So, after yesterday’s post about the different ways we implement learning in our home, I thought it appropriate to share some reasons we decided to home school in the first place.
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your reasons you do or don’t and to tell me how ridiculous mine are.
As a mama, I feel it is important to let my little ones grow and explore without pressure and negative energy forcing them into a classroom to learn something they are not interested nor emotionally or academically ready just because a group of scientists and educators say so.
Here is a list of 10 reasons I home school my kids:
#10 Identity– I am a product of a public school system. A good one! I have fond memories of my schooling and my teachers but during those years I did not flourish or become anybody. It wasn’t until I was left to my own devices that I found myself and felt I was anybody important. In a public school system (as well as most societal places) I am just a number in a crowd, not LISA. Not anyone special.
Achieving identity has rarely been reached by the end of High School. (Arnett, 2000) In a home school setting, children have the chance to express themselves freely and in some cases learn what, how and when they want. This freedom to explore the world at a pace suitable to the child’s individual needs can only help them set and achieve goals providing them building blocks for a successful approach to a happy life. It might even facilitate the early achievement of work towards a career of their specific interests.
#9 Taking the bus– In rural communities, bus riders will travel between 30 minutes and 3 hours per day. (Biofuels) Some people will say the bus helps mold these youngsters to have great social skills but sitting on a stinking bus with people you may or may not like or even get along with doesn’t sound like fun. This approximate hour and thirty minutes could be spent sleeping, reading, eating a more nutritious breakfast or spending quality time with family or friends. The commute in a car is not any different, however the exposure to diesel fumes would be minimal, but time still underutilized.
For a homeschooling family, being late for the bus or the first bell is not a problem.
#8 Freedom from schedules– This might sound like a reason NOT to home school; I disagree. Freedom from the bus, freedom from the bells, from the clock can do a lot for a person’s stress levels. Entrepreneurs who work for themselves in a deadline-less career have fewer heart attacks attributed to stress. The expression “live by the clock die by clock” comes to mind. According to Forbes, PR Execs, Event Coordinators, and Newspaper Reporters are among the 10 most stressful jobs of 2014. (Adams, 2014) What do they have in common? Deadlines. They are hurrying and scurrying to meet the needs of others because their job is please or report by a certain date and time. Mirror this stress to adolescents going to school, catching the bus, turning in their paper. Hurrying to make it to class before the bell rings. What if they have to use the bathroom between classes? They’ll almost never make it and be detained after school or worse on a Saturday for bladder control.
#7 Using the “facilities” – They don’t need to ask permission to use the restroom at home. Although, they do feel the need to tell me about their ins and outs, it’s not a requirement to receive permission. In public school, I understand the need for orderly conduct and such, but restricting when nature calls and belittling kids by having them announce to a room full of practical strangers is not promoting healthy bathroom habits. Children may not want to use the toilets at school and will voluntarily hold urine for prolonged periods of time which cause urinary incontinence later developing urinary tract infections and leading to an irritated or overactive bladder. (Health, 2012)
#6 Sleep – When we can sleep according to our individual needs we create a basis for maintaining optimal health. Being disrupted by an alarm clock before our body is naturally ready to awaken is harmful to our ability to ward off ailments, focus throughout the day and handle stress appropriately. Children are no different.
School going children were studied according to sleep habits. The results support the theory that sleep matters. It showed kids who sleep more perform better at school, they are less hostile show more happiness and seem more relaxed, they also do not get sick as often as sleep deprived kids. (O’Brien & Kellan, 2010)
Another study verified high school start times play a part in depriving our adolescents necessary sleep. It showed students performing better academically later in the day rather than early in the morning. This same study concluded the need for strategies that focus on the epidemic of sleep deprivation among juveniles to increase school performance and improve students health. (Hansen, Janssen, Schiff, Zee, & Dubocovich, 2005)
Until such strategies exist, we’ll be just fine sleeping in and schooling at home.
#5 Socialization– Don’t scoff at me yet. Dr. Patricia Lines of the Discovery Institute published a report with staggering results. Homeschoolers scored better than public schooled kids in a key area of controversy in the Home Schooling debate: Socialization. Homeschoolers were “well-adjusted” and demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. Dr. Lines concluded “there is no basis to question the social development of homeschooled children.” (Weight, 2006)
Now that business is out-of-the-way here is my philosophy: It takes an army to home school!
We recently took a trip to Mt. Rushmore. Our 5 and 6 year-old daughters participated in the Junior Ranger Program. The Park Ranger interviewed my kids. He stated boldly, “You are homeschooled.”
Astounded by this observation, my husband questioned how he knew. His response, “They looked me in the eye.”
Where in an adult life are you required to sit for hours against your will with people of your exact age for 13 years of your life? Nowhere. In the real world you need to speak and work with people of all ages in all walks of life. Homeschooled kids have more opportunity for real world socialization. So, who teaches my kids? Well, besides the obvious contributors, the supermarket checker, the chiropractor, the priest, the librarian, a waitress at the diner, Elmo, our dog and cats, the neighbor, Tom. Everyone we meet, everywhere we go, we have and use our opportunities for learning. It’s a worldwide classroom and the possibilities are infinite!
“Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. They were not sent away from home each day to a place just for children but lived, learned, worked, and played in the real world, alongside adults and other children of all ages.” -Rachel Gathercole, Shansgazette
#4 Round peg, Square hole – People are unique. There are no two people the same. Everyone has a way of talking, tying their shoes, and yes, learning. Some are good at taking tests, some are better at hands on approaches. Unfortunately, public schools and some educational institutions in general pigeon-hole children into one uniformed way of teaching, learning and achieving. This sets some of the students up for eminent failure. If Billy has poor penmanship but is an impeccable public speaker he will get an incomplete in his debate class because his written arguments aren’t as compelling as his performance.
“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.” -Beatrix Potter
A homeschooled student has the freedom to learn at his/her own pace practicing methods that cater to their own unique style of learning.
Freedom + Learning= Success
#3 Bullies– “One in four kids are bullied at school (htt).” either on the bus, on school grounds at recess, in a classroom or the internet. One. In. Four. That’s 25% chance that a child will be ridiculed, name called, made to feel inferior, worthless or suicidal.
#2 Innocence- “More than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade.” (Shakeshaft, 2004)
#1 Family– Raising children to the age of 5 years and letting them go off to an institution for six hours a day, at a minimum, sounds more like punishment than incentive for a good education. No one can take the home schooling memories, these moments away from me and my kids. Every day is filled with love, laughing and especially learning. Mostly, I’m the one learning from them. They teach me how to live life like there’s no tomorrow. They teach me humility and most important, patience.
These tiny humans are everything to me and my ability to be home learning alongside them is more rewarding than I imagine winning The Pulitzer Prize. We are building a strong unit of trust and understanding, gifts these girls will reap benefits of until their last breaths.
Quality education is a huge part of our little home school but we are first and foremost a family. Our house may not always be clean or our beds made but rest assured we are here, we are learning and we are loving it!
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/school-bullying-statistics.html
Adams, S. (2014, January 07). Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/01/07/the-most-stressful-jobs-of-2014/
Arnett, J. J. (2000, May). Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development From the Late Teens Through the Twenties. American Psychologist, p. 477.
Biofuels. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biofuels.coop/archive/diesel_part2.pdf
Hansen, M. M., Janssen, P. I., Schiff, B. A., Zee, M. P., & Dubocovich, P. M. (2005, June 1). The Impact of School Daily Schedule on Adolescent Sleep. Pediatrics, pp. 1555-1561.
Health, U. D. (2012). Urinary Incontinence in Children. NIDDK.
O’Brien, M., & Kellan, A. (2010, November 15). Retrieved from National Science Foundation: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/sleepdeprivedkids.jsp
Shakeshaft, C. (2004). Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature. Huntington, N.Y.: U.S. Department of Education.
Weight, M. (2006, May 19). Retrieved from Discovery Institute: http://www.discovery.org/a/3479