Friday, November 4, 2011

The Beginnings of Homeschooling

 Someone recently asked me why we would ever homeschool our children. I used to own and operate a daycare from my home, so it seemed (at least relatively) natural that I would do preschool at home to begin with, and it seemed to be reasonably accepted at first. After all, it was still "real" school to some extent, because I had a class full of kids in my kitchen each day, not just my own.

When I closed daycare last spring, and made my chief endeavor caring for the children, questions began to emerge from family and friends. We were going to send our oldest child to preschool, right? He missed the kindergarten age cut of by about three weeks, so he surely had to be "socialized" in a proper school setting before he went to kindergarten. Thank goodness he'd missed the enrollment date so that he'd have the chance!

My husband and I talked about it. And talked about it. And talked about it. We hail from very different backgrounds and therefore hold very different views about a variety of things- education included. Garrett worried that we would put our children at a social disadvantage by forcing them to "miss out" on the common experiences that public schools provide children in this country. He worried about committing to me earning only a part time salary on a long term basis. Would we really be meeting the needs of our young family if we relied exclusively on his income to provide for our family? On the other hand, I worried that our childrens' differing and unique needs (social, emotional and academic) would not be sufficiently met in the public school setting. I recalled all to well sacrificing some for the good of the majority while I was a teacher and I felt deeply committed to avoiding that circumstance for our children. We went round and round and round.

We still haven't completely come to a conclusion about what school will look like for our children. For now, I find the blessings of schooling my child (children, perhaps) at home to be very rewarding, and I remain open to the possibility of other rewarding experiences to come. So, while I cannot predict what the future holds for us, but I can remain content in what we have now.

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