Do you plan to homeschool/are you homeschooling your children? Why or why not? If you do plan to homeschool, in what ways will you/do you do it differently from your parents?
We tried for two years and were miserable failures. Not only did we discover we had no life outside of child rearing and schooling and feeding and changing diapers and blah blah blah, but we discovered that you cannot fit a child into a cookie cutter teaching style. My wife had a very distinct teaching style and it worked admirably on our first daughter and yet failed completely on the next two. We put them in public school and they flourished – all of them. And they have friends now. Friends with different perspectives. And they are living and breathing and…they haven’t sacrificed a baby to the devil yet.
That was a bit of tongue and cheek and yet, not so much. We have been warned that our children will be ruined. At least now, I can blame it on the teachers and wash my hands of all responsibility.
I believe that there are good reasons to homeschool, as long as parents try to compensate for the inherent weaknesses of homeschooling (lack of socialization, too much monitoring and control by parents, difficulty teaching more advanced subjects, etc.). Personally, I will not consider homeschooling unless I feel we have exhausted every other option; if I homeschool, it will be temporary and my children will participate in non-homeschooling activities as much as possible.
I do not plan to homeschool my children. It’s not that I don’t think I could do well by them academically – I know I could – but rather that I want them to have the socialization experience I never had. I want them to learn how to handle playground politics, to have teachers who aren’t me, and to have the opportunity to be involved in band, or soccer, or chess club. I want her to have the chance to be normal that I never had. I plan to be very involved in their education, of course, and were there to be some huge issue, I could see homeschooling temporarily.
I will never homeschool my children. If I stay in Germany I don’t have a choice anyway since homeschooling isn’t an option here. If I go back to the U.S., I just don’t think I would enjoy doing it.
I reserve the right to change my mind on this, but: I tentatively plan to homeschool. My husband has a vision for the possibilities that open up for a thorough and tailored education when a student has more freedom and one-on-one attention. I benefitted from this myself, and am really glad I had the opportunities I had as a homeschooler to study more thoroughly certain things which caught my attention.
That said, I would like to avoid the pitfalls which my family experienced: homeschooling isn’t an identity or a calling–we’ll do it if it’s the best option available. We’ll re-evaluate the decision to homeschool for each child, each year. I also will be very open to co-op classes and collaborative learning opportunities. And finally, I need to be very careful to avoid letting myself get burned out and becoming depressed (like my mom did a time or two). My husband is heartily in favor of this and wants to be really involved in teaching our kids (unlike my dad), and this excites me.Melissa:
At this point, no. Our oldest child is going to Kindergarten this fall. Both my spouse and I feel that homeschooling puts a huge amount of control into the parent’s hands, we both want more community and input and interaction for our kids. I want my children to have a variety of experiences and idea they encounter. I am still nervous about putting my kids in school, because I have literally no experience in that area, so I wonder how I will be able to help them with any problems they may encounter. I still toy with the idea of taking them all out for a year of traveling someday when they are older.
I do not plan to homeschool my potential future children for a number of reasons. First, I do not plan to be a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t leave the house for years of my life, and I know I would lose it if I ever went back to that. I have a lot to offer the world, and I do not plan to closet myself away in the home. Secondly, I want to be a mother to my children. I do not want to taint that relationship by also being their teacher, their supervisor, their principal, and their surrogate friend. I want my children to have a broader frame of reference than just my own. I want them to have other role models and examples besides myself. I also just don’t think I’m cut out to be a teacher.
I would never homeschool a child past elementary school, because I would want my child to have experiences that bind generations together. I want my child to listen to popular music, wear shorts, hang out at the beach, swear and play sports. I want my child to go to prom and graduate in a big pompous ceremony. I want my child to have friends of all genders, races and sexualities. I want my child to have expert teachers.
I would consider homeschooling a very sensitive child for the first year or two, and I would thoroughly check out any school (public or private) that was within reach before enrolling. My child would probably have a more balanced homeschool education than I did, since my partner is into math and science and those are my weak points.