For over a year, SH and I have been talking pretty seriously about homeschooling our two boys. Since formal school is still more than a year away, it has not been something that I felt we needed to decide upon. But it's getting closer and the more we discuss it, the more we believe it is the right decision for us.
I read several great articles about why homeschooling is important and chosen for families. And what really appeals to me is the diversity in everyone's decisions about it. At first, I thought I truly had no idea what I was talking about. The only homeschooling experience I knew of was this family in my hometown that no one really knew. The dad drove our school bus but his kids didn't go to school anywhere. Never got it? When we had the boys and the thoughts of sending them off to school was brought up, I shuddered. I've worked with kids with behavioral issues and mental health issues for years. Unfortunately, much of my experiences with school systems have been with kids with these kinds of issues. Not a good ground to formulate an opinion! So I've taken it upon myself to discover what our opinions are about what school should be, not so much in the arena of what it shouldn't be. What is it that we want, rather than what we don't want?
There have been several resources that I've found that are helping to make these decisions. First of all, it is our spiritual life. Our experiences through our church and Bible Studies simply reinforce that we know this is an important daily part of our lives. Secondly, our lives our not Monday through Friday. SH and I both work variable schedules, which often includes weekends and our days off can be during the middle of the week. This will likely never change. Right now, it is wonderful that Saturday does not mean anything different to them than Wednesday. I cannot figure out how to schedule their lives Monday through Friday when ours does not accommodate that. The reality is that one parent or both will have very little time with our children much of the time. And that is simply unacceptable. We also travel often and the ability to take the boys (and their schoolwork) with us works for us. We don't want this option to be hindered by school schedules.
Another important factor is that homeschooling truly is so incredibly flexible. You can follow any one of many wonderful programs such as A Beka, Classical, Unschooling, and many others. There are specific curriculums available or you can create your own. You can mix and match. The possibilities are endless. Something will fit eventually.
Socialization, or lack of, seems to be the biggest arguement to this option. Some believe that homeschooling equates to isolation and it simply is not true. There are so many options for socializing your children. Children can participate in homeschool groups for social events, there are unending options of sports, clubs, YMCA, museums, the list goes on and on. Our family is very social and we see friends and family members several times a week usually. I'm not at all worried about our children's social lives.
Right now, homeschooling is leading the options of schooling for our boys. That may change at some point and if it does, that is fine. For now, and mind you, they are simply at preschool ages, we are toying with the idea and playing school often. We'll see how it goes as time goes on and they boys progress. I'll let you know.
This is us, homeschooling today....it used to simply be called PlayDoh but in the world of school, we'll call it Tactile Work!