Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reasons I Want to Homeschool ~ Thursday Thirteen

Over the past week, I have been giving a lot of thought to homeschooling my children. I have considered it in the past but have never spent any significant amount of time researching, discussing, and planning as I have now (the reason why I haven't posted much this week). As I've started to learn more - borrowing books from the library, doing research on the internet, talking with other homeschoolers - I have become more and more excited about the opportunity.

The greatest thing about it is that my husband and his parents, as well as my own parents, are behind me. My MIL even said, "That is great! I know they would learn so much from you." It was certainly a morale-booster. :)

I've thus decided to post 13 reasons why I want to homeschool for T13 this week.

1. Spend more time together as a family. Children will bond more with siblings and parents since they will spend more time together playing, working, and helping each other.

2. Allow children time to learn subjects not usually taught in their school. Time is available for more nonacademic pursuits such as art or music. Children do not have to wait until they are grown to begin to seriously explore their passions; they can start living now. Children's education can be more complete than what schools offer. This leads to a richer, happier life.

3. Allow children to have time for more in-depth study than what is allowed in school. Allow children to learn at their own pace, not too slow or too fast. Allow children to work at a level that is appropriate to their own developmental stage. Skills and concepts can be introduced at the right time for that child. Learning can be more efficient since methods can be used that suit a child's particular learning style.

4. Spend a lot of time out-of-doors. Spending more time out-of-doors results in feeling more in touch with the changing of the seasons and with the small and often overlooked miracles of nature.

5. Children learn to help more with household chores, developing a sense of personal responsibility. Children learn life skills, such as cooking, in a natural way, by spending time with adults who are engaged in those activities. More time spent on household responsibilities strengthens family bonds because people become more committed to things they have invested in (in this case, by working for the family).

6. Children will avoid being forced to work in "cooperative learning groups" which may include children who have very uncooperative attitudes. Children will be more willing to take risks and be creative since they do not have to worry about being embarrassed in front of peers.

7. Peer pressure will be reduced. There will be less pressure to grow up as quickly in terms of clothing styles, music, language, interest in the opposite sex. Social interactions will be by choice and based on common interests. Friends can be more varied, not just with the child's chronological age peer group who happen to go to the same school. Children will not learn to "fit into society," but will, instead, value morality and love more than status and money. Children who are "different" in any way can avoid being subjected to the constant and merciless teasing, taunting, and bullying which so often occurs in school.

8. Field trips can be taken on a much more frequent basis. Field trips can be much more enjoyable and more productive when not done with a large school group which usually involves moving too quickly and dealing with too many distractions. Field trips can be directly tied into the child's own curriculum.

9. Volunteer service activities can be included in the family's regular schedule. Community service can be of tremendous importance in a child's development and can be a great learning experience.

10. Scheduling can be flexible, allowing travel during less expensive and less crowded off-peak times. This can allow for more travel than otherwise, which is a wonderful learning experience.

11. Testing is optional. Time doesn't have to be spent on testing or preparing for testing unless the parent and/or child desires it. Observation and discussion are ongoing at home and additional assessment methods are often redundant. Testing, if used, is best used to indicate areas for further work. Grading is usually unnecessary and learning is seen as motivating in and of itself. Understanding and knowledge are the rewards for studying, rather than grades (or stickers, or teacher's approval, etc.).

12. Family will not be forced to work within school's traditional hours if it does not fit well with their job schedules and sleep needs. A more relaxed, less hectic lifestyle is possible when families do not feel the necessity to supplement school during after-school and week-end hours.

13. I enjoy learning alongside my children. Seeing their eyes light up with excitement. Most definitely, it is fun.

As I proceed, you can be assured that I'll share our activities and endeavors with those interested. I'll likely create a 2nd blog that focuses on our 'school'. :)

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  1. Good luck if you decide to home school your kids! Would you start for this coming school year or would you wait until next year?

  2. I think homeschooling is wonderful. In fact, having worked in a school setting for the past three years and continuing, I have thought about the possibility of homeschooling my own children... when I have children that is. There are so many more pros than cons. I think that is great of you! And I know they will learn so much from someone who has such a great passion. I look forward to hearing more about it!

  3. You have a great list of reasons. Consider submitting it to a Carnival of Homeschooling. Check out our blog for details.

  4. Michelle home schooled her kids, and they are fabulous young men. It is definitely a good option for some folks. Personally, I think Dee Dee and I would end up strangling our kids :-)

  5. I homeschooled my oldest two boys for three years and it was a great experience. My oldest son was 3rd through 5th grade and his younger brother 2nd through 4th. I love the flexibility it afforded us as a family and they both grew in their responsibilities and as independent learners.

    Looking forward to hearing how things progress with your decision!

    Thanks for the visit!


    PS - I'm a new scrapbooker and I LOVE your pages!

  6. Your list is great - you've thought it through and hit all the highlights. When I think about the time I spent with my children I realize what a gift it was - something many families never have.

    And your comment about volunteering - I forgot to mention all the volunteering the boys did. Web volunteered at the animal shelter 10 hours a week from the time he was 14 until 18. He also got to do a year long internship (through 4H) at a veterinary clinic. Riley did most of his volunteering at the Y and in 4H.

    Number 14 could be this: children learn that learning occurs everywhere, all the time rather than thinking it is confined within the four walls of a school building. Learning becomes second nature, like breathing.

    Isn't it wonderful?

  7. I have so much to tell you :)

    First, what an admirable Thursday 13. You would do a phenomenal job - I second your family's sentiments!

    Second, if you do in fact homeschool, you have to promise you'll still blog some...I'd miss you!

    And third, with my procedure out of the way, I'm out of excuses. I have signed on to a 9 week training program so that as promised, I will run with first 5K this year!! I start when we get back from the Magic Kingdom :)

    Good luck with your decision!!

  8. I considered homeschooling, but quickly realized I don't have the patience for it. And we're in a top public school district in my area; I may as well get the benefit of all the tax dollars I give them.

    If you have the patience (and resources) for homeschooling, you've got my full-on admiration. It's hard being cooped up with the kids all day, let alone trying to get them to listen and learn! I have nothing but respect for homeschoolers.

    Happy TT a few days late...


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