Last week, we started homeschooling out ten-year-old daughter. Our reasons are social and emotional, not necessarily academic. Her school environment is no longer healthy. We had tried to support and work with the school (of which I am a part-time teacher), but things were only escalating and getting worse. Thus, it was time to make a change.
I have always wanted to try homeschool. It fits with my Little House on the Prairie homesteading life. Homeschooling is trendy amongst the green, natural parenting crowd, but as a teacher and product of public schooling, as well as the fact that my children attend a one-room schoolhouse in a small community, I felt going to school was a rite of passage..
There are benefits to school; there are benefits to homeschool. In the upscale suburb I grew up in, homeschooling was not trendy. I remember one boy that entered public high school after homeschooling his whole life. Even at that young age, I was impressed with his confidence and self-esteem which contrasted my own insecurities. He lacked that constant worry that plagued me about what others thought.
I saw my daughter’s social confidence slipping away. This is somewhat normal in our culture as our children enter the tweens, but does it have to be that way? Why can’t preteen/teen girls and boys treat each other with kindness, compassion, and respect?
There isn’t much schools can do with the cultural phenomena of the American teen, or is there? Respect for ourselves, for our community, for our earth, for our elders, for our peers, for our educators…these are strong values that need fostering both with positive modeling, shaping, and compassion, yet there must be consequences for those who violate these agreements.
I often equate going to school as being a child’s job. Would you remain in a job where your coworkers were disrespectful to you, your boss, and each other? If your social and emotional health was deteriorating as a result, wouldn’t you seek new employment? Why do we feel our children are any different and must tough it out?
We are blessed we can educate our daughter at home in order to foster positive emotions about herself and others. It is not a sacrifice of my time at all; it just takes a little adjustment. I look forward to our projects and lessons that are only possible at home.
I will protect my daughter from the harm of social cliques and egos as much as possible at this age. I don’t want her to suffer as I did from false friendships and cruel behavior that left permanent scars of self-doubt on my psyche. I believed we saved her from the perils public education just in time
She will return to public school at some point (not this year), and it should be noted that her brother has remained. What is good for one child is not always good for the other.
Love and light!