A closer look at our schooling decision

Posted by  | Wednesday, April 27, 2011  at 2:00 PM  
Like Christina mentioned, the topic of schooling our children is a big issue for the POH authors right now. Several of us are going to share during our week about how we decided on homeschooling and how we chose different curriculums. (Christina, thanks so much for the great links!!! I've really been using them recently for research!)

First of all, I wanted to mention that although we have all chosen to homeschool for the next school year, that does not mean that we think other schooling options are bad! In fact, most of us were school teachers in public and private schools, so we know that there are excellent teachers and schools out there. And just because we are currently choosing to homeschool does not mean that our children will be home-schooled for each grade. We each have different reasons for choosing to homeschool during the upcoming school year.

My educational background is quite diverse: private school in kindergarten, public for 1st and 2nd grade, homeschooled in 3rd, public for 4-5th, homeschooled 6th, private in 7th, and public 8-12th grade. Whew! I know it sounds crazy, but I was actually excited about each change, enjoyed it, and excelled each year. So I'm a firm believer that a child can do well in any school as long as the parents are highly involved. I totally respect my parents for being willing to do whatever they thought was best for me each year. I doubt I'll switch my girls around quite that much, but I do plan to re-evaluate each year and spend much time in prayer about the decision. I'm very much a fan of the classical-style education and I'm not sure I could do it justice as my girls grow older. Most likely I will home-school in the early years and send them to a private Classical Christian school for at least high school if we can afford it at that time. But we will just take it year by year...

We decided to homeschool this year for several reasons. Since I taught pre-school and loved it, I just can't see paying someone else to teach my daughter. I'm really excited about all the fun things I want to do with Karis! And we really don't have the money right now to pay for preschool. Also, she and Karlie are such great friends that I really hate to separate them right now. They entertain each other so well and I really think that Karlie would be much more of a handful without her big sister to play with. But the main reason I want to keep Karis home with me is so that I can spend more time with her. I want to have more time to cook with her, read more Bible stories, remind her how to peacefully resolve conflicts with her sister, sing with her, encourage her imagination, and so much more! I also think that kids should be kids and have lots of time to just play so I'm just not in any hurry to send her off to school.

Here are some of the things I plan to do with Karis in the fall:
-- Join a local homeschool co-op group that goes on field trips together each month
-- Join a MOPS group so that she will have more opportunity to play with kids her age and so that I can get to know some other Moms in the area
--Read most of the books from the Sonlight 4/5 curriculum (by checking them out at the library or buying them used)
-- Purchase the My Father's World Curriculum to use with her -- I love that it is classically based and is filled with fun, "hands on" activities that she will enjoy!
-- Continue using tracing, dot-to-dot, and other workbooks to develop her writing skills
-- Continue going throughThe Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teach Reading by Wise with Karis
For Kindergarten the following year, I will probably use Handwriting without Tears and Saxon Math (because I used it when I taught preschool and loved the repetition and all the fun manipulatives!)


Lauren said...

Thanks for this. I've been a little overwhelmed by all the families around me homeschooling their children, because I feel like I can't do it! Even though we are several years from school, I'm still learning how to be a stay-at-home mom, and can't imagine being my son's schoolteacher as well :)

Terra Jones said...

@Lauren - it is overwhelming, especially when people give you guilt about NOT choosing to homeschool (we have NO desire what so ever to officially homeschool, lol. We plan to re-evaluate each year, but our oldest is going to preschool this coming fall as he has no "desire" to learn from us. I fight him for a simple 10 minute calendar time everyday, whereas my 2.5 year old is so eager to learn from us (my oldest LOVES learning from others and eagerly soaks it up, so I know preschool will be right up his alley). I'm also really looking forward to having the "1 on 1" (plus my youngest, lol) time this fall with my 2.5 year to get in some learning time).

Just because you choose to not homeschool doesn't mean you don't teach your child anything. I've spent every second of the past 4 years teaching my children, but, I'm NOT a 'studious' person (preferred arts over 'real courses') and there is no way I could adequately teach my children (now, if my genius husband wanted to stay at home and teach them, that might be a different story, lol).

I could go on, because this is a hot button issue with me (have been told a number of times how we are doing a disservice to our children for choosing not to homeschool and it sickens me), but I just had to chime in with senseless (sleep-deprived) ramblings ;-)

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