getting off the fence - part 1

your child's education.

i think most parents would agree that this is an important (and at times very sensitive) subject, and not one to be taken lightly. it's definitely a hot topic, wouldn't you say?  we want what's best for our children, and having them receive a quality education would definitely be up there.

but what does that look like? does it mean moving into a neighborhood where, based on test scores and other measures of success, the schools (or district) perform well? does it mean sending your kids to private school, where you are pretty much guaranteed (at least this is my impression...and i don't mean this in a negative way at all) an outstanding, well-rounded education? does it mean you do it yourself and provide a home education?

quite honestly, i don't know. there are so many factors to think about when considering what's best for your child's education.

for a long time i always thought all our kids would go to traditional school. i went to traditional school (private and public), and so did my husband.  when we were in seattle, ty was attending the public school that was outside of our neighborhood zone. why? because based on it's history, they provided better educational opportunities than our neighborhood school. when we moved here, the school district's performance was one of the reasons we moved into that neighborhood, and it's encouraging to be in a community where we see many parents willing to take the time to be involved in their children's schools.

over the years, as we have done research into educational approaches and methods to assist ty in improving his school performance, i discovered home education.  the term "homeschool" was not foreign to me, but i definitely had my preconceived notions about the idea of homeschooled kids and homeschooling in general (i might have to save this for another post).  i also didn't think i could handle such a huge responsibility.  i mean, educating my own children (ah, the irony in that sentence...)??  sure i went to college, but i don't have a teaching license.  and what if i miss teaching them something important and they fail school.  i thought, no way.  homeschooling would not be for me...although...maybe i might borrow some of their educational approaches to help my own kids if they happen to struggle in school...

i have found lots of helfpul homeschooling websites, read a fair amount of books about homeschooling and inquired other homeschooling mothers about home education in the past 5 years.  the ideas and approaches presented made sense to me.  the information i gleaned from those sources have been used to help ty in school, and it has also helped shape and define our personal educational philosophy.

the more i researched about homeschooling the more i began to question whether or not continuing the legacy of traditional schooling was right for our family.  the flexibility (of time, methods, curriculum) was VERY appealing, but the whole idea seemed daunting (especially in ohio where you are required to submit a curriculum to the district each year).  back and forth we went.  should we or shouldn't we?  are we capable?  do we have time?  what if we mess up?

we started with baby steps.  we opted out of preschool for emma, and figured if this is the road God wants us to take then the choice to homeschool (or not to homeschool) would be clear to us.  we have not regretted the decision to keep her out of preschool.  and i learned a lot in those "preschool" years with emma.  i learned that i don't have to be perfect (much like i don't expect teachers to be perfect, either).  i learned that as parents *we* are the primary educators of our children whether or not they're homeschooled.  i learned that simply experiencing the day to day provides many, many learning opportunities.

so what am i saying?  well folks,  if you haven't already figured it out, after sitting on the fence about this homeschooling business we've decided to get off.  more like jump off, full-speed ahead into home education.  no more getting our feet wet.  we are in all the way.

we are committed.  we are excited.  we are ready.


Mamajil said...

Yay, you will do great!!! After all you are the one that has taught them all they know up to now...walking, talking...etc :) Home Educating is a journey,sometimes its smooth sailing and other times there are bumps along the road....but in the end its a great relationship building way of life!!! Blessings on your journey!

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