Learning the

November 16, 2008
By
What's the point in home schooling? I don't have the time to educate my kid. And if they aren't going to a classroom regularly, they'll just sit at home and they'll never socialize. Besides, home schoolers never learn anything.

I have heard many people say these things. They don't see why anyone would choose to home school their children. The fact is, home schooling is a great way to learn and grow. When kids are stuck in classrooms, week in and week out, they are told what to learn and when to learn it. But people don't all think or learn the same way. They grow at different times, in different ways. Home schooling gives you the chance to learn when you're ready to. I know several people who didn't start reading till they were 10 or older. Their parents tried to get them to read for years but they always had lots of trouble or just weren't interested. So they worked on other skills like math or doing science projects and left reading alone. They advanced beyond what was expected of them in these areas and eventually they got motivated or something clicked, and their reading took off. Soon they were enjoying the same chapter books as other kids their age. Someone asked me once, "But we try to teach our kids as fast as we can and wouldn't they fall behind if they wanted to go to a university?" This comes from the same narrow mind set that our society has planted in everyone's heads: that we have to teach our children as fast as possible and that they must know specific things by certain deadlines. In home school, we don't force ideas, dates and numbers into children's minds when they're not ready. That's like giving a kid something to chew before they've grown teeth. And if you think about it this way, there's no "falling behind".

Home schooling can also be healthier. In mainstream schools, although PE is required, kids don't even have the option of healthy exercise everyday. Instead they're cooped up in classrooms for hours. You may ask, well what about lunch and recess? Can't they run around then? Well if they weren't eating for most of that time maybe they could. But schools also make lots of rules for those times that eliminate most physical activities. I went to a traditional classroom for 5th grade. Our lunch break was spent inside watching movies, then we were sent outside to "play". At this school we had a small field and play structure and guess what we were told? No running. That play structure didn't even have swings. So what was there to do? Sit in the grass and make daisy chains. Not exactly exercise.

Let's go back to the objections I stated earlier. "I don't have time to educate my kid." But not all of home schooling takes place at home. Their are lots of classes, tutors and teachers that are willing and able to help give kids the education they want and require. I have home schooled most of my life, and my parents, though they definitely contributed greatly, weren't the only ones teaching me. I've taken classes all over San Lorenzo Valley, I had a tutor for awhile and I even learned stuff from friends. Now I'm technically in my second year of high school and taking classes at Cabrillo. I also have a lot of home school friends who are going to Cabrillo too.

"Home schoolers never learn anything." This is an assumption that is absolutely wrong. As I stated earlier, it may look like that kid will never read, but given the time and space, they catch up. One of the main points to home schooling, is that you're always learning. Home schoolers learn day and night, Winter, Fall, Spring, and Summer. We just go about it in different ways and have different goals. In my home school I've taken classes like doll clothes making and helping at a small farm. At first glance these may look like pointless classes to some people, but if you look more closely you realize we have to use math to adapt the pattern to make a shirt just right. Or at the farm, kids learn about how plants grow and bees make honey. We also have several science classes where kids work on their english skills because part of the class is writing a report. Because of this creative, loose way of learning, home schoolers are generally more willing and eager to learn. There are several colleges that are looking for home school students because they have more independent study habits, higher critical thinking skills and higher intellectual curiosity too.

"If they don't go to school everyday, they'll just sit around the house and never socialize." If you don't offer them classes and activities, this is possible. Of course some people are less social than others and, given the chance, would rather sit at home and read a book or work on a project, than go to a party. My sister is like that. I'm the opposite. I spend as much time as I can with my friends and out of the house. She prefers to knit or read. But that doesn't mean she never socializes. That's just how each of us is. Some people will take their social life into their own hands, others may need a little help getting started. It's true that raising your child might take a little work. You can't just drop them at school all day and then ignore them while they pretend to do their homework. But isn't it worth the effort if they get a healthier and fuller education?





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