Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Homeschool vs Traditional Schools

I've been wrangling with this issue/idea since school started a month ago. First off I will say that I never thought I'd even consider homeschooling. Like most people say, I used to think that homeschooled kids weren't socialized and then would be thrown into the "real" world as adults and not know what to do. However, in researching this a bit more over the past week and in talking to people that homeschool, this just isn't the case (for the most part). Now, there are kids that are homeschooled that are at home every day all day and don't get out. I'm not talking about that kind of homeschooling. I'm talking about the kind of homeschooling where you are part of group, where you have learning activities outside the home, where kids get together and socialize and use problem solving skills.

The reason this has come up is that I am just not happy with the public school system. And neither is my daughter. I will add that I live in a good school district so that is not the issue. I will also add that private school is not an option because of 1) the cost is just too high (I can't afford a second mortgage), 2) the curriculum isn't much different and 3) it still has the same issues that I have with our school.

My issues? Well, for one, the curriculum is just crazy. Do you know that my child only gets recess on an average twice a week? She's 6. And it won't get any better as she gets older. That is absolutely ludicrous. Children need down time, time to socialize, time away from their classroom. But they have SO many things they need to learn that there's no free time on a daily basis.

Another issue, I do not like how some of the teacher act and talk to kids. And parents and other teachers, for the most part, seem to tolerate it.

Third, the whole peer pressure thing. I will tell you that I have a pretty strong 6 year old who does not succumb to peer pressure very easily. This is a good thing and I would like her to stay that way. I worry that it won't stay that way as she gets older. I won't go into details about some of the things she's already heard but let's just say I don't like it. I have other issues that I won't go into but I'm really at a loss as to what to do that is best for my kids.

My daughter is a very fun loving, happy, social child. When she goes to school? She spends the first 3-4 months down, easily upset, exhausted. She's not that super happy child that I normally see. I thought last year it was just because she was adjusting to a new school but it has started again this year. Although not as bad as last year, she still doesn't seem happy. I'm not saying that school should be easy, but at 6 years old your child shouldn't already be telling you that they don't like school because "we never do anything fun, all we do is work, work, work". That's sad. Is this what they had in mind when they came up with the whole "no child left behind" theory?

These are some of the pros and cons to homeschooling as I see them:

I am in control of my child's education, therefore less stress for my child (I can probably teach my child what she needs to know in 1/2 the time of her teacher because I'm only teaching one child, not 20)
More opportunities for "out of the box" kind of learning ~ museums, discovery centers, etc
Less peer pressure for my children ~ more dependence on family and family values (which to me is a good thing)
Better treatment for my child from those who do not have my child's best interests at heart

No time for myself (I know, this is a selfish one, but it's still a con)
Will my child getting bored by having the same teacher, i.e. mom, year after year? Probably not but it's still a concern
Won't be able to participate in the traditional "school" things like first day of school, school activities, etc.
If this doesn't work, will the school system give her a hard time getting back into the system?

I would love to hear what anyone else out there in blogland thinks about homeschooling. I'm not talking about "kids who homeschool aren't socialized" because I know kids that homeschool and you wouldn't know any different (other than they actually seem more adjusted) I just don't think that theory is true. But I would love to hear from some of you homeschool moms and how it works out for you.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin