Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Oh right… education…

on March 15, 2008

Gee, ya know those buncha kids I have?  Ya know how I said I was going to educate them at home?  Well yah, we're still doing that.

I will admit that it's been a tad waylaid what with the big stupid move and all, but we actually take a pretty laid back approach anyway.  We don't want to bring the school to the house, we want to educate at home.  No need for strict textbooks and etc… 

I've been reading Jessica over at Kerflop for years now, and she has recently been rambling around with the homeschool decision.  Much in the same way that we did last year.

She also started herself up a new blog that I've been intrigued to read.  It's great to see someone follow their train of thought through the whole homeschool/public school/private school debate.  I'm not sure that I ever really documented the wavering, the talking to people, the MASSIVE amount of research that we did.  I don't think that home education is anything that people walk into lightly.  Parents who are serious about it have agonized for hours, looked at the statistics, weighed the pros and cons, the whole bit.  It's a big decision, one that will affect your children for years and years to come.

I love Jessica's description of her own public school experience, and this thought is something that I tell people who ask me about the 'socialization' aspect… although I'm pretty sure I've never worded it as well as she has.

The public school experience is touted as something that will prepare us for the real world. Yet, I often wonder where else in the real world are you organized by age, grouped into classrooms, and asked to sit for hours on end with 20 other individuals who happen to share your birth year?

I love that my kids play really well with kids of all ages.  Now, I'm not saying that public school kids CAN'T play with kids not their own age, but mine have no trouble with finding common ground with kids of any age.  They've never really, other than Sunday school, soccer and ballet, been grouped with kids their own age.  I love that part of it. 

I love that they can 'socialize' with anyone anywhere.  I love that they have this incredible joy for learning.  I can't believe the other week I actually said, “you are NOT doing any math until this living room is cleaned up!”

I had a hard time in school.  I was smart, reasonably well adjusted, but socially I was inept and immature.  I wanted to play with dolls when the other kids had boyfriends.  I never had the 'right' clothes, never really knew what to say, never really fit in.  I was teased mercilessly in public school.  For years I held my hand over my face when I smiled or laughed so that people wouldn't see the teeth that I got teased about on a daily basis.

School is ferocious.  Survival skills are necessary, and I think that that aspect of it so detracts from kids being able to focus their whole being on learning that they don't learn as well.

Teachers are often stuck teaching in the way that the majority of the children learn.  I love that I can teach my kids in the way that they learn best.  One is a visual learner?  No problem.  We'll have a blackboard.  One is an auditory learner?  Easy, we do a lot of talking things out.  Teachers simply don't have the time or the freedom to be able to do that on a daily basis for 35 or more kids at a time.

For now, homeschool is what we plan to do.  Homeschool is working for us.  I don't know how long the Lord will keep us homeschooling, nor do I know how He is going to provide for us to do so.  I simply trust that He will make it clear if and when it's time for us to stop.

Now, I just have to get over trying to validate the decision that WE made for OUR children.  I have to stop saying, 'we homeschool, but Keyzia is a year ahead of where she should be!'  I don't need to tell people that.  Just because we are homeschooling, doesn't mean that I think everyone should, and I certainly hope that people who send their children to school don't feel that they can impose that decision on us and our family either.

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