I’m a big fan of homeschooling and I have a lot of respect for parents who choose to homeschool and unschool their children. I know the tremendous benefits and savings you can get from homeschooling. And because of that I have seriously considered homeschooling my daughter. It certainly made sense, considering that I work from home and a lot of the work at home moms I know practice it. I would have the support I needed, which would make things easier.
But in the end, my husband and I decided to send our daughter to school. I know it was really unexpected considering how much my husband and I are such big fans of personalized learning. But now that my daughter has been going to school for over 2 weeks now, I can safely say that it’s a good choice for us. We’re happy with the school we’ve chosen and we’re happy with how well our daughter has been taking the experience so far.
Doing the research about homeschooling made me realize that it wouldn’t be a good fit for us as a family for several reasons:
1. We’re not very patient. It’s a family trait. To homeschool our child to the quality we want requires almost infinite patience. We don’t have that. I have the patience to teach Sunday School because I’m only required to teach 2 hours a month but I don’t have the patience to teach a toddler 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s why I have a lot of respect for teachers in general. It takes a lot of patience to teach just one, you’ll need the patience of Job to teach an entire class.
2. We need a schedule that gives us flexibility. We’re both on a roll, career-wise. My husband and I are both at a crossroads at our careers. Our daughter is still our main priority and we’ll always be there for her, but we need a bit of flexibility that would allow us to meet clients and attend meetings.
3. There are so many things we can’t teach her. We want her to learn how to play an instrument, learn a new language, participate in sports. On option would be to look for these classes to supplement homeschooling. But her school already offers all these as part of her curriculum. So it makes more sense to have her go to one school than to homeschool her and enroll her in several classes to supplement her education.
4. We want her to build good social skills. By nature, my husband and I are not very social. We’re extroverts out of necessity but in reality, we’re introverts. We thing exposing her to new people in a safe environment would be a great way for her to learn social skills. I know I could still have her socialize with group activities even if she was homeschooled but we wouldn’t be that motivated to share her with others.
5. It’s a way of exposing her to risk and danger in a secure environment, without us hovering over her. If given the chance, my husband and I can easily turn into helicopter parents. But we know it’s important for her to experience failure, rejection, risk and danger sometimes. It’s when kids get tested that they become stronger. If I was homeschooling my daughter there was no way I that would make her feel bad. But she needs to know that things don’t always go her way. Not everyone is going to like her. She won’t always be the best in class. She’ll sometimes have to risk sharing her snacks to make friends. I can’t protect her from all that when she’s at school, forcing me to help her and teach her after school how to deal with this things, which hopefully would make her a better person.
6. It’s a great place for us to hopefully make new friends. It’s harder for adults to make new friends, especially work at home or stay at home parents. Meeting a familiar face every time I take my daughter to school opens the possibility for friendship. The fact that our kids go to the same school together already offers some conversation starters. Once we get over the initial awkwardness, it would be nice to make new friends who could relate to our situation.
That’s it. Neither homeschool or traditional schooling are perfect solutions. But for now, traditional schooling provides the best options for us overall. Homeschooling is still an option but for now everything is good and we’re very happy with our choice.