Is homeschooling right for your family?
I read an article on babble from a mother who decided, along with her husband, to not send her child to kindergarten this fall. Instead the couple are planning on home-schooling their son, along with a group of other New York City-based parents with the same idea. Upon initial read of the article, I didn't really get much of a takeaway. In fact, it seemed like homeschooling better suited the lifestyles of the parents than serving as a decision based on the child's needs. That said, it seems like parents know their children better than anyone else, and therefore should know what method of learning is best suited for their kids. The author had her reasons for doing what she did--or, rather, not doing what she would have--and she should be given cred for making such a decision.
Some of the other parents in the homeschooling group felt that the schools were too focused on testing and not really teaching kids what they needed to know, etc. Standardized testing really has taken hold of our community, and both parents and teachers have felt the uncomfortable crunch. Parents are starting to feel their children aren't being taught how to learn anymore, just what to learn. I can see a real argument for homeschooling.
But, is that the right reason to pull a kid out of school? Is any reason good enough? Or, to the contrary, do the schools need to start proving to us they can offer more than what we as parents can do for our children? If schools aren't listening to the needs of parents and children then what is the point? I personally don't know enough about proper education and the education system to be able to make a decision as hard as keeping my child out of school. Others seem to have it all worked out, down to ordering specific, home-based curriculum to teach their kids themselves. Some prefer to let the child learn more freestyle, and eschew more traditional methods. I'll tell you right now the last thing my kid needs is for me to be his main teacher! It's terrifying to me to even begin to think about everything I think he ought to know, and then how I would get all that knowledge to him. He'd be better off learning from our weiner dog!
So who's right? Do parents know enough to be able to make decisions like homeschooling for their kids? Does the education system really serve our needs and is it really preparing our children for the future? I think the answer probably lies somewhere outside both those things, but only time will tell.
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