I was reading an article today on yahoo about a homeschooling issue in the news. The issue at hand was not so much of interest to me, but the comments that followed really caught my eye. There were over 1,000 comments, and many were positive about homeschooling, but there were also many ignorant comments made negatively. It first angered me, then saddened me. I forget sometimes, being surrounded by either people that do homeschool, or people that are not foreign to the concept, that most people have such a skewed concept of the idea of homeschooling.
Some of these comments said really hurtful things, such as homeschoolers are completely ignorant, anti-social, blah blah blah. They said parents could not possibly provide a decent education for their kids.
What I see on a daily basis being involved in the homeschool community is so far the opposite of these perceptions. The amount of curriculum available to the homeschooler these days is immense. Thousands of choices, resources, co-ops, etc are out there. And best of all you can tailor the curriculum to meet the individual needs of a child. A completely personalized education based on your child’s learning style. A 1:1 ratio of teacher to child. Sounds good to me!
One main goal I have with my kids is to instill in them a love of learning. That gets lost in school. Kids feel the drudgery of school. Textbooks are a bunch a facts that are needed to memorize in order to pass a “standardized” test. When kids are given the freedom to learn, and to learn at their pace, rather that of the pace of the other 35 kids in their grade”, they can thrive!
As far as socialization goes, that is the age old misconception of homeschooling. To me good socialization is not necessarily being with 25 kids of your own age, all day, sitting at a desk. Peer pressure, among other things socially that happen at school is not necessarily the “real world.” When we grow up, we are not in the workplace only to socialize with those of our age group. Kids need to interact with people of all ages, and not just those in their group. Homeschooling allows for this.
Most homeschool parents I know, including myself, are pouring our daily life into teaching our children. Teaching them the academics, as well as morals, and values. Teaching them daily life skills in a real life environment. We are ensuring our kids are active in many areas socially including sports, fine arts, volunteer opportunities, being neighborly, working together as a family, as well as interacting with peers in many different situations.
My prayer is that as homeschooling becomes more mainstream (and it is..about 2.5 milion children are homeschooled now and the number is rising each year by leaps and bounds!) people will become more educated on the homeschooling lifestyle, and not be so quick to judge us as “weird” or “anti social.” I know my kids character can speak for themselves as they get older, and I pray for those who have misguided opinions for their eyes to be opened.
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