About 9 years ago I thought that people who are homeschooling their kids are somewhat overprotective, overambitious and certainly they don’t live in a real world. Oh, and their kids have no clue about the reality, you know, the real world out there. I thought that I will never do this to my kids. I wanted them to be go-getters, high-achievers, born-to-become-leaders and relevant to the surroundings.
And how could you be all that if your teacher is your own mother?
I couldn’t understand how sitting at home with your nose in a book could be better than the real experience of well presented concepts and explained academics at the school. Done by professionally prepared, well educated, child-minded individuals who just can’t wait to teach my little ones about the most complex and most beautiful things in the universe. And I would be the best cheerer-upper for those professionals with the hearts of gold.
Our oldest, Teah, went to the kindergarten in Doha, Qatar. The school was fabulous. Founded by a wife of the Emir. British system of education. The facilities reminded me of some college campus, not an elementary kids school. The teachers came from all over the world. The classes were small, 16 kids or so, 2 teachers per class. The program was impressive. The school days were just right, 4 h a day. But after sometime I realized that she learned more at home then there. The school was a social place rather than anything else.
After coming to the USA I gave a thought to the crazy fantasy called homeschooling. I must mention a family (I bow down before the Balassi perfect clan) that encouraged me a lot, had 5 home-schooled kids and looking fabulously well educated. Not only that, but the kids behavior was close to the perfect, they were engaged in everything under the sun (sports, arts, service) and the parents looked like they knew what they were doing. That was the turn for me to look into homeschooling not only as a way of education, but a way of life, chosen very consciously, not only because we don’t have finances to send our kids to the best private schools in the neighborhood.
I researched the Internet almost daily for the next few months, learning about the history, philosophy, forms, ideas, examples of homeschooling out there. At the same time I was going through a kindergarten program with my oldest child, having another pre-K son and a baby. That was something else…
Today, 5 year later (that sounds like I am someone who knows what to do, but at times I really don’t), I think it is the best way for our missionary-oriented family to approach education. The choice remains the same, for how long I don’t know. Thinking about homeschooling for the next 10 years or so is rather scary. So I think about it one year at a time, one day at a time.
Homeschooling mothers – I know how you feel now.