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Saturday, August 28, 2010

To homeschool or not to homeschool? That is the question....

~Jennifer's Thoughts

I've been told soooo many times...I'd love to homeschool, but I don't know if I can. Well, I have a few suggestions and thoughts.....

If your kids are not in school yet it's easy to see how things might go if you get a few cheap pre-K books and try teaching now before they are school age.

But don't make a big deal out of it! Just try to make it fun!! Kindergarten is only to get the kids ready for the idea of structured learning. Most kids age 8 and under can't sit for too long. Only work with them for about an hour or less each day. The best way to teach is to teach so they don't know they are learning.

Reading to them is the BEST way to teach them. It's sooooo amazing how much they pickup when you read. Even if they don't sit still it's still working a little bit. Don't get discouraged. Every little things helps more than you would think.

Keep cool and well tempered. Kids learn better from a happy, Mom/Dad!!! And yes, it can be very hard at times to act happy even when you want to scream!!! If you feel frustrated, even a little, they know it!! Just stop and try later. You can take lots of breaks if you need to. During the breaks you and the kid(s) can do a few jumping jacks, draw a picture, play with trucks, or try fake laughing or being silly. All these things are just meant help you feel happier and it gets your blood moving which helps your brain think better. But if things get really bad; STOP AND PRAY!!

Then I get asked the question......Do your kids miss going to school and spending time with other kids?

All the kids will eventually understand that some go to school and others don't. My kids have lots of cousins and friends who go to school. At first they questioned it and wanted to go, too. Then they understood what was happening and now they don't want to go to school! They love the fact that they can finish school work before lunch then they can play. If they went to school they wouldn't get home till much later. Plus, they would still have homework to do!

They still see friends, not everyday, but weekly or more, through homeschool get-togethers or co-opps. They are happy with that and I'm happy they don't feel the daily stress of trying to fit in. It makes kids more stress free and happy with themselves.

Another question: What about missing out on school plays and parties?

School plays and parties were an issue with me when I was deciding whether to homeschool or not. But there are many home school opportunities that cover those problems. One of the home school groups I'm in has a "Fine Arts Night" every January/February. It's a art and talent show. The little artists can bring in art work they have done and also they can preform whatever they wish on stage. Some kids read poems, preform plays, sing, dance, baton, play many types of musical instruments like the piano, and all kinds of other amazing talents. I like it better than the Christmas plays at school! Plus, your child can do whatever they like and can be the center of the show. They are not lost in the group.

As for parties, the catholic home school group has a All Saint's Day Party. The kids dress up like a saint. Other home school groups have Halloween parties. We have Valentine day parties too. So the kids can exchange valentines. We participate in Science fairs, Geography fairs, and lots of field trips! There are many activities that will substitute for what the school kids do. I can't even begin to name them all.

Simply put:

Studies have shown that if a child starts his education at home he will have more self-confidence and have a better foundation to his education. The longer they are home schooled the better self-confidence they have and the better they can read and do arithmetic. They also do better in high school and college, socially and academically!

Many parents complain that their kids become more aggressive or lose self-esteem after they start going to school. The other kids are often not good influences. A child, no matter how good, will pick up the bad traits of other kids. Once they pick up bad traits, it's hard to undo it.

No one family is the same as another, and we are all different so while home school may not be for everyone, I do feel that if a family has the deep desire to homeschool they can make it work. With a little bit of will and determination!!

May God bless you with true discernment, if you are trying to decide whether or not to homeschool.

~Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. "Keep cool and well tempered. Kids learn better from a happy, Mom/Dad!!! And yes, it can be very hard at times to act happy even when you want to scream!!!" -You hit the nail on the head right there.

    "All the kids will eventually understand that some go to school and others don't. My kids have lots of cousins and friends who go to school. At first they questioned it and wanted to go, too. Then they understood what was happening and now they don't want to go to school!" -Can you please expand on this one?

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  2. After their friends and cousins told them what it's like in school, they thought it sounded "yucky and boring". Our kids enjoy the freedom of homeschooling. They like being able to choose what subject they want to do first and they can choose to learn more about a topic they like. They like NOT being forced to move on to the next topic in the book before they are ready.(i.e. Math) They like the one-on-one teaching, and ability to ask questions without a fear of being laughed at. They love the fact that they can finish school work before lunch and then they can play. A self-motivated child only takes a few hours to finish their schoolwork. School kids are forced to stay the entire day, plus, they would still have homework to do! The school system needs to put the kids in a cookie cutter setting in order to teach them. They do not have the time to work with each child's needs and desires. Not much freedom there! Our kids have an understanding of this and choose to stay at home rather than go to school and I'm happy I can be there for them.

    I hope I explained it better that time! Thanks for asking.
    ~Jennifer

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