Whether you realize it or not, if you have raised children then you have homeschooled to some degree. Singing those ABC’s and practicing with scissors are both examples of learning that takes place at home. Since homeschooling is so natural, why not continue it?
Lately, I have been thinking more about formal homeschooling because Hank will be starting in a year’s time. I figure I should start preparing soon. Thinking of different curriculum and exploring what’s out there.
What is out there?
While I am not really sure what curriculum we’ll use, I do plan to follow one.
My sister-in-law homeschools her three boys. Maybe I’ll look into the one she uses. 🙂
In considering homeschooling I have thought about some common questions:
How will my boys get social time?
How long will we home-school?
What if we try and it doesn’t go well?
1) For the first question, I figure they’ll get social time the same way they normally do. I thought about my schooling and how classroom time really isn’t intended for social time anyway. With this in mind it seems perfectly reasonable that our boys get their studies done in a setting that isn’t overly social. I’m hopeful the time spent on school will be more efficient than a classroom setting because the student to teacher ratio will be 2:1!
So, back to social time or as some oddly put it “socialization”. First that words bothers me a little because that’s the same word often used in regards to rearing a dog. Second, humans are innately social. My boys live in our home this doesn’t mean they never leave it! In fact, we are already taking advantage of play dates and Sunday school. We frequent the Point Defiance Zoo and run errands as needed. I hope to enroll Hank in the little kickers’ soccer camp this summer. With the shorter school day and flexibility of homeschooling, I anticipate my boys will have greater “socialization” than a child who is in class all day.
2) How long will we home-school? I am college educated. I believe one of the chief things you learn in college is HOW to learn. Even though I studied Speech and Hearing Sciences, not teaching, I feel my goal will be to teach my boys HOW to learn. Though I will be there every step, I plan to encourage their independence and move them along at a rate that challenges them enough to keep their interest. With these things in mind, I plan to home-school as long as is beneficial. If all goes well then we may home-school until our boys set out for college. I remember in fourth grade I had a lousy teacher and my Mom taught me that year. I went to class all day and then at night my Mom covered what the teacher failed to teach out of laziness or perhaps incompetence. Class time was a waste but I learned a ton from my Mom! Homeschooling is so natural, after all your folks are your first teachers!
3) What if we try and it doesn’t go well? I certainly plan to give it at least a full year of effort. If it is bumpy I won’t be too surprised. Thankfully with practise we should expect to get into a groove. I expect at first it will be mostly teaching my boys to sit and how to attend to and follow directions. This is the foundation for scholasticism so if it takes time, I will consider it time well spent. If I find that formal homeschooling just isn’t working at all then Bart and I will need to evaluate other options. If either or both of our boys go to school elsewhere, I still plan to home-school them informally. It will look like what every parent should strive to do by showing interest in what our boys are learning and asking questions. We will review their homework with them and tutor them for classes as needed.
Unless I abdicate my parental role, I will be homeschooling in some form until my boys leave our home. It really isn’t revolutionary. 🙂
Dear Jesus, thank you that I know others who home-school their children so I may have support and people to ask for help. I pray you will lay the path out before me and speak through me to our boys. I will consider our schooling a success if they grow up knowing you and honing the ability to learn. Amen.