Homeschooling: Pros and Cons was just me letting off steam. However, I am still getting responses to it. Some well thought out and fascinating. Here are the most recent.
Children will socialize somehow. It is in our nature as human beings. The homeschool associations provide plenty of opportunity for socialization. The things I saw missing there were drugs, alcohol, and smokes, and cursing every other word. I saw children being children instead of pseudo adults: and no, I am not a home schooler or a religious fanatic or any of the other things some people seem to think are associated with homeschoolers. I am a granparent who was totally unhinged by the idea of my grandchildren being homeschooled. What I have seen and experienced with my grandchildren has changed my mind. They are learning what they need to learn and if they were any more socialized their mother would have to curtail it.
These comments and suggestions have been very eye opening for me. I would like to share my thoughts as well.
I went to public school for kindergarten and to a private school for first grade before my parents pulled me out to homeschool me. One of the reasons being that they did not agree with all of the material that was being taught in the schools. I will readily admit that homeschooling is not a piece of cake for the kids or their parents. It’s hard to get a well rounded education sometimes if the parent has not mastered the subject and so the students may fall short in some areas…be it math, chemistry, or even literature depending on the parent’s strengths. I will also concede that my first year at college was a bit traumatic….new teachers, lectures, taking notes, “speaking up” in class, dorm life, etc. However, I do not regret the way I was schooled, or the challenges I faced because of it. I feel that it was more important for me to be grounded in my morals, to retain my self esteem, and to be shielded from the negativity and peer pressure that inevitably occurs in school. My parents didn’t shelter me, they gave me the right perspective so I could make my own decisions. They gave me a foundation so I would not crumble when I went out into the “real world”. Yeah, it was unnerving at first when I started college, but I don’t know any other freshman who didn’t feel the same…public or homeschooled. What I’m trying to say is that the college experience is an adjustment no matter what. Maybe what I had to adjust to was different than the kids who went to regular school, but we all had to adjust. I’m a sophmore now and people are shocked to hear that I was homeschooled. I guess we’re finally breaking the stereotype. And for the record, I love college and have no problem with social skills. I’m a bit offended at the visitor who felt the need to make such blanket statements. Apparently they haven’t met too many homeschoolers. I know the homeschooler stereotype and crazy enough, I’ve met people who fit the stereotype to a T, but had never been homeschooled.
Because I had the grounding I did when I was younger, I feel that I had more discipline in my studies and didn’t flip out or drop out when I started school. I have fun with my friends, but I also have a gpa. I didn’t have to struggle with underage drinking, drugs, or sex because I was already convicted in these areas. My parents allowed me to grow strong in my morals and convictions as a child so I could face the world and not be swayed by the next cool person’s opinion. I will also say that I didn’t have the best math eduction or science for that matter. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t do it now or 10 years from now. I have been given study skills that taught me to “learn on my own” and I feel they’re invaluable. There are also so many more options and helps for homeschoolers now than when I was in school. Parents don’t need to “count their losses” if they can’t teach chemistry. Some states are jumping on the homeschool bandwagon and offering something like a charter school program. Teachers are available to help over the phone and a lot of the subjects are online or interactive. Some schools even offer a child to take one or two classes in the school..like chem. or algebra. Another option is community college. I have a lot of friends who went to community college after 8th grade. They were able to kinda “get their feet wet” with classes, etc. and a lot of their credits counted for their four year college. The socialization aspect has also changed as well. Statistically, homeschooling is on a major rise and is much more popular and accepted now than ten years ago. My siblings and I belonged to a homeschool group and took some tutorial classes as well. I don’t feel like I was ever stuck at home because I didn’t have any friends or I was unable to talk to kids my age.
I feel that being around people of such diverse ages (parents and siblings) actually gave me an edge. I feel like I can communicate better with people of all ages…yes, even my peers because I wasn’t limited to spending 5 hours a day with my own age group. Yes, spending all day with your family can get a bit tedious, but I also know that I learned in this area as well. Yeah, I fought with my brothers….but in time we learned to get along and now they’re some of my best friends. I believe that homeschooling has become so widespread that many concerns people have are obsolete. If a parent is willing to homeschool their child, I commend them. It takes much patience and perserverance, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s worth it.
I am considering homeschooling my eldest child. What you have to say has been interesting. One question I have is have your children developed friendships with others their own age ?