My mind has been swimming recently with ideas about my young ones’ education. Clara will be starting kindergarten next year and Sophea will be going into 2nd grade. There are so many options open but the only thing I’ve ever given serious consideration to is public school. We are very lucky to live in an area that offers an excellent education for grade school aged children with an amazing staff, wonderful caring teachers, and real learning and social opportunities.
But they are so so young to be putting in 8 hour days five days a week. The tummy aches and the stress before school and inadequate time to just be children. I saw a post on facebook with ideas on how to help alleviate school stress from young grade school children and all I could really think was “Why SHOULD they have the stress of basically having a full time job at age 5, 6, 7????” I also worry that with the sizes of the classes they can not be tailored to meet the needs of my specific children like I could do if they were home. I love the idea of child led learning, learning through experience, and adding in a good dose of math and other general studies to keep them up with grade level or even excel beyond with more one on one time.
My hesitancy comes from our location. We are in a small community in an area where it is extremely cold for a fairly good chunk of the year and I worry that I may not be able to find enough to keep them really focused on learning what they are able to learn and enough social activity. I know that it is important for them to be able to form relationships with their peers.
It all kind of came to a head this morning when Sophea asked me outright we could home school. I didn’t even really know that she was aware that that was an option. And then she brought up Aliyah and how she home schooled for her Senior year.
Which also brought up my main concern. I feel like starting in middle school and high school it changes. Drug and alcohol use start young, social pressures are enormous, not to mention that the testing and sheer volumes of work brought home and limited help available when an assignment isn’t understood is just far to much pressure. I don’t think that it is an optimal way for anyone to actually learn and maintain an understanding of what they have learned. It almost feels like they are pushing it in as fast as they can so they can move on to the next thing without ever having really explored the learning with any depth of understanding. I also don’t think it is the best way to help them find and pursue what they may be most passionate about so that they can do something in their life they find fulfilling.
I know I need to make a decision and that it is imperative that I make it within the next 2 years. I’ve decided that when school gets out for summer break this year I am going to start practicing what I feel like I could do for home school and look into any possible cooperatives there might be in our community. I know I can’t be only one wanting something different for my children. I also really want to find a way to finance a bit of travel for learning so that they can experience some of the county we live in as a part of their education.
If anyone reading this has some ideas to share with me on home schooling in small communities and cold climates I would be so appreciative. And just any support or words of wisdom you would share as we go through the thinking this through would just be invaluable to me.
Also I would love to what kind of education you’ve chosen for your children and the reasoning behind those choices. Also, am I missing anything that I need to think through?
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