Monday, March 16, 2009

To Homeschool or NOT to Homeschool

This is something I've been thinking about a LOT lately. Not because I think my children are in a horrible school, not really for anything I've found lacking in their current place of education. Just for a lot of little reasons, and the thought that maybe,

just maybe,

I could nurture their creativity and help them discover what they love to do. And instead of squashing that desire and snuffing that tiny spark of interest, I could fan the flame and encourage them to be what they WANT to be.

I don't want my children to be told they CAN'T take a particular subject or elective in school for any reason. Learning should be something they ENJOY, not something they're FORCED to do. I don't know if this makes any sense. Maybe this video will explain it better than I can. I cry every time I watch it, but of course I'm a bit of a sobby girl....just don't say I didn't warn you.

Pros of homeschooling:
Involvement in our childrens' educations
Daily structure
Individual attention for each child
Field trips
No "homework" (since all schoolwork would be done at home)
Shorter school day
School would be conducted on OUR schedule
The kids wouldn't spend an hour-and-a-half on the bus each day
No fund-raisers
No parent/teacher conferences (as much as we love those)
No forgotten notes/permission slips/book orders
Allowing the kids to help determine the curriculum
Making learning FUN

Cons of homeschooling:
Small apartment and all four kids would be home ALL day (unless we were on a field trip)
What if I'm not a good teacher?
Cost of materials?
Hard to start something new/develop new routines
Missing out on the "first day of school" and "first school bus ride" photos for Jack & Jacob's albums

Really, I think the pros by far outweigh the cons. What do you think? Any homeschooling tips or advice?


Katamommy said...

I can't really offer any advice since I haven't had the opportunity to home school, but I am planning on homeschooling Toot and I have a few friends that have successfully schooled theirs.

I think it's a good thing to do a lot of research and talk to parents that do it to get a realistic picture of what you'll be able tyo accomplish with them.

That being said, I say go for it!!!

Debbie said...

Another for the plus side, your kids won't have to ask permission to pee. That was a big one for me. Seriously.

rachel whetzel said...

Well, you KNOW what I think about it. I say go for it!! And I WAS homeschooled. I didn't end up with three heads... so I think I'm good!! :P

rachel whetzel said...

and on the plus side... my mom never made me ask to go to the bathroom... hee hee Love you, Mom!

rachel whetzel said...

and PS PS
I think that the pros and cons of homeschool are specific to each individual family. Everyone will have an opinion, but only YOU can decide what YOUR family needs.

Pinky said...

I love your approach.
I did for so long, and to be honest if i could I would again. But mentally I do not feel I can handle it anymore.
It's funny though, I will share a personal story.
I think if I had started with my own two boys I could have done it through high school, but I did it with my stepson first and he has been a "problem" child with violent outbursts and other issues before i came along...and it squashed all hope and feeling that I was a good mother or teacher.

I know it sounds horrible like I am a failure, but the agony and pain of going through him beating on my boys and his violent outbursts with me homeschooling him.
Honestly I am afraid to do it now.
So I know what it is like to lack the confidence and as I sit here I cry thinking of it.

If you have it in you,m then DO IT!
But if you do not, i will give you advice I do not take myself...

It is OOOOKKK you are not a failure, its just a fact of life

As a parent you do the best you can.....
Now I stop because I can't see the screen!

KCaldwellmom said...

Gosh Christi O'Otis...
I'm really on the fence about this subject, I see pros and cons...but I guess at the end of the day, I'm with Rachel and that is I'm never one to turn down a challenge and I think if you decide its right for your family, then you should go for it 100%. You never know until you try, right?

Ashley said...

I think you would make an awesome at home school teacher. Or an awesome school teacher in general. You would be perrrfect for that! Go back to school for that!

Anyway. I got distracted. I think it's a huuuge responsibility. I couldn't do it. To have my kids home & trying to teach them & there would be so many distractions & what if they didn't pass their tests? Then it's on ME & I'd feel horrible. & there are 4 kids. That's a lot of material & a big learning wide open space to cover. Plus, I'm not patient enough to *teach* things. I'm just not.

It's a lot to think about. I think you will be awesome if you decide to do it. What do your kids think about it?

Tami said...

i go back and forth myself, it's such a great idea but so much more work for us. it's like there needs to be something or ????

Nikki said...

I think it's a great thing to think about, Christi! I've never considered it, but I also know I couldn not be a stay at home mom, so I'm really sure I couldn't be a home schooler. I think it's wonderful that moms that stay at home do it and I wish I had the patience for it, but I think AJ and I would have probably killed each other after a month of kindergarten! LOL! But I think it's a terrific option and good luck in your decision. I know you'd be great at it!

Jessica said...

Homeschooling...ahhhh music to my ears...I can tell you with an open and honest heart that chooosing to homeschool our boys is the best decision that we (hubs and I) have ever made.

mindakims said...

Well, you KNOW what I'm gonna say. Do it! We spend very little on materials, and I can link you up to emails for two women that handle multiple children in their homeschooling, because multiples is a whole different scenerio.

You WILL be marvelous, because you want to do it for reasons that resonate in your heart. You WILL have to scale back some of your other commitments. But, the older ones can be a help with the younger ones and the younger ones might learn faster because they see the older ones getting attention for it.

Do it girl!

Kiwi The Kreator said...

ironic, but john and i just decided to homeschool kea. he'll go to "regular" school for kindergarten so that he can learn how to interact with other know, so he won't pull the caveman act on other little ones in public. but, i know a girl who has SIX kids...four under the age of four, the other two are 12 and 8. she homeschools ALL of them, works @ night AND the kids are ON IT!!!! you can do it, girl!!! we'll help each other! if four at the same time gets to be too much...lock two in the backyard and teach two...then rotate! ;)

Cami said...

What say your kiddos??? It's a great list but all that really matters is what yoou and your family think is right for you and your family. Some kids like school and being with their friends all day. How will you handle if the kids say yes and then try it and miss being with their friends or in school? What about extra carricular activities, will your kids want to participate in things you might not be able to offer?

No doubt you would make an awesome homeschool mom/teacher! I really believe you have it in you.

I wish I had your confidence because most days Samantha would prefer to be homeschooled but I don't have the patience/discipline.

Dawnt said...

I love that video - got teared up and everything... I am anxious to see what you decide! I am sure whichever you go with will be a great choice for your family!

springtreeroad said...

we plan to homeschool. even though i have a teaching degree, i'm not planning to be a teacher exactly. i want my daughter to be in charge of her own learning. reading a lot of john holt and camp creek blog (project-based learning).

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