Thursday, January 10, 2008

Should I Homeschool my Children?

I wrote this in 2003. We now homeschool all our children and they all like it more than public school.

To Home School or Not to Home School

Should you consider home schooling for your children? For one of them? For all of them? Is there one that may need direct attention more than others? Our first grader is very bright and has a vocabulary that is way beyond first grade, however he isn’t getting his seat work done in school. His Kindergarten brother loves school and does very well with his paper work (this has changed somewhat). The first grader is very flighty and doesn’t appear to be listening, but when he asked a direct question he almost always knows the answer. But ask him to put the answer on paper and you may have to wait for over an hour to get two sentences. It's possible he is gifted, or he could be right-brained, he is most certainly strong willed, spirited, and internally motivated. These can be good or bad traits, depending on what he does with them.

So what is the best way to get him turned the right direction? Would leaving him in public school with a teacher that must divider her time between 23 other children be best or would taking him out for a few years and investing in him be the wiser path? Home schooling seems to have the most advantages according to everything we have read, except for the amount of work required for the parents (even though the mother usually does the majority of the teaching, both parents should be involved for home schooling to work).

One concern many people express about home schooling is "Won't the child be deprived of important socialization?" The smart-alack answer is "I'm homeschooling the child, not hiding him." There are plenty of opportunities for socialization. Is the only way for a child to gain social skills to be stuck in a room with 25 other immature kids his age? There are opportunities during worship times, the park, the store, the YMCA, and of course with the family.

Home schooling may not be for every child or every parent, but it is a viable option for those who are willing to put in the extra effort for those kids that may not fit the regular school system. Our decision has been to home school one, while leaving the other in school. One wants to be home schooled, while the other wants to stay in public school.

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