Saturday, June 27, 2009
episode 13: home schooling
so this week's episode on real mom's guide is about home schooling your children.
vanessa is a home schooling mom....right now to her 1st born, owen, who is 6, and soon to be to her daughter who just finished pre-k. she said that she made the decision based on the fact that she has 5 kids close together and she & her husband started to think about all of the open houses, after school things, project, parent teacher conferences, and wondered how they would do it all. she also said that she had a hard time with the fact that she was sending her kids off to someone else for the majority of the day & then having them home in time for homework, dinner, then bed. and she was missing all of that quality time.
so far home schooling is working out really well for her. she still sends owen once a week to classes like art and to get some social time. she said she wasn't too worried about the social aspect because her kids are very involved in the community and blend in well with kids.
ida is just about to start home schooling a couple of her kids. she felt that one of them needed more one-on-one attention and then one of her other kids said that she wanted to do it, too. so she has them signed up for an online home school program, where each kid is given their own laptop, assignments, and has a teacher available. they still "attend" school for a big chunk of the day, they are just at their home while doing it.
because i don't have an teaching background, this is probably the route i would go if i ever homeschooled my kids. there are state requirements for each child to need to pass in order to move to the next grade, and i would just be concerned that i wouldn't be doing enough.
my view on home school? i'm not particularly for it, but i was contemplating it last year when we lived in north carolina. there were reports on the news that elementary school kids were caught performing oral sex on each other in school buses and in the bathrooms. i freaked out! i couldn't imagine sending my sweet 5 year old into an environment where he could walk into the bathroom and witness this.
i remember the kids in my neighborhood who were home schooled. they stuck out not only physically (a little awkward) but definitely socially. they stuck closely together, didn't make friends easily, didn't know how to be patient, or wait their turns.
i feel strongly that caleb really needs the social aspect of school. he doesn't have siblings in close age to him, and not only needs the different skills that can only be taught in a social setting without his mom there, but he craves it. nothing makes him happier than being in a big group of kids.
so where do i stand now? probably won't do home schooling. for now anyway. so unfortunately for me, that means that i feel the need to educate caleb. i would rather have him hear the truth about the world from my mouth than from someone else's.
a huge pet peeve of mine is when parents shy away from educating their children. i've heard moms say, "well i don't want my kid to be that kid. the one who goes around telling the other kids what they know." or, "they're too young. i don't want them knowing this yet."
i think it is so important to not be scared to tell your children about uncomfortable things. is it fun? absolutely not. do i look forward to this? no way. i'm blushing just thinking about it.
but i also feel that you really need to know your children individually. this is so important, each one is different. just because you can tell one of them about the birds and the bees at a certain age, doesn't mean that every kid is emotionally mature enough to handle it at the same time. i also think there are some kids who are told the "appropriate" names of body parts a little too early and use it at inappropriate times, just for attention.
but i do think that when you feel your kid is ready to know, they need to graduate from using the words "pee-pee" and know the real lingo. because chances are, they're going to be told from some other kid and come home asking you about it. i just think the job of teaching them the appropriate times to say it are what is important.
i'm not an expert, i haven't yet done it, but the time is coming up quickly and i'm getting ready for it.
i realize that i can't protect caleb from everything. in fact, i would be doing him a dis-service if i tried to. these children have come to this earth at this time and it is our job as parents to not just teach them manners and good behavior, but to teach them values and educate them on respecting themselves and others around them.
so that if every they are faced with a situation as unfortunate as the one i heard about in NC, they are educated enough to know that it's not appropriate, and they're strong enough to be able to say, "no."
anyway, sorry for the soapbox.
watch the episode from real moms guide, here. and let me know what you think!