My kids have never been to “regular” school. When we started homeschooling about 9 years ago, we had lots of reasons, from the academic to my crazy schedule. Mr. Math Tutor and I have always said that we are prepared to homeschool the kids all the way through high school, but we re-evaluate our decision every year. And some years, one or both of the kids have been pretty close to ending up at the local public school!
The reasons, though, that our kids are still homeschooled are rather different than the ones that got us started so long ago. We still like the academic side of homeschooling, but I’m no longer working as a family doctor. Nonetheless, we are probably more committed to home education than ever right now because it is the best thing for our kids, but for very different reasons for each child.
Rosie Girl has always been something of an “artiste” – from her creativity to her temperament. One of the reasons that home education is such an asset for her right now is that she has lots of time to pursue her artistic endeavors. She plays piano for a couple of hours on most days. Now that she has discovered writing short stories, she also spends lots of time on her computer or with a notebook writing.
Home education is a good fit for her because we try to keep “busy work” out of her schedule, freeing her to spend more time on what she loves. We’re also very fortunate that she can take a couple of classes at the local public school. In her case, they are Choir and Art, subjects that she can’t learn as effectively at home.
One of the best things about home schooling is the ability to tailor each child’s education to their needs. In Wild Man’s case, his issue is dyslexia. I’ve written about it here. Wild Man didn’t learn to read until he was 10 years old and then we required the intervention of a tutor as well as special curricula (and patience). However, we did find that he had excellent comprehension skills, largely because he had been read to since he was a toddler.
Right now, Wild Man is doing History and Science at a Middle School level, but most of his Language Arts subjects (except Reading) are still at a more basic point. For a homeschooler, this isn’t too big a crisis. I read History and Science out loud to Wild Man. He progresses in Spelling, Typing, Handwriting, and Writing at his own rate. I’ve found curricula that are at his educational position, but without being childish. I tailor his education at home to fit his abilities and don’t worry too much about his not being at “grade level”. He’s got plenty of time to develop the skills and learn what he needs before he graduates.
We still re-evaluate our educational situation every school year and will do whatever is best for our kids each year. However, it appears that homeschooling is still best for both kids, even if it is for different reasons. And, Mr. Math Tutor and I are still enjoying the benefits of having our kids at home with us during these formative years and hoping that we can continue to develop our relationships over the next very few years that the children are living at home.
P.S. I am a die-hard fan of home education as you can see from this and other posts. However, I mostly support parents’ involvement in their children’s education, in whatever form works for that family. And I reserve the right, as a parent, to change my mind about whatever is best for my kids!