Has the shock worn off from my first homeschooling post yet? You're not the only one. My close friends and family were quite surprised when I told them the news. I was thinking about going back to "outside work" this fall, for crying out loud! I told you it was out of left field. But my peeps are very supportive, and even if they think I'm crazy... they still love me. :)
Why should the Catons consider homeschooling? Here are my conclusions (not an exhaustive list & not in any particular order):
1- A Tailor-Made Education. This point could be a blog on it's own, but bottom line -- I know my children will blossom with one-on-one education at their own pace & with their own learning style.
2- Flexibility. My family does not work a typical Monday-Friday, 9-5 shift. My husband works weekends and has a day off during the week. There may be times where I need to travel due to extended family health issues. And then there's that darn snow in the wintertime. Late nights. The pros for flexibility go on and on!!
3- Transferring Our Family Values & Building Character. Moral character is something I want to invest in my children, even more than any sport or academic program out there. I know it sounds so general and "ideal" but honestly... it is one of the biggest pros. Homeschooling allows me to have that extra time to nurture, develop and help my kids grow -- just like I have been doing for the past seven years!
I have been learning all about the disadvantages as well. It will be a lot of hard work. It will be a lot of hard work for ME. And then, there are the unrealistic expectations. It will not always look pretty. There will be bad days. From what I hear, I will see many of my own character flaws. My kids may not have a "typical" education like most kids, sitting in a classroom with 25+ kids their age -- therefore, their experiences will be different. (not a bad thing in my mind, just dealing with the differences)
The socialization question comes up constantly. Have you seen the Caton's social calendar? Let's just say I'm not concerned. I'm aware it's important for my kids to interact with other kids their age, and to have friends. They will, don't worry. In fact, I have to guard OVERsocializing my family all the time or we run ourselves into the ground.
I've talked to many people who sit on both sides of homeschooling. I've listened. I've learned. It's been real. I've met incredible people -- strangers who were willing to have coffee with me and tell me their stories. Students, parents, teachers. I am still overwhelmed by the love and passion all these people have for children and their families.
I still feel the positives still outweigh the negatives. I'm also thankful my decision not based on fear or guilt. That would be scary.
So, I'm giving it a try. One year at a time. One child at a time. I'm still laughing about all of this. And I'm scared of the unknown. We could be back at public school next year for all I know. But there is NO DOUBT in my mind that I'm supposed to try this.
Where do we go from here? What will homeschooling look like for us? There's about 15 million different ways to approach it. I've got a plan, thank goodness. School starts in less than two weeks!
TO BE CONTINUED....
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