Today I join Claire in a mammoth homeschool project. She purchased an excellent series of lectures for high school science, and now she's taking notes on all the DVD's and forming questions. I may help some with this process. However, today, I will be Claire's data entry person. She's using my library card, her husband's, and her children's to consolidate Knox County Public Library's children's science collection. I will be finding and typing in several hundred book titles and having them sent to our branch. Next week, Claire and I will spend hours with those books, choosing which ones will best supplement concepts in the videos.
Why in the world should we go to all this trouble? Wouldn't sending our children to middle or high school do the trick? It might, but here are some reasons I'll homeschool next year.
1. My oldest son went to an excellent elementary school for kindergarten and first grade. His teachers, who were incredibly gifted and created love of learning in their classrooms, asked me to "practice" reading and math with Peace at home. Though he went to a great school for hours a day, honestly, I ended up being the one to teach him essential phonics and math facts for a few hours after school. After two years, I picked up on the trend, and so did he. Peace asked in the spring of his first grade year, "Mom I'm inside all day, and then I have to come home and study. When do I get to be outside? It's so pretty out there. Can't we homeschool?"
I realized quickly that when it came to the big and important skills, I would have to tutor my average son all through school. Teachers simply don't have time to keep up with all educational components of every single child. So why not let the nature boy study outside at home?
2. Secondly, the public school system in my county generally graduates student like mine (not incredibly academically self-motivated boys) to junior college if they go to college at all. I can motivate and tailor for college prep much more effectively as teacher than as tutor.
3. Private school is too expensive, especially for four children and one family income. I already struggle with relational parenting under normal everyday stress, so what would adding the responsibility of a job do to my family?
4. There are boxed curriculums out there, but so far, I've found them all boring. Why not make learning interesting? We'll do boring only if we can't figure out something better.
5. High school DVD courses are very expensive. We're talking between $500-$1,000 per course per year.
6. Who loves and cares about the success of my children more than Buck and I?
So, Claire and I will pour ourselves into weeks of science work to create something worthy and simple to implement for the coming school year. Wish us luck.
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