This is the FIRST entry in my journal as a new home school mom. As I go through the process for the first time this year, I’ll document the thoughts and actions I took to organize it. I’ll be honest about our frustrations as well as our successes. (By “our” I mean myself and my child, because this is more about the kid than the parent in a lot of ways)
BEFORE fully committing to home school, I met with a group of home school parents and leaders of home school co-ops and after getting info on state regs and what their co-ops offered, I went through the following thought process BEFORE realizing that Home school was the right choice for my child.
THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF YOUR DECISION
Like many people my biggest wish is for my child to be safe. My second wish is for her to be happy. My 3rd wish is for her to have a successful life and to feel confident as she progresses into adulthood.
WHAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS AS A PARENT
For some of us, public school and even private schools are not meeting those 3 wishes for our kids. That is what led me to choose to home school my child. When my daughter finished her primary education from K-4, she was expected to move into a middle school. I visited some of the middle schools, and found that the environments were too noisy and confusing.
My daughter is more calm than the average child, and very much in her own head space. She loves to read and discuss her ideas about what she has learned. Socializing and cutting up have never excited her, so the social side of middle school was not a benefit for her; in fact, it was going to be a major distraction and nuisance.
As a result, in order for her to be happy, successful and confident as she develops I realized that placement in a middle school, whether public or private, would not be in her best interest. It could actually deter her progress. Home school was the best solution.
HOW DOES YOUR CHILD LEARN BEST
Some kids learn best in a class with their peers, while others learn best alone or in small groups. It’s important first of all to know which of these is best for your kid or kids.
As I mentioned above, my daughter does not do well in noisy environments and she enjoys discussing her ideas. Being in home school allows her that opportunity to dive into topics and fully comprehend them.
Some children learn better in groups and having a teacher present at all times keeps them focused. If your child performs better in a classroom setting, and desires the social element of a school, then you should allow them to stay in school, unless they are not safe there. Home school is a great option only when the child’s learning style thrives better that way.
Another great benefit is she can learn at her pace, and at any time of the day that she is best able to.
Some times a child learns quickly, and other times a lesson may prove more challenging and require longer to master it. In a school, children are expected to keep up with the group’s progress, and there is seldom opportunity to spend more or less time on a lesson. Home school allows my child the chance to move faster or slower on any topic or skill so that she always feels confident and in control of her education and development.
As I mentioned, the time of day or schedule is also more flexible since the child can learn any time of the day. If she has a bad night’s sleep, the next day she can catch up by sleeping a little later and then begin her lessons with a rested mind and body.
If breakfast or lunch upsets her stomach, or if she gets injured or any other deterrence during the day, she can simply complete the lesson in the evening. The requirements of most school districts is 180 days of school, so as long as your child/ children complete the lessons in that day, it counts as their full day of school.
SIMPLY CHOOSE FOR YOUR CHILD’S BEST INTEREST NOT YOUR OWN
Simply put, the choice to home school or send them to a school out of the home is about the kid. Some kids will not succeed in a home setting or a small group such as a home school co-op. Some kids truly learn best in a competitive and large group setting, with the social structures of a large school.
But there are kids, many kids I’ve found, that can learn exceedingly well at home or in a co-op of home school children. Being able to focus is easier in a quiet environment, flexibility of pace and timing is important for their success as well. Kids who are “in their heads” and love to explore topics and skills beyond what they’d get in the class also thrive in home school environments.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR KID?
As long as you choose what works for your kid, you’ve done right.
IN MY NEXT ENTRY: We’ll discuss how I chose my home school philosophy and where I”m at presently in developing lessons and a curriculum.