Thursday, October 3, 2013

If I can do it so can you

Homeschooling is a choice.  It is a lifestyle. It is a family decision.  Once you make this decision you feel overwhelmed and unburdened all at once. My family, when backed into a corner by the public school system, had no choice.   We decided that the best thing for our son was to take him out of the system.  This would give us a freedom to teach him the things that we felt the school system was lacking.  Now with Common Core in full swing, I am so glad we made that choice.

When you tell your friends and family that you are going to homeschool you get all kinds of responses.  Mostly about how your child will miss other kids, and that you can’t do as well as a teacher with a degree.   Well I am here to tell you I have done just fine.  My son is at or above grade level in every subject.

The one thing that makes me laugh is when people tell me “I could never homeschool.”  My answer is, if I can do it so can you.   I have listened to every excuse under the sun, from “I don’t have a degree” to “I don’t have the patience.”  These reasons are pie crust excuses - easily made easily broken.  As a high school graduate with no degree, and little to no patience, I can tell you that you will be amazed the change in you and your child once you take the indoctrination of the public school system out of the equation.

So three years into this homeschool gig I have to tell you,  my son can stand in a line, take turns and even play with peers.   All things that people believe your kids can only learn in the public school system.  It seems amazing that he learned these skills without a “teacher” to guide him.   With him being my only child living at home, how could it be that he knows these important lessons?   Well he is a kid.  If he wants to play with other kids he needs to take turns, and as for standing in line, we do it at the store, at the movies, and many other places.   

My son plays well with his peers, and kids both younger and older than him.   It seems amazing that a child who is basically being raised as an only child has learned to play with kids of all ages.   Frankly, he has been exposed to kids of all ages his whole life.   If he were in school he would not interact with kids of so many different ages.

My son is learning to study and learn with minimal adult direction.   Now I do give a lot of credit to Calvert School, this amazing curriculum has been a wonderful guide for our educational path.   Homeschool gives us the option to take a lesson and expand it so that our whole family learns.  I am my son’s learning guide, but my husband is the Science guru and helps him with experiments.  Homeschool, for us, is a family event.   We all participate.  Even my older girls have been known to jump in and help from time to time.  

Before you tell yourself that you could never homeschool, take a moment to consider that it is a growing movement (interesting article).  You no longer have to go it alone.   With the amount of Co-Ops and online resources available, you can find support for whatever you needs may be.  Think about the simple joys of not having to catch the bus, or pack a lunch.   Parent teacher conferences that will happen around the dinner table.  

I know this path is not for everyone, each of us need to make our own decisions and do what is best for our family.  However, I honestly believe in the growing movement.  I have seen my child remember what it is like to enjoy learning.  Our family has grown closer as we all pull together to help our child learn.   The dissenting voices have been quieted, and I am happy to be able to choose what I think is important to learn.

Before you say “I can’t do it” remember my mantra, If I can do it, so can you.

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