I know many people think that homeschooling is a radical approach. Honestly, I didn’t, but I never considered it. My daughter always craved learning and so I ‘homeschooled’ her until she went to Kindergarten. There is a huge difference between homeschooling and hothousing. Hothousing is forcing a child to learn. Homeschooling is helping a child learn. I just fulfilled her love of learning until she went to school. And things changed when she felt her needs were not met in school and begged me to homeschool her. It wasn’t an instant decision. She begged for 9 months and I did thorough research before committing.
Since I have begun homeschooling I think it’s funny how many people have a stereo type view of exactly what that is. One of the stereo types is that homeschool children are not socialized. I can’t speak for everyone, but when it comes to my child I have to actually laugh out loud at that stereotype.
Now that my child is homeschooled she is not grouped with a partner that she is teaching information she already knows. (If you have a gifted child, track it by asking who they are partnered with, it will surprise you.) The purpose of ‘smart kids’ are to teach the others and help the teacher and the district out. Now my daughter is grouped with children that love learning.
Madison now has the benefit of learning for a purpose that makes sense to her and to socialize without all of the ‘rules.’ And with this approach she is learning why things are not ok for the right reasons and not because it is a ‘rule.’
She has much more socialization now then she did when she was in school. She has much more of an opportunity to collaborate with more than just an assigned partner, but with a group of students in classes like drama, lego robotics and especially in homeschool PE class (the way the Bowmen Sports coaches encourage them to work together and strategize is amazing) and when she meets with our local homeschool group for play dates at the park.
And here’s the best part…. by interacting with other homeschoolers within a specific homeschooling group, she is now interacting with children that have the same morals and values our family does. And I understand she will have to learn how to interact with others when she goes out into the real world on her own, but I also understand that the biggest impressions are made during childhood. In public school I do not have any control over who is in her class or the morals or values of the children she interacts with. And this is SO important to me. I have noticed a major difference in the way Madison interacts with others and behaves in a positive way.
And on a side note, I am also thrilled she gets to do things she never would have been able to do otherwise. Such as play capture the flag. Or play tag at the park and actually be able to tag someone. In school they cannot touch each other. Madison is getting more of the childhood I grew up with and I am grateful for it. She is able to experience so many more opportunities that involve other children and to collaborate in a safe environment that is realistic and allows her to be a true kid. I couldn’t ask for more and I have seen the positive impact it has had on her.
Here she is playing capture the flag in her homeschool PE class. It includes all ages and it is so awesome for her to relate to other kids that are younger and older.
I know I’m probably not explaining it very well, but the difference I have noticed in Madison has been amazing. Not only is she actually learning and enjoying it, she has grown in so many ways and I truly believe it is from the interaction she has been exposed to and I am truly grateful. She is not ‘locked up’ in the house as many perceive. She has the same normal interactions, the same draw and bond to other kids and it is in such a way that I am grateful for the opportunity we have been given to expose her to other kids that are like her and different from her. And that she has learned the correct way to socialize with respect of others as human beings and not because she has been threatened with consequences, but because she truly cares about others and doing the right thing. It has made a major difference in her relation to everyone she interacts with.
So again, I laugh at the homeschooling and socialization issues that I see arise, because for my child, it has helped her interact socially with many different types of kids in such a positive way in so many different settings. She relates to others well because she cares about them, not because she fears the consequences. She is no longer in a pressure cooker setting where she is competing. She is in an environment where everyone has the same purpose…to love learning and to enjoy life. And that makes a huge difference for her.