Today, I have John guest posting! John is a former homeschool student and I love that he chose to share his perspective with us, here at the Domain of the Mad Mommy.
Homeschooling, it’s not weird if everyone is doing it
I’m proud to say that I was home-schooled. Well, not proud per-say, but not totally embarrassed either. Sure my grammar can be lacking at times and my spelling is atrocious, but honestly that isn’t my Mom’s fault, I would have had those same problems had I been sitting in a mind numbing classroom for hours on end every school day.
Although general attitude towards homeschooling is changing the fact remains that home-schooled children are often lacking in one major area, social skills. Have you ever been to some kind of homeschooler’s hangout such as the YMCA? It is downright frightening to watch some of the interaction there between the home-schooled kids. There ideas of normalcy are strange to say the least.
I realize that I’m generalizing the population, but I was in the thick of it for 8 years, that was what I saw.
If you are interested in homeschooling your children, that is wonderful. I truly believe that homeschooling is an excellent fit for most children if well executed. However, in order to give your child a rich experience there are a few things that need to be taken into account so that your precious little one doesn’t turn into a socially awkward dweeb who has trouble forming relationships for the rest of their life due to lack of varied interaction during those crucial years of their development.
Reasons why I love my Mother for homeschooling me:
Sleeping In – Mom never woke me up early to go to school. She always said that my body was growing and that I should sleep as much as I wanted to. This generally led to 9+ hours of sleep a night and my body was so grateful for it. There is no need to start school at some arbitrary time each morning.
Length of Class – Only two things were emphasized in the classroom, mastering the material and having fun. Once the material was mastered we were free to enjoy the rest of the day more or less as we saw fit. Even at age 8 I knew I had it good. I would sleep till about 9 or so, eat a leisurely breakfast of my own pouring (cereal) then head downstairs to home school. Homeschooling usually lasted about 2 hours and I was off to play outside by 11:30am. What a blessing that my mother didn’t force me to sit around in the classroom when all my work was finished!
Study Groups – We were very fortunate in that about a dozen families that we were closely connected with also were homeschooling their children. This resulted in study groups several times a week, providing excellent social interaction and forcing teamwork.
Field Trips – Field trips were taken regularly with other homeschooling families. We would go to beaches, zoos, museums, restaurants, fairs, craft shows, carnivals, libraries and just about anything that would expose us to something new. I always loved field trips and Mom always let me skip my school work for the day.
Opportunities – Because of the complete schedule flexibility I was able to take part in many different programs that I quite enjoyed such as; swimming classes, boy scouts, paging at the state capitol, archery, book clubs, bmx biking and the list goes on and on. Taking part in all of these activities simply wouldn’t have been possible with a traditional school schedule and the non-sense homework which can sometimes be associated with it.
The proof is in the pudding – Freshmen year of high school I said good bye to the comforts of homeschooling and joined a rigorous private high school. Additionally I joined the water-polo team of the local public high school. Thoughout high school I kept a 3.8 GPA, had plenty of friends, was vice president of our honor society and co-captain of the water polo team. Needless to say I felt incredibly well prepared by my mother.
It really was my mother that set me up for success. She provided every opportunity for my growth that she could, including literal growth as I slept! Some of my home-schooled friends were not so fortunate and they really struggled in high school because the education they received at home was lacking. In this modern age I know there are some amazing resources online that could really give some homeschooling parents a leg up.
I am forever grateful for the sacrifices my mother made in order to give me a wonderful homeschooling experience. I hope that you can take a little bit of what she did to give the same experience to your own children.
Meet JohnJohn is a contributing author of nature-babies.com. He enjoys water sports and currently resides in the tropical paradise that is Vietnam. His current writing projects center around parenting and baby technology.