Monday, November 30, 2009

In response to disadvantages of homeschooling

I wonder why we always find the need to find divisions. This is a picture taken last year at a Ropes Course in San Antonio. A group of kids both homeschooled and public schooled. Can you tell which is which? I'm betting not (unless you know the kids). The kids themselves, don't care. They recognize there are pros and cons to all choices and that it is simply a matter of differing choices. I think we should learn from them.

Okay. I stumbled across this blog last week, while trying to teach myself how to create links.(don't involved hitting lots of buttons and not-so-nice words on my part) Anyway, I found an article listing perceived advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling. It was a blog created by a college student as she reflects on her various class projects. Overall she is not too harsh and she has some interesting insight. Feel free to see at this link. BEGINNINGS ON EDUCATION: Home Schooling (okay..fingers crossed..seeing if I learned or not).

Yay..I'm learning! I thought I would take a few moments here to respond.

First off, I would like to say, that I agree with the author of this blog. There are disadvantages to homeschooling. Like any educational choice a family makes, it is a give and take of sorts. I'm just not sure this would be my own particular list.

1.Time Restraints-parents lives are turned completely upside down when they choose to homeschool their children?

Strongly disagree. When our children were in school, our lives were constrained by a school schedule. Once they returned home, each individual family member discovered (parents included)that we could take control of our own time.

2.Financial Restraints- for married couples, many times one parent will take on the full time financial responsiblity while the other stays home to homeschool. This can be a big hit to financial situations.

I would have to say there is some truth in this. Although, many homeschooling parents do both work and there are quite a few single-parent homeschooling families as well. What we see are parents restructuring their lifestyle (including career choices) and putting things on hold to spend time with their families. There are, however, many non-homeschooling families who do this as well.

3. Being with your children "24/7". Making the decision to homeschool your children means they are around all day long. There is no time off.

It's true when children are younger especially, that you are with them a lot as homeschooling parents. Is this a disadvantage? Most homeschoolers would say, no..they LIKE being with their children. We personally found, that when our children were at home full-time, they were less needy in general. For example..when my children were in school and I answered a telephone, they were constantly demanding my attention. Once they were with me all the time and the phone rang, they vanished. I was free to have an uninterrupted phone conversation. They did not feel the need to compete for my time and attention.
I have also found that when homeschooled teens are older, they tend to be around less than many of their schooled peers. Reality is these teens are flexible to work hours their schooled peers are not. Many start college courses in their teens. These teens spend hours a day on specific interests (dance, music, soccer, airplanes...). Homeschooled teens hang out with their friends late on school nights because they can sleep late in the mornings. I have found that once my children can drive, I see them less and less all the time.
Brian moved out of the house and into a dorm at the ripe old age of 16.
Cody often says things like "I'm staying at Grandma's after my game, working at the tire shop on Friday and then going to Galen's for the weekend. I'll see you Sunday." And then returns for dinner with la familia on Sunday.
Austen? He's still letting me drive him places.

Limited activities-If a child does not attend school it has limitations.Your child will not be able to join a school sports team or club. Also school related activities such as dances and events will not be in the cards for them. This can cause friendship restraints.

This is just crazy talk. It is true that they can't usually play school in a school. However there are other non-school teams around. Cody has played soccer with a homeschool team for two years..after 9 years in local leagues, where they compete against (gasp) real brick and mortar schools. Like in the same league and everything. Kids are not limited to school sports teams.
As for dances, etc. Once again..a big misnomer. Co-ops often offer these opportunities, and many homeschooled teens go to dances with their schooled friends.

Soccer tournament last year..can you tell which is the public schooled team and which is the homeschooled?

Cody with the Boys and Girls Club team (private school, public school and homeschooled kids working together) receiving the Renatra Fusca (big deal) to move on to World Finals in Ohio. Two years in a row for Cody. (Maryland with a homeschool team the year before)

Brian and Angee get ready for prom. Once was public schooled, one was homeschooled. In the end? They are going to the same prom!

Now academic competition? Interestingly, that is never mentioned in the blog. That's another story. While many homeschoolers compete in Odyssey of the Mind, DI, robotics, Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, History, debate, theater...etc. At this time homeschoolers are still not allowed to compete in Academic Decathalon. This, I feel, is a true disadvantage as I know several homeschooled teens that would enjoy this particular venue..but that is a whole 'nother blog.


Sardine Mama said...

I just blogged about this and you!

grillledcheesechic said...

You said nice things and everything...encouraging anyone who has wandered here to read your blog. Well done..I was too lazy to drag out pics!

grillledcheesechic said... motivated me to find some pics.