged you a little.
For more tips on preparing your kids for back to school, check out the article here.