By Sue Anganes
As August closes in on us, we naturally focus our thoughts on the upcoming school year. For those of you who have ever had the thought of homeschooling, I would like to write about some of its advantages.
Homeschooling is just what it is; tailoring your child’s education to your home life.It is more of a lifestyle than a method of learning.
Often it is so integrated into your daily life that where the teaching ends and the fun begins is blended seamlessly together. There is an intimate closeness that is developed with your children when you spend time both living and learning together, and somehow that closeness is also developed between the siblings themselves.
Homeschooling also allows time to do things that otherwise you might not be able to fit into your schedule. When the basic core curriculum is completed for the day, often there are hours of free time left to either enjoy outdoors, at libraries, at museums, or just pursuing self interests.
We have spent many afternoons hiking through the woods or reading books together. Extra time has also allowed most of my children to study a musical instrument and have time to practice and become accomplished. They’ve had time to create Lego masterpieces, bake, study foreign languages, program computers, write, draw, sing, putter around the garage and make “stuff,” visit with friends, dig in the back yard, take flying lessons, volunteer, work at a job, collect rocks, play in orchestras, make videos, carve sticks, and so many other things, I could fill up a whole page. Homeschooling has allowed each of them to pursue their own individual interests, and I truly believe that having time to pursue their own interests has been what has shaped my oldest children into the adults they are now and influenced them in their present careers.
Many times I run into moms who say they could never be able to homeschool; they can’t teach, or their child is too wild, can’t listen, won’t obey, etc. It’s good to remember that you’ve already been the primary teacher to your children until they were grammar school age. What makes you think that you cannot continue teaching them in grade school?
You are the one who knows your own children the best; their strengths and weaknesses, their interests and their dreams. You can be the one to guide them throughout the most important years of their lives and enjoy the close bond that you develop, working together each day.
I have only skimmed the surface on the subject of homeschooling. I do want to say that I have many friends who have very successful and well-adjusted children who have been educated by private and also public schools. I am not going to hold one method of education above another. Homeschooling is not for everyone. It is a disciplined way of life. It is a serious undertaking that will affect the future of your children. It does have its advantages and disadvantages as do public and private education. There are so many resources out there today which were not there in 1990 when I started out. There are support groups, curriculum fairs, teaching co-ops, and websites all dedicated to homeschooling. You would not be alone. If you have ever wanted to homeschool and were afraid to try,
“Go for it. You can do it! ” Your effort will not be in vain.