20 February 2014

The Myths of Homeschooling

I've rolled doing a blog post like this around in my head before, but it IS really overdone.  So of course I'm doing it.

Myth #1 Socialization.  I hear this so often and really it kind of baffles me.  My Mom used to tell me all the time, "School is not for socialization, it's for your education" along with my teachers after my best friend Amanda and I would be caught, for yet again talking to each other (you know socializing.)  Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of socialization:


 verb \ˈsō-shə-ˌlīz\
: to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way
: to teach (someone) to behave in a way that is acceptable in society

Full Definition of SOCIALIZE

transitive verb
:  to make socialespecially :  to fit or train for a social environment
a :  to constitute on a socialistic basis <socialize industry>
b :  to adapt to social needs or uses
:  to organize group participation in <socialize a recitation>
intransitive verb
:  to participate actively in a social group

Now, I'm not sure how anyone can say only public schools are qualified to teach children how to act in the real world.  I'd dare to say, that's pretty much the parents job, since from birth you're supposed to teach them to be respectful, kind, polite people, and that job doesn't end just because they are school aged.  It's not the school's responsibility to teach those things.  The school is responsible for giving children the education (not socialization) they need to survive after they graduate, whether in the work force, or in college.

Myth #2 Not Being Smart Enough.  Now, I'm not saying anyone can teach their kids.  It's something you've got to want, but I am saying, anyone IS capable of teaching *their* kids if they want to put the work into it.  Many curriculums are extremely easy to use.  They lay it all out for you, and all you have to do is follow their plan.  They show you ways to teach different concepts, and there's plenty of free resources online nowadays that have videos of concepts that you can have your child watch if you can't explain something well.

Myth #3 They'll miss out on Extra Curricular Activities.  Not at all true.  Many children play sports offered in the community, and not through schools.  There are dance studios, private tutors for all kinds of musical instruments. There are homeschool coops, and groups and so many many resources available to homeschoolers, you just have to reach out there and take advantage of the opportunities.

Myth #4.  You Have to Have Unlimited Patience.  I don't have patience, I am caught sometimes in the feeling of wanting to hit my head up against a wall.  So I take a break.  We all take a break, and then come back anew.  A lot of the stress from homeschooling, imo, comes from this unrealistic expectation that you'll be able to do it all.  You can't.  Not even the public schoolers are finishing everything.  Think back, did you do everything in your science, math, language arts or history book?  No?  That's right.  Didn't you learn and graduate high school?  Your kid will too!

08 February 2014

It's that time of year again

Tax return season!  Which means.......curriculum searching!

One of the advice I give to people who are just starting out in homeschooling is to give yourself a break in the first year.  It's the hardest, you have to get in your routine, figure your kid out, and what in your curriculum you can tweak to insure that your child learns.

I have five kids, four of them will actively be doing school this year (I hope as I have a very stubborn four year old.)  I started homeschooling using only abeka with James.  It worked really well, and I enjoyed it and James worked well with it.  I can tweak what I need to, skip things that are already learned, and add in places if needed.  It worked well with Jade too, and Steven, but I've made changes over the years.

At one point, the older kids were not doing well in spelling, so I switched that, and now my kids love spelling lessons, and are excelling in it.  I also felt that Abeka's science and history was weak, so we switched that too and the kids now look forward to those classes.

It's important to remember to change things when they are needed.  So, I get to Willow, and she's not responding to Abeka at all.  So, we're trying something different, and I'm thinking also of switching things for Jade too.

I really like the time of year though, to buy new curriculum.  It's fun now, and no longer overwhelming, looking into all my options!