Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Homeschooling

When I said I was going to do a series on controversial topics
I found that most of my topics were too passionate. 
And sounded more like angry rants than actual topics. 


So I decided to move away from baby-exclusive items 
(breastfeeding, extended rear-facing carseats, TV time, etc) 
and onto another topic that I actually have experience with, 
but am not prone to passionate ranting. 


Homeschooling. 

Pretend my child is looking at something school-related like math, 
not a Pottery Barn catalog.


Shocking to most people who meet me, 
I was homeschooled from 4th-9th grade. 
I'm not sure if it's shocking because I'm "normal" 
(stereotype!) 
or because I'm a crazy extrovert 
or because I have the mouth of a sailor 
and generally homeschooled kids are much better behaved than me. 


In my experience,
Homeschooling is one of those polarizing topics where people are either: 
"Yes!, I'm going to homeschool all 17 of my children!" 
(another stereotype) 
or 
"HELL NO, I'd never homeschool." 

(Adam is in the second.)


So, from a kid who was homeschooled, here's my take: 

I don't think homeschooling was the right choice for my personality. 
I am a HUGE extrovert. 
(Shocking, right?)
And despite events like homeschooling groups, 
youth groups, church, etc., 
I felt I was "missing out" because I didn't have that constant peer interaction. 
I am also 7- and 12- years' older than my sisters, 
so I never had "play companions" that bigger homeschool families enjoy. 


Ever heard of the idea that if parents are too strict, that their children will rebel later in life? 
Along those sames lines, 
I felt so excluded from my years of homeschooling, 
that I made an above-and-beyond effort to feel included once I was back in public schools. 
Did that lead to some bad decisions? 
Maybe. 
(Although many were FUN bad decisions... hehe) 
And I don't believe that homeschooling me for longer would have changed that. 



There are a LOT of mothers who homeschool in the blogsphere, 
and as an ex-homeschooler, I find their reasons very interesting. 
Some are due to physical space/location. 
Like living on a midwestern farm where the closest school is an hour+ bus ride away. 
Other reasons are sociological or religious. 


The physical location reasons I understand completely. 
But I struggle with the sociological / religious reasons 
because - from my experience - it feels more like sheltering and exclusion. 

As an ESFJ Personality
I am INTENSELY aware of the opinions of those around me. 
And while homeschooling may sound like a fantastic option to mold my opinions into the type of person I should become, 
it would have benefited me to experience a wide variety of opinions (good and bad), 
and then learn to work through those experiences.


Now the next question... 
Would I ever homeschool? 

Generally, my answer is a resounding NO... 
...but with an exception


If Aaron one day had trouble in school, 
and I don't mean just academic trouble, 
but severe social trouble, 
(drugs, etc), 
I see homeschooling as a perfect opportunity to pull him out and "reset." 
Not permanently, of course, 
but just until I felt confident to introduce him back to school. 
Most likely, assuming financial stability, 
I would first try other options like private schools, 
but in the event those failed as well, 
I do see homeschooling as a potential help. 
(Disclaimer: In today's media world, it takes a lot more than physical distance to separate a child from their friends' influence, but that's why there is a multi-billion dollar parenting-book industry to reference!)

 
 Summary? 
In my [very strong] opinion, 
homeschooling success depends on the child's type
not on the effort of the parent. 
And it was just not for me. 
 

2 comments:

  1. Interesting to hear about this topic from someone that was actually homeschooled! I would say it's a resounding 'no' for the twins, but that's 90% because I wouldn't want them to miss out on the typical school experience and 10% because I do not have enough patience to teach... or at least teach well :)

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  2. Growing up in the church, I've known a lot of kids who were homeschooled and I've honestly never seen it go well. A. I've rarely seen homeschooling be academically challenging in a way that prepares children for college or the workforce B. Most of the kids I grew up with couldn't handle things when they got into the real world. Being sheltered as a child kept them from being able to independently recognize right from wrong and safe from unsafe. When they were finally on their own they went off the deep end. They just weren't prepared. I grew up going to public school and think that helped me accept people who think differently from me and still hold true to my values.

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