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 [amazon_link id=”0064400409″ target=”_blank” ]Little House on the Prairie[/amazon_link] 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!
Kudos. Your daughter is a very lucky girl.
“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?”
Precisely. Great piece.
Jennifer Lance says
Thanks Brooke. I just commented to her how helpful she has been at home since starting homeschool. Her reply, “I’m not all stressed out!”.
My oldest did an online charter school for a year because the neighborhood school wasn’t a good fit. I love that there are so many options now for teaching our kids so that we can do what’s best for them, not just stick with a problem school because that’s all that’s available.
She’s back in public school now because the neighborhood school was closed at the end of last year for poor academic performance and has reopened as a charter school with a highly challenging curriculum. We’re hoping enough changes have been made to make this a worthwhile decision.
Jennifer Lance says
Online charter? That sounds very cool. I’d love more info!
Nicole S says
Best of luck with your homeschoooling journey. 🙂
Good luck on your daughter’s homeschooling journey. My children have never attended school and are 12 and 7. It really helps to have a good support network, just as with any phase in life. You are giving her a true gift in allowing her to help shape her educational path in this way. Remember to be flexible with what her needs are. Even us eco parents have our own ideas about what home education is sometimes. Do what is best for your child and your family’s needs and don’t worry about comparison.