Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home-schooling


My decision to do this was based mostly on the fact that we didn't live in a good school district when Michael was old enough to start school. I tried to go up to the elementary to go talk to the principal, but I couldn't even get out of the car. The neighborhood wasn't good. It was a poor area and I felt that most of the families that went to that school weren't academically oriented. It just didn't feel right. It was hard, but I had made the decision and was going to follow through. He got the last spot in the Kindergarten program at a well-respected home-schooling program. I had a friend who was putting her son in there too, so I had my support system in place. I continued with Alyssa and Benjamin until we moved to Bedford.

One of the first things I did when I knew we were moving into the HEBISD was to look up the elementary school for our neighborhood. By this time, the kids were getting older and Jonathan had come along. I was home-schooling three kids and trying to keep a baby entertained. We moved in the summer and I had already committed to one more year of home-schooling, but by December of that year, I was visiting with the principal of Bedford Heights Elementary. I took the kids up there and we walked around and looked to see what they had to offer. I made it well known that this was just an option and that I was a very hands-on mom. Michael started in 5th grade, Alyssa was in 3rd, and Benjamin was in 2nd. I can honestly say, this was a wonderful turning point for me and the kids in their schooling. Jonathan has gone to that same elementary school since kindergarten. Two more years and we will be done with elementary school. Wow, I can't believe it.

It's funny, the other day I was talking with a friend at church, who is also a teacher, and the home-schooling subject came up. I told them that I had home-schooled the kids and she seemed genuinely shocked. Her reason was because of the "typical" home-school stereotype - the shy child who is social retarded and unable to express themselves. My children are FAR from that child. They are smart and out going and talented. Now, I will say that I know more smart, outgoing, talented children who were home-schooled than the stereotype home-school child. I had friends who home-schooled their kids because they wanted them to have a good influence growing up or they couldn't stand the thought of letting go of them, giving up that control. I probably had some of that in the beginning, but thankfully my eyes were open and we were fortunate enough to move to a school district where I felt comfortable and I knew the kids would get a good education. I just didn't have it in me to go all the way through with it, but I'm glad I did what I did while I could.

Growing up, we all went to public school. My dad had a family of patients that were home-schooled kids. They lived in a part of Hurst that is now all built up, but at the time, it was a large, open field with this small little house on it. We took piano lessons from the mom and the girls would play with us. Even though they knew us from church, they were still incredibly shy in public. I remember working for my dad one summer, the mom came in for some dental work and she brought the youngest daughter who was about 13 at the time. There was a door in between the waiting room and the patient rooms. We had to put the mom in the room directly across from the door so that her daughter could stand at the window and see her. They wouldn't allow her to come back because she would probably freak out. It was really sad. I am glad to say that those girls are all grown up now and very normal. I think one or two, maybe all three, are married and have a kid or two. Let's hope they don't home-school.

I was googling for some home-school images and came across these two cartoons. I couldn't pass them up.
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