OK...I AM FULLY AWARE that this blog post may cause panic among mothers and homeschool fanatics across the land, but I feel the need to vent about this very topic at this very moment.
First of all, I just would like to say that I am NOT against homeschooling, although, I am against homeschooling for the wrong reasons, which is why I am writing this post.
Allow me to begin my semi-argument with a story:
I have a friend that at one time, we were very, very close. I worked, of course, but she was and still is a stay-at-home mom. Her husband and my significant other work at the same company, same hours, and same job. So on days that I did not work (and some that I did), I would go off with my son to their house and stay for hours, then retreat back home and go to sleep. Then we would do the same thing every day. She has 4 children, one who is the same age of my son, so they would play together.
I eventually got tired of doing this every day and quit going to her house altogether. I realized at one point that she was just using me to take her places and to help her watch her kids while she talked on the phone for an hour.
My friend had never held a public job and had been with her husband since high school. I also found out that she had quit high school her senior year and does not have her diploma. She also does not have a driver's license, so anywhere she goes, she has to have someone drive her there. And yes, there is a point to me telling all of this...I'm getting there :)
So after being her friend for a while, I realized that we have completely different views on how life should be. I worked, she did not, ever. She has 4 kids that she has no part in supporting financially. She made the decision to send them to private school that has no bus service, and has someone drive her and her kids to school every single day. She hires someone to clean her house, even though she is at home 24-7 and could very well do it herself.
So anyway, the point of this post is to tell you that she decided to homeschool her children for the wrong reasons. She sent her kids to private school because she did not want to send her kids to the local public school system. No Big Deal there. I, on the other hand, think that our local public school system is awesome. I went there my whole school-life and enjoyed it very much. I received a great education and had a lot of opportunities along the way.
Anyway, at one point she decided that the private school was costing way too much and sent them to a public school in the next county. Usually that would cost money to send your child to school outside of your home county, but she lied on the application, giving them an uncle's address.
I was all for this switch for the kids! I was really excited to see how they would do and if they were ahead-of or behind the public school children and what they were learning at that time. She said that she would give it 30 days to see if the kids liked it....she took them out and put them back in the private school before the 30 days was up. Even though they were not my kids, I really felt sad for them. I knew that they were not getting the opportunities at the private school that they could have at the public school. The oldest child is so very shy!! This was the main reason for pulling them out of the public school "because H_____ cannot make friends." That’s what she said.
So then after a few months, she decides to homeschool her kids. Great. Or I would think that it would be great if you had a proper education and was able to teach your children what they need to know. I would think it was great if you had a driver's license to be able to take them on field trips and give them learning experiences that they would have received at the public or private school. Great if you didn't buy a big homeschool program and make them do one worksheet a day and call it done. Great if you didn't live in the absolute middle of nowhere and your children was still able to associate with other children of the same age.
So yes, I believe that all of these things make homeschooling a bad experience, especially because they are all together!!!The reasoning behind it is also so screwed up!
You took your kids out of public school because they couldn't make friends??? Really??? I understand that kids need friends, socialization makes them thrive!! But you have to give them a chance to do it!! Keeping this child at home in the middle of the boondocks without a person within a mile of the home is going to destroy him! What will be the long-term effects of this? What will happen when, or if, he does decide to go out into the public to get a job one day? If you do not know how to socialize then you will never land a job! But before that, you have to have the guts to do something out of order! These kids will never have to be in an uncomfortable situation. I feel that being embarrassed and feeling uncomfortable is part of growing up and it prepares them for the big world out there. This happens every day. If the child does not know how to go into an uncomfortable situation, will they ever take that step and put themselves out there to do something good for themselves?? It takes guts to go in for a job interview, or go into a store and ask for help with finding something, but will this child ever have the learning experiences that will teach him that he will have to push those feelings aside to be able to thrive??
And how do you homeschool your children if you do not have a high school diploma? You may be ok with teaching letters and numbers and basic math, spelling, grammar, but what happens when they get older? Will you really want to depend on a computer to teach your kids how to do all of that? What if they don't get it, even with a computer helping? Sometimes kids need hands-on learning. What if your child is a visual learner? Are you capable of teaching that?
And don't even get me started on the driver’s license!!!
So, I know I have picked apart my old friend, but I just have really strong feelings about that situation. I feel like she is ruining those kids’ lives as every minute goes by!!!
I agree with homeschooling for the right reasons, and in the right situation. I have been on homeschooling sites before and some moms are very detailed and really take it on as their JOB to teach their kids and want to make their experience better than anything they could have had somewhere else. Those moms get 2 thumbs up from me for taking all of their time with their kids and really teaching them and working with them and it is all balanced.
For my son, he will go to public school. I do not have the funds to send him to private school and with 2 working outside the home parents, homeschooling is not an option with us.
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