Monday, January 26, 2015

Reasons Why Homeschooling is Not For Me

I see a lot of posts defending homeschooling, and I understand why.  It's not easy defending the decision to homeschool especially when you are talking to the general public.  There's a lot of mystery and myth about homeschooling.  Of all the posts I've seen about choosing school, I've seen a lot defending personal decisions to homeschool and only one (by a non-Catholic Christian) explaining why they use public school.  I'm not against homeschooling.  It's always a possibility that I keep in the back of my mind.  But I don't think it would work for us.  Here's the reasons why...

1) I'm not good with making my own schedule- I'm very good if I have to follow a schedule.  If I personally have to be at school or work, I'm good about getting myself out the door on time with all my crap.  I do my job well.  But when it comes to making my own schedules, I suck.  Trying to make myself stick to a schedule for things like exercise, practicing flute/piano, cleaning the house, or even prayer does not work.  For whatever reason my brain just doesn't see "urgent" and so I tend to procrastinate and sluff off stuff.

So there's no way I would be good and getting a schedule down for making sure my children are learning stuff.  I know myself well enough to know that they'd go the whole year without learning much of anything or waiting until the last possible second.  It's better for me to get my sons ready in the morning and ship them off. 

2) I can't switch hats so easily- Some people are good at being mom and being teacher, but I am not one of them.  This is not to say "teacher" as in I don't instruct my children.  This is to say "teacher" as in the job description of what I used to do in a classroom.  I was more aloof as a teacher.  There was a boundary and it worked well with discipline.  I didn't make the kids in my class lunch (or argue about eating it).  I didn't deal with throwing fits over wearing certain clothes.  Knee hates coats and layers.  I didn't give those kids in my class baths.  I did clean them up if they got food or sick on themselves or accidents, but I don't recall having to submerge a child in a tub.  I didn't have the same relationship with them as their parents did.  I was their teacher.  I taught them and they knew that they were there to learn.  My children love learning, but I've tried sitting them down with paper and pencil.  On some occasions they will comply.  Other times they look at me like I'm nuts.  It's not a battle I can win easily and it's understandable that I'm mom so it's different.

3) I'm a homebody- You may be thinking "you sound like the poster child of unschooling."  Yes, I don't sound like a traditional homeschooler type, but I'm not the unschooling type either.  To unschool it requires you to allow your child to explore particularly outside of your house.  And I don't go out very often.  In fact last year because of my desire to avoid the extreme cold I mostly spent my day in pajamas.  That's right. I hardly got dressed.  This year because I take HB to school I have to wear clothes.  I don't mind really.  I rather enjoy having a reason to look like an adult and my brief interactions with other adults.  But if it wasn't for school, I doubt I would go anywhere.  It does not help that my children are unruly so I avoid situations in which melt downs will occur.

So now I drop off HB at school and take Knee to play groups twice a week.  It's far easier to get physical with only one child instead of two.  This may change as HB gets older.  But for now it's better for my sanity.

4) I can get more help for HB- Theoretically I can get therapy through the school system for HB.  I say theoretically because HB would have to get that diagnosis first.  And if we move, depending on the state some therapies are through the school system and some are through state-funded clinics.  Nevertheless HB gets social interaction and the teachers work in tandem to help improve his behavior.  It makes a huge difference.  It's like talking to a different person.  Once he's accommodated and used to a routine, he adjusts really well. 

I've looked into private Catholic schools for HB.  A lot of them don't offer any onsite help and instead send the students to the public school system for therapy.  This is unfortunate.  So it's equally likely that HB's Catholic school education days are ending.  I wish I could give him both: an environment where he continues to have his faith integrated and to receive therapy.  I'm hoping that when he's older we can go back to Catholic school.

5) HB gets social interaction- This is not to say homeschoolers don't have social interaction.  It's just that HB needs more opportunities.  Homeschool co-ops are really designed for typical children.  They really aren't designed for those with special needs.  This isn't to say that you can't get accommodations, but considering co-ops aren't all over the country, it is harder.  Plus they offer a couple of classes not something all day.  How is HB going to exercise his social skill muscles if he's not using them regularly?

6) Work to Improve the System- There are a lot of criticisms over public schools.  They vary from difficulties with teachers, too much homework, to too secular.  However none of these things will improve if one does not work to improve the system both politically and from within.  Yes, public schools show the microcosm of the fallen world, but we are called to evangelize.  As the lady who wrote why she uses the public school system, her point was she uses this opportunity to bear witness to Christ.  It may not be for every family to do this.  It's a discernment process.

The point is a family has to figure out what's best for them when it comes to educating ones children.  You have to take into account many things.  Also what may work for one child may not work for another.  What may work at one time may not work later on.  In our case we're going to public school for now.

1 comment:

  1. believe it or not....you already are a homeschooling mom! Any mom who engages with her children, prays with them,reads to them, includes them in daily tasks, is teaching them- deciding to send them to school doesn't mean you are not teaching them- their teachers will love having them as students- having good parents makes all the difference in the world!

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