Guest Blogger: Meagan, Homeschool Mom
There are certain questions that you come to expect as a homeschooling parent. “What about testing?”, “How do you handle them all day?”, and the constant stream of “What about socialization?” don’t phase me at all anymore. I knew these questions would come up when the thought of homeschooling first entered my brain; I even prepared answers for these questions so I would be ready the first time they were asked. But the first time someone asked me why I chose to homeschool my children even though I had a teaching degree and “knew the benefits of a public school education”, well I was stumped. I had spent hours preparing myself for a barrage of questions that would be asked of me when people found out about our decision, but this was one question I had never considered.
Yes, I have a degree in elementary education and yes, I still chose to homeschool my child. To put it simply it’s because I feel I can give my daughter a better education at home, but that’s a pretty broad statement. Honestly there are a ton of reasons why I choose to educate my daughter myself and not send her to public school, and I could spend pages and pages writing down different answers. But what it comes down to the most is that I have seen the benefits of public education first hand, and I do not feel they would be that beneficial to my children.
For starters you have socialization. I’m sorry but even if my daughter went to public school I would not send her for socialization purposes. In my opinion school is for education, not socialization. I educate my daughter at home and she learns socialization in our everyday activities. She is not locked up at home all day. She goes on errands with me, we go on field trips with other homeschool families, she does sports, is involved in local theater, and she even plays at the park with the neighborhood kids-both homeschooled and public schooled. Homeschooling does not automatically mean I am putting my child in a bubble, but for us it does mean that we feel that school is for education. Socialization is not something we believe needs to be taught, it is something we experience in our everyday lives.
I also feel that classroom sizes are becoming out of control in today’s schools. Budgets are being cut which means fewer teachers in schools and more students per classroom. Before I started homeschooling, I taught a kindergarten classes with 25 students in it. That’s one teacher trying to split her time to give each student individual attention and set them up with a proper foundation to follow them for the rest of their academic careers. My daughter is a very bright and very energetic little girl. She needs one-on-one attention in order to keep focused. At home she thrives with the one-on-one support I can give, but I fear that at public school the lack of it could have left her falling behind.
Finally, I do not believe that education should be the cookie cutter, one size fits all institution that public school has become. For every five students you show me I will show you five different learning styles. Some are kinetic, some visual, some auditory. One student might lean more towards numbers, or writing, and yet another will have a hodgepodge of this and that; no two will learn exactly the same. So why then do we try to teach them all the same material, the same way? At home I can pick out curriculum and methods that go hand in hand with my daughters learning style, and in doing so I am able to help her learn the material faster and more efficiently. If a particular curriculum didn’t work very well for us last year we can switch it up this year and move on.
Now as I stated before, there are a lot more reasons why I choose to homeschool my daughter other than the ones stated above. These three are just a few pertaining to the public school side of the equation in particular. As a parent my goal is to give my children the best foundation possible to help them to achieve their dreams and goals later in life. In order to do that I must give them the best educational opportunities that I can, and I feel I can do that at home. Is homeschooling for everyone? Probably not, education is a personal choice and I do not put down other’s choices to send their kids to school outside of the home. But for my family and I this is what works. My daughter is thriving and that is what really matters in the end.
(2011). Dillon, Sam. Class Sizes Rise As Budgets Are Cut.