The decision to homeschool is an easy – and a hard – one to make. For us there weren’t many factors to consider. We don’t like the school system. And we can’t find an alternate school capable of providing what we think is a better option. However, everywhere we turn someone questions our choice. The funny thing is that not only do people question our choice, but they seem to take it as a personal affront.
The biggest argument against homeschooling is that children won’t be socialized properly. I can only shake my head and laugh at that. Though I can understand where the argument comes from. People believe that homeschooling is school at home. In the sense that mom or dad or both parents sit their child(ren) down at the table and teach them much the same as teachers in schools teach. I’m sure some people homeschool this way, but many don’t. Home-schoolers meet up with each other regularly and their children grow up with mostly the same group of children around them. The biggest difference is that the home schooled children have a wider variety of ages and abilities surrounding them. Because we aren’t tied to particular lessons or methods of learning we also have the opportunity to spend time socializing with random people in the neighbourhood. We can spend a larger period of time at the library, grocery store, museum, or any other place that catches our interest.
I’m happy to say we socialize so much we’ve worn ourselves out and needed to take a bit of a break from all our play-dates. The girls are learning which people they prefer playing with as well as how to play with them. Parents are always close at hand to help our children navigate the tricky social interactions.
The second biggest concern with homeschooling is how children learn X, Y, Z. It doesn’t matter whether the topic is reading, calculus, biology, or some other subject. Other people are always concerned that our children won’t learn.
I’m not concerned. After all, I never took calculus. It wasn’t necessary. I also don’t think it would really add anything to my current life so I don’t pursue it now either. I did learn world history, American history, and a pile of other stuff that I don’t recall. But that’s the point. I don’t recall it at all. All I know about the world is based on actively finding the information now. Being forced to bring newspaper articles to school (didn’t it ever occur to them that not everyone buys the paper?) never encouraged me to delve into current events.
Certainly there will be things our children don’t learn. They might never be interested in the Renaissance, American or Canadian history. They might never learn about sin or cosine waves. They may not learn how to write a chemical formula. Sending them to school won’t guarantee they learn that either. Teaching the information isn’t enough to make a student want to learn. Unless the desire is there, the information won’t stick.
If our children want to follow a path that requires they understand the finer details of the evolution of passerines, then they will find the information they need. We’ll help when necessary.