Friday, May 4, 2012

Thoughts on Homeschool

As my son nears his fourth birthday I find myself thinking more and more about education, and homeschool.

I was homeschooled for my entire school career- and then I attended college and got a B.A. with flying colors. To me homeschool is natural, normal and just the best way of doing it. I can see I learned good study skills and therefore did well in college.

But being homeschooled makes a person different. I have always been different, have always felt like I didn't quite fit in and though at times that may have made me feel awkward- now I am ok with that. Being different makes a person special and unique. But being different isn't easy- especially growing up.

Being homeschooled was not the only thing that made us different. We were pastor's kids-living in the "fish-bowl'' as some say. My Mom wanted me to wear skirts growing up- I didn't mind. My husband tells me now that there are so few girls who wear skirts that when one does she stands out as feminine and attractive. (Smile).  But it did make me different. There were other things- but who really cares now. . .

Anyhow, back to homeschool. Homeschooling here is NOT normal. Usually only sick children are kept home. It is however, becoming more popular and even could be said to be a growing fad. But it is still widely frowned upon. I remember the expression of horror, disbelief and wonder when one of my colleagues/teachers at my language school (where I taught English) found out I had been entirely homeschooled. She was LITERALLY speechless. As if my parents were complete genius or utterly stupid.

I feel confused as to the education of my son. I know that for the preschool years I can teach him at home and no one will think too much of it. However, he also needs to learn the alphabet in Latvian and how to read. These are things I cannot teach him because I want him to learn them without flaw or accent. I don't know if he should learn both alphabets at the same time or first English, then Latvian. I don't know if two languages at once will confuse him and make learning to read too hard. I feel confused.

I also don't know if we should homeschool him during his school years- my husband is against this I think. I personally feel he ought be homschooled through the early years so as to get back-bone and learn how to stand his ground in his character and beliefs. He is like a sponge now, soaking up everything- good and bad. But people think he would have a hard time adjusting- would he? I just don't know.

In my deepest heart I believe in homeschool and that a child learns best with their parents who know them and their learning styles best. I know homeschool isn't for everyone. But I doubt my ability to and mostly I doubt the skepticism I will encounter. If I had a teacher's degree it would be different- I wish I had majored in something more practical in college. I could go back to school now and get a teacher's degree- but that would be hard with my little ones. I hear so many criticisms of the school system here and I really DON'T want to send my children there. What can be done about? Start my own Christian school? Homeschool? Private school? So many questions. . .

For this fall our materials are ordered and I will begin teaching D his letters and numbers in a more serious manner. I have chosen "Heart of Dakota" after much consideration and the recommendations of my friend Jessica. I am going to use the "Little Hands to Heaven" this fall.  I look forward to seeing this material first hand and trying it out with D. I hope our first year of homeschool goes well and pray that God gives us wisdom to sort through all these questions for the years to come.

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