A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about why I will never homeschool my kids. From the backlash that resulted, you woulda thought I punched a puppy. Goodness are some people touchy, also terrible readers. In the very beginning of my piece, I plainly stated that I have nothing against homeschooling, but it just isn’t for me. After being battered with comments like, “you shouldn’t have had kids if you don’t love them enough to educate them” and “You’re obviously just a really lazy parent,” I found a silver lining, and her name was Meredith.
(Side note: we didn’t know it at the time, but turns out Meredith and I are co-authors of the new hilarity I Just Want to Be Alone–you pre-ordered your copy HERE right?!)
Meredith, unlike me, has every intention of homeschooling her two young children, and she said as much when she commented on my article. Except she didn’t insult me and we didn’t argue. We simply agreed to disagree and then wished each other well.
I know, right?!
The interaction with Meredith was so refreshing that when the lovely Erin of Social Butterfly Mom approached me to write something for her Validate Thy Neighbor series, I knew I wanted to again tackle the topic of homeschooling. Except this time, I wanted to write about it from Meredith’s perspective, and it just so happens that she jumped on the validation bandwagon and is writing about homeschooling from my perspective. You can read her post HERE.
Intelligent dialogue tastes so good, doesn’t it?
So just for today, I am pro-homeschooling and here is why:
1. Outside influences are crazy scary, and if I have the opportunity to control and limit them on my young children, I am going to. They will be grown and away from the nest soon enough; I’m going to protect them under my wing as long as I can.
2. While it may be a daunting task, being solely responsible for my kids’ formal education is also very empowering. Anyone who knows me knows I could use a little Algebra refresher, and the idea of learning together is pretty cool. Not to mention how experiencing a few “a ha!” moments together can cement an infallible bond between me and my minis.
3. Despite the assumption that social interaction is limited, homeschooled students are, in fact, part of their community’s and home school district’s clubs, athletic teams, and other intramural programs. In addition to participating in organized activities, homeschoolers have the ability to set their own schedule which means we can make the time to volunteer at church, our local Boys and Girls Club, and other charities. The idea that generosity and charity could become a weekly hands-on lesson is valuable beyond any formal education.
4. Access to homeschooling materials and tools has never been easier or more abundant: virtual classrooms, ready-made curriculum, support staff just to name a few. The variety and availability are extensive and convenient. So while some say they can’t do it, it’s certainly not for lack of resources.
5. Speaking of which, my husband and I are living, breathing resources. We are both certified, licensed educators. In fact, I hold teaching certifications in four different states. I have been educating other kids for years now; why not extend my expertise to my own children?
At the end of the day, every parent knows that no one will ever love our kiddos the way we do. Not their grandparents, not their school teachers, not their friends. No one sees kids’ vulnerabilities, strengths, or silly sides like parents do. Our children love and trust us unequivocally, even though sometimes it may not seem like it. The ability to maintain that kind of connection with them through their most formidable years is so important, and in a day and age where anything can (and does…) happen, why not keep them by our side just a little while longer?