Sunday, March 25, 2012

One Year Ago Today

So I was trying to find a phone number in my Gmail, and came across this "conversation" I had with my sister about whether or not to homeschooling. It's funny to see my how my ideas then are matching up to the reality of now.

These are really good questions to think about if you are considering homeschooling. If you don't have a sister to put you through the ringer, you can borrow mine.   ;)

Here's the conversation (her questions/concerns are in blue):
  • "us vs. them" mentality can form
agreed. I think I would like to treat this as if we were going to private school. I am not going to tell everyone that asks that I made this choice because schools suck so bad and good parents would never do that to their kids. I am not exactly sure what I WILL say yet....
  • avoiding whack-job, fear-mongering seems like that used to be the bulk of homeschooling parents, but maybe that's changed.
yeah, a good chunk of the homeschool blogs are christian moms, but there is a trend towards secular homeschooling. a lot of the people on the Meetup group I just joined stress in the profile that they want to participate in "secular" meetups and outings. I bet they are tired of being preached at. I will probably fall in with them. I DO want to start addressing the spiritual void that is in my family, but I am not trying to jump right into the deep end and be crazy.
  • finding social activities may become challenging and you're driving for 3-4 different kids.
True... but I think I would face that either way. If they are in school and one has chess club on wed/Fri and another has soccer on Tues/Thurs, and yet another has a band recital Wed. night.... I think this is just a logistics issue I am going to face no matter what and I will just have to be proactive and try and sign them up for groups that span ages. Like karate at the rec center has classes based on level and they are on the same day just at different times. Also, the plus to homeschooling is that we can have things going on in the evenings without turning into a disconnected madhouse. We will have all day to get stuff done and be together and can plan stuff in the evenings without rushing from here to there.
  • your house tends to be a little distracting in the video game department, changing that might make you feel like a nazi...especially because it would possibly involve trying to change your husband.
Jeff continues to surprise me... he is now okay with giving up cable and he has decided to sell all his Joes so he can focus on toys the boys are interested in. The video games don't get turned on until after dinner. I am more lax when we have company and on weekends, but that is pretty standard on weekdays.
  • that said, it might become tempting to let the computer be their teacher (nathan particularly) since it engages them so well, but that isn't balanced.
The biggest problem is definitely the computer. They only play educational games during the day and they all learn alot from them, but that can't be what they do alllll day of course. I will have to work on that, but I think as I work on planning our schedule and educational goals, that stuff will into line. I have also noticed that if I get into something, they jump on board. This will be important in the science/art department. I plan on figuring out ways to include them in my projects like woodworking, gardening, and cooking. Also the science kits like I mentioned before. 
  • you will lose your mind if you don't figure out a way to get yourself out of the house and have your own social MAJOR component of why parents send kids to school, and i don't think that's wrong. please don't underestimate this one...i am only just beginning to see how my happiness profoundly effects my husband. if i'm not happy, our marriage isn't happy.
This is true. I have a few things up my sleeve. School being one of them. Some small business ideas I have are another. I think the biggest key is that I love to work. I am at a crossroads... I thoroughly researched becoming a lawyer and am disillusioned. The market is so supersaturated and it is getting worse even as schools are becoming more expensive. Plus so many of them get jaded so fast because the system is so corrupt. All my life I have wanted to start a business. I need to stop being so afraid of failure and do something. That is a another discussion altogether though!
  • if you give up your GI money for school because homeschooling consumes all of your time, i will personally kill you. how does this idea effect your current plan?
Doesn't change much either way. Jeff's application was denied and he doesn't want to go anyway, so I am thinking I should just do what he was going to do... get my MBA. Goes along with wanting to run my own business in any case and gets me some start-up capital.
  • public school sports programs...particularly if one of your boys has the potential to play at a college level. they need the high school prep for that. i've heard that some school districts allow homeschool kids to participate...i suppose you can find out what your school district's policy is on that.
I have no problem sending them to high school if they are that interested in sports. I think the critical years for molding and shaping them will be the grade school/jr high years anyway. Or at least the critical years for keeping them from the molding and shaping that happens in school!
One of the things I am really excited about is the freedom to pursue an interest from beginning to end, exhaustively, until we are satisfied or lose interest. Not for an hour a day, stopping when the bell rings no matter where we are at. For example, I think I want to include learning Chinese as our foreign language. Those people are gonna own us in the next few decades, so how great would that be to unleash my boys upon the world speaking that language. Plus, I can learn it right along with them. Or at least try. So I don't have to just surrender myself to this role of teacher... I can instead also be a learner and just take the boys with me on my journey. They want to do anything I am doing anyway, so how cool is that if we are really learning together.
Has it really been only a year since I even started considering this?!

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