Monday, November 21, 2005

Homeschooling: Schedule Freedom

Kate Tsubata writes in The Washington Times about one of the great benefits of homeschooling: the entire family is freed from being slaves to a schedule set by others.

She says: "Families that switch from institutional schooling to home-schooling always remark on how much more peaceful their lives have become."

We definitely found this to be true. When people ask how I have time to homeschool, I always mention that I'm no longer dropping off and picking up at three different schools and I'm not spending my evenings supervising homework or wading through school forms and papers. And I don't need to have teacher conferences to find out how my children are doing :).

Homeschooling is most definitely an investment of time, but it's not quite as much extra time as one might think, compared to the time spent by an involved parent whose children attend school.

At the same time, I love the freedom to do what we want when we want. If I want to take them on a field trip, we go! If I have to do a "rush" job for my business in the morning, I have the flexibility to have them work independently and then I work with them one-on-one in the evening instead of the morning. And if a child is caught up in a good book at bedtime, I've been known to let them stay up later reading and sleep in a little the next morning. I love that as parents we are now setting the schedule for our family, rather than meeting a schedule set by the school district.

At the same time I think it's worth noting that though freed from the school clock and daily homework grind, this doesn't mean homeschooled children are not learning valuable "life lessons" such as the importance of fulfilling responsibilities. They are simply learning such skills in different contexts, again determined by their parents and not the school system...which is the way most people in our country grew up, until the last hundred years or so and the advent of public education.

(Hat tip: HomeSchoolBuzz.)


Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

Laura, Laura, Laura:

You really caught me in a reflective/depressed mood as I read this post. It is so sad that most of America gets a sub-par education because of our public school system. I am so thankful that we home school and I can't imagine what the outcome would be if my children were in an institution (public or private).

The waste of time and the dumbing down that occurs in a school setting is monstrous! People have no idea how bad it is (and I work in a "good" district with high socio-economic households). I feel so bad for the intelligent, well-behaved kids I have in my classes who have to sit there while we pander to the kids who have no intention of trying or caring--yet we have to help them anyway.

I truely believe that after appropriate warning and intervention we remove the kids who are gunking up the works in our classrooms. I don't know what to do with them, but they have got to go, because they are ruining things for everyone else. There is something wrong in a system when we spend more time with the kids who have no intention of achieving to the detriment of the ones who are primed to excel.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

"There is something wrong in a system when we spend more time with the kids who have no intention of achieving to the detriment of the ones who are primed to excel."

Yep. It's a tough thing, because as you say, where will the kids who don't want to be there go? But the school can't do its job effectively when such kids are mucking up the works and standing in the way of the kids who want to learn.

Sounds like you've had a rough go of it lately. I hope you don't burn out, because I know that the kids who aren't fortunate enough to be homeschooling really need caring teachers like you who are trying their hardest to do a good job and educate them. A special teacher can be a great blessing in a child's life.

Hang in there! Laura

5:36 PM  

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