Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why We Don't Homeschool

There is a lot of chatter in our country about how poor the education system is in America. Given that I'm from the mid-west, there's a lot of chatter every week about what schools are good and what schools are bad. There's a lot of home schoolers in the area that I live in. In fact-the state I live in is considered to be very homeschool friendly.

We have had our issues with schools. Our kids aren't typical. They are not contained within a stereotype. Which is good. And exactly how we want them to be. We want our kids to be independent thinkers and leaders in their futures.

We are creatives. We draw and write. We read and go to museums. We have more crayons and markers than an office supply store. We keep cardboard to use in models, for crying out loud.

All this atypical family structure might lead you to believe that we homeschool. Which could not be farther from the truth. I admit to having thought about it. Especially with our latest move. But the more I did, the longer my list became not to do it. Here it is.
Reminder: This is what works for our family. Each one is different. Our scenario might not work for your people. 

1. I am not a teacher. I am a story teller. Having worked thru homework for the last eight years of my children's school career, I can say with some authority that I do not teach. I get frustrated and yell a lot. I sometimes just say give me the paper and I'll show you. But that quickly turns into a whine fest for why can't I just "show them" all the problems. I'm not doing that for an entire day 

2. I like silence. The older I get, the more I need some down time. I need to care for myself so I can care for the people I share a roof with. 

3. My kids are being poured into by a lot of different types of people. Also, they are interacting with a whole school population of kids that are different from them. Different skin tones, different backgrounds, different family structures. My kids are learning about the diversity of the world at school. They are also learning how to navigate that. 

4. They have access to a lot of curriculum and resources that I'm already paying for thru my taxes. It might not always be the newest or shiniest, but they are getting to have access to technology and learn how to manage themselves on-line. The older two especially are having to keep track of assignments and projects. Skills that will later translate into job requirements. There's not just the traditional four years. There's the trade school, an arts program and self-directed learning that my kids can partake of as the years come. 

5. Our family does well with structure. Without it, we turn into slothfull beings at the whim of Netflix and Steam. Yes, we have a little self-discipline. But it gets eaten up early in the day without some outside accountability.

Those are the reasons my kids go to public school. It might not work for you and yours, but it works for us. 

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