Homeschooling

10/01/2010
When you're considering your child's education, you really should to consider all options. There's the usual choice of public school, which can be good for socializing your child but they aren't exactly number one when it comes to education, which can be greatly attributed to the fact that public school (especially high school) is a popularity contest, and a lot of kidsspend more time studying other people and their clothing than they do their curriculum.

Then there's private schools, which are good for socializing and they have a better reputation as far as education goes. But a lot of private schools are extremely religious and teach one particular view, which I don't think is healthy because the real world deals with people with lots of different views, and then there are people like me who are constantly rethinking religion and don't know what we believe. One good thing that private schools offer is their uniforms. They might not be very pretty most of the time, but that's kind of the point - if everyone is dressed the same, there are fewer distractions.

Which brings us to homeschooling, which is excellent for teaching your kids what you want them to learn but is lacking on the socializing side of the equation. However, there are homeschool groups all over the place now, and your kid can join a sports team or sometimes even a chess club or debate team and that helps with socializing and skill sets. A lot of people may be worried their kid won't be 'normal' or won't be able to communicate with people outside of their family. This is because the only homeschoolers that stand out in this way are the one that aren't properly socialized, and therefore cannot carry on a normal conversation without getting embarrassed. Now, some homeschoolers stand out because they are smart, and because they do know how to act, sometimes moreso than public or private schooled kids. This isn't always true, but you have to be proactive about getting your kids out there and playing or hanging out with people their own age. If you're switching from public or private to homeschool, your kids will probably appreciate the flexible hours and the fact that they can go to school in their pajamas.

One thing a lot of parents really object to is the sex education that is now mandatory in a lot of schools, and I tend to agree with them. It really is up the parents how much their child knows at what age about sex, because not all kids are ready to know everything at one set age, and who knows a child better than their parents?

As someone who was homeschooled all my life, I suppose you could say K-12, people have always given me funny looks when I was at the store during school hours, and I was often asked "why aren't you in school?". Well, there aren't a whole lot of answers, so I'd simply reply "I'm homeschooled.", which would almost always generate a response like "Oh. You're one of THOSE kids." and having quite normal social skills it kind of made me sad, and maybe a little upset with the world for being so narrow minded, because I felt like I would never be accepted socially since homeschoolers had such a stigma. But then I realized that people only knew when I actually told them, and several people are actually surprised that I never set foot in a public or private school. So it's all in how you handle it, and if you're looking into homesteading then homeschool may have to be what you do. It's a great way to spend time with your kids and you can control what they learn and what views they absorb.

Now, you need to understand that the switch from regular (public or private) school to homeschool will be bittersweet, because kids are used to seeing their friends everyday, for eight hours a day. Particularly rebellious teenagers may reject greatly, just remember to remind them of all the positives because they're going to be considering all the negatives.