Monday, December 10, 2012

On why I'm quitting homeschooling

The past couple of years have been hard on our family; those of you who have known us longer than ten minutes know this. One constant for us has been our homeschooling, and for the most part, we've loved it.

We've loved:
the freedom
the flexibility
the choices
the one-size-doesn't-fit-all way of life

What we haven't loved:
the pressure
the cabin fever
the lack of opportunity to ever "miss" each other (haha!)
the academics

I don't feel like I necessarily need to shout to the rooftops the benefits of homeschooling; those stats are easy to find, and you can look up the tags labeled "homeschooling" here on my blog if you want my outlook. Nor do I need to give a lot of reasons for why we are done with it (for now), besides the fact that I'm tired and I need something to give (at the moment, I'm teaching 11 dance classes a week, and have writing deadlines). Suffice to say, we are all cheerful and happy and nervous and excited and anxious about our decision to put the girls in a Waldorf charter school. 

Batman Jr. won't start kindergarten until next year, at which time we'll decide what to do with him. The biggest decision that led me to homeschooling in the first place was the time spent at home with Mom: that foundation that gave them the courage and the guts and the growth to become who they were going to be. And who they are is pretty cool. They are independent young ladies, full of passion and with a special kind of education not everyone has (from country life to city life, from sheltered kids to taking in seven inner city big brothers). They are more than halfway to who they're going to be as adults. Homeschooling gave them that security, and I won't take that from Gianni if he needs it just as much. However, it's easier to save the world and take on the bad guys if you occasionally get out of your underoos and leave your own living room, so school might be a good idea for him... So, I dunno. We'll re-evaluate in September 2013. 

If you've never looked into Waldorf Education, start! It's very interesting! I looked into it years and years ago and still have the book I saved up my pennies for as a young wife and mommy. I have always tried to incorporate their philosophy into our homeschool. They're very nature focused, which will be nice for my goonies, who spend entirely too much time "plugged" in to various electronics. They are firm believers in "better late than early," when it comes to academics, which I completely agree with. Forcing children to read before they're ready is detrimental. In Scandinavia, they don't begin school until age 8, and guess what? Much higher test scores. 

All that being said, yes, I will still be writing and endorsing and applauding homeschooling! After all, I write about, endorse and applaud home births too, but I sure as heck ain't gonna have any anytime soon! My place with Home Educating Family Magazine is still solid, and I have an article in Homeschooling Today coming out this winter as well. There are plenty of stories and advice I can pull from from our 12 years of homeschooling. And really, education has always started at home, whether your kids are by your side 24/7 or not. 

The girls are mostly excited to own backpacks.

Yuuuup. As you can see, they haven't gotten out much...

Soon, I expect the guilt to start. The guilt that I've quit. That I'm not SuperMom, like all the other SuperMoms out there. That something was too hard for me. Ironically, the reason my own mother pulled me OUT of public school all those years ago (like, 15 - HA!) was due to my perfectionism tendencies. And now, lo and behold, I am putting my children IN public school to help curb my perfectionism tendencies! How ironic is that? 

It's like a black fly in my chardonnay. Yes, sir. 

Anyhow, that's our news for the winter. If they hate it and I hate it, I will soon be writing a post entitled On Why I'm Quitting Charter School.  So stay tuned, dear readers, and in the meantime, give me some lovin'.




5 comments:

  1. I have a friend who lives relatively close to you (In Roseburg. Or is it Roseburgh?)who is a trained Waldorf teacher. She's been living in Roseburg, basically since she finished her Waldorf teacher certification, so she hasn't actually been in a classroom since her student teaching days, BUT she could be a great resource if you have any questions about it! She also has a son who (I think) is very close in age to your son. She is contemplating the idea of starting a small Waldorf class in her home once he is school age, next year. You could send your kiddo to her! OK, I know it's not really THAT close to you. Maybe he could live with her during the week. LOL!

    ~ Amber

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  2. There are weeks I'd be tempted!

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  3. I have three simple words: I can sympathize!!! It's another journey, another perspective to add to your list of experiences! Life is the ultimate roller coaster ride!

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  4. Here's the thing...you have to do what is right for your children, your family. That can actually look different from year to year. :) Blessings to you!

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  5. I hope it's a fun adventure for all of you!

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