I have a confession, for those of you who don’t already know.
We’re considering homeschooling.
This is a confession because I know that every person out there (including our own family) has an opinion about homeschooling- whether good or bad. And that’s ok. That’s wonderful! Have your opinion!
I know that opinions are often driven by our own experiences or by people we have met or by our circle of influence. And I believe that homeschooling is one of those touchy topics, at times. People do it for a LOT of different reasons. People also don’t do it for a lot of different reasons. That’s one of the great things about being human, I guess. We get to make the best decision for our family.
Where I grew up in a small town in Kansas, there was not a ton of support for homeschooling families. It was just assumed that everyone would go to the local school. So those that didn’t got labeled. Looking back now, I’m sorry that it was that way. I’m sure that those parents had their reasons and many others just didn’t understand.
As for my family, my mom worked at the school for as long as I could remember, so of course we went to school. And we turned out just fine… I think. Gosh, who am I kidding, I loved school. But things are changing. I studied education at the university level ten years ago (TEN YEARS???) and it was rapidly changing then. How much more so, now?
Nowadays, I believe that homeschooling is much more prevalent and is more easy-access than it has ever been. There are even resources put out by public school systems that allow you to teach at home exactly what is taught in schools. I think they even send you the textbooks! As long as the government permits homeschooling- for whatever reason- technology is making it easier and easier to get an education from home.
I’ve also never lived in a big city before. I promise you, as a stay at home mom who is out and about during regular ‘school hours’ I have run into more homeschooling families than I have in my whole life! I see them at the zoo. I see them at the mall. I see them at the grocery store. In fact, one day when we ran into the grocery store, and the Sweet P was being especially pickly and I had my hands full, a mother sent her young girl over to help me carry my groceries. I asked her if she was on spring break and she very politely replied, “No, I’m homeschooled. But we are going on vacation next week.”
There are more and more families choosing to homeschool. I read blogs about it all the time. Sometimes its for health/behavior reasons. Sometimes it’s for religious or moral reasons. Sometimes it’s just to have more time together as a family! And sometimes… it just doesn’t work. And that’s ok, too. A family I talked to once said that they reevaluate every year- is it still working? Are we still learning? Is it still the best decision for our family? Is it still the best decision socially for our child?
I guess it’s kinda like cloth-diapering. You can try it and if it absolutely doesn’t work you can try a different route. Either way, there are aspects of it that are quite appealing. I won’t go into all of my favorites. But I am curious to see, as the years roll on, what will be in store for our family. What will be the best choice for our Sweet Pickle? What kinds of groups and co-ops and resources will we find that could make it an enriching experience? Or will we decide that the traditional route that her daddy and I lived is going to be just fine… and I need the seven hour break every day.
But until then, we are praying, learning our own family culture, and exploring what possibilities await! Because isn’t learning so much more than just books?
And aren’t we “home-schooling” already?
And isn’t the home school the most important school there is?