Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Homeschooling - what do you think?

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

Hot enough for you out there?  Phew! 

So, jumping right into today's topic. 

The other day I was on a forum for Mom's in the area I live in.  One of the posts was "Homeschooling - what do you think?"

I read through a lot of the comments and was surprised and saddened with how many of the mom's commented that they would have loved to homeschool, but just didn't have the confidence.  I was probably just as surprised with the responses that said they disagreed with it and thought teachers were the only one's experienced enough to teach children.  I think my favorite quote was the mom who said ' I can't teach Susie to build space probes'.   Um...I don't think most teachers could either....   :)

This post came up at a good time for me because me and my hubby plan to discuss soon what we are doing in the Fall for our oldest.  She would be starting Grade 1.  So we will be deciding whether to keep her home another year or send her to school.

I wouldn't say I had a lot of confidence going into the homeschooling.  I have some now but I constantly second guess myself or get upset when a busy day goes by and we didn't get to our 'sit down' work.  Or a day like today where it was so nice out, finally, and we spent the afternoon outside playing in the sprinkler and plastic pool.  No 'sit down' work done today.  But days like today are part of the reason I wanted to homeschool.  I got to sit on my lawn chair playing with Martin and listening to Ryanne and Charlotte play. 

Charlotte was pretending the plastic pool was a skating rink and would circle around and then fall flat on her butt.  On purpose, of course.  She said she was learning to skate!  Ryanne was running through the sprinkler saying it was a water park and she was the maintenance worker.  She came over and asked if my 'little girl' (Charlotte) would like to come for a tour and see how the water park operates.  I agreed of course!  So she led Charlotte around and got her to 'help' with all the hard work the maintenance department has.  It was so fun to watch! 

So maybe we didn't get our 'sit down' work in but they got to use their imaginations and I got to enjoy it.  I will definitely cherish the memories of today.  We can catch up on the 'sit down' work another day instead.

Back to the forum post though.  It got me to thinking about why I wanted to homeschool and if I'm getting what I want out of it...or just creating a lot of added stress and work.  It's not easy and it kind of makes you a bit of an outsider.  I constantly worry and wonder if my kids are getting enough out of it, but forget sometimes to check that I'm getting something out of it too.

I have to say so far it's worth it.  I've gotten to do some great things with my kids and see them accomplish some great things!  I'm proud of them so often.  It is hard.  It is a lot of work.  I do put a lot of stress on myself.  But I'm willing to do that a little bit longer if that's the route we decide to take.

So, after thinking over everything, I put my thoughts up on the forum about homeschooling.  I've pasted my response below and decided I would share with you guys too.

-----------Homeschooling - what do you think?---------------------------------------------------------------

I guess you could say I'm for it. I've been homeschooling for about 2 years.

I have no issue with schools and I'm sure when the time comes my kids will like school a lot.

I didn't make the decision to homeschool easily. It came with a lot of thought and stress. But when it came down to it I am doing it for a lot of the same reasons I chose to stay home from work.

Life is too short. My kids are growing up so fast and who's to say I'll be around forever. When I did send my kids to day care, the day care got the best hours of their day. They got to teach them all the fun stuff I had imagined I would teach my kids. I was jealous of this. I got them at night when they were hungry and tired. It wasn’t much fun.
By homeschooling I get to see them at their best (and worst). I get to teach them. I get to see the pride on their face. The smile after they accomplish something. Know what they are interested in.

It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. Some days I wish I’d sent them to school so my house would be clean and organized. Or just to get a break from ‘them’. But I made this decision and I’m happy with it for now.

I don’t think that I know ‘everything’ and can teach my children’ best’. But I can show them how and where to find out the things that I don’t. And having that skill will be valuable.

I was very lucky to have the choice to stay home and the choice to homeschool. Not everyone has that choice. Not everyone wants that choice. But I put a lot of thought into my choice and find it tough to swallow when people make assumptions and judgements about my choice. I do want what is best for my kids. I do want what is best for my family. I’m not trying to set them up for failure. I’m not trying to protect them from the world. I want to enjoy them. I want to teach them confidence and independence. I want to help them have a love for learning.

It's interesting to see all the comments. Was interested when I saw this thread.

So I guess that’s my personal take on it.


  1. Wow... what a well thought out, persuasive case for homeschooling! You're doing awesome, Tharen, and I can see where your kids learn lessons from the world all the time.

  2. GREAT read! We have been homeschooling for about 5 1/2 years now and we love it. That's not to say it was an easy decision, nor has it always been a piece of cake, lol.

    Like you, I so disliked being away from them during the day. When my oldest was in 1st grade (my youngest was only 1 then), he would be gone from 745am until 400pm. And he would have homework (yes in 1st grade!) that would sometimes take him 30 mins, but could sometimes take him 2 hours, to complete. Our evenings and "together" time would consist of finishing up homework, cooking and eating dinner, bathing and putting them to bed. I was SO sad, ALL the time.

    I didn't intend to homeschool, but it kept coming up in discussions. My husband was 100% on board and supportive. Finally the day came where I just knew I had to pull him out of school...that there was something different and better out there for us.

    Never even having considered homeschooling, to say that I was overwhelmed those first few weeks (months, lol!) is an understatement. What helped me, and what I would recommend to anyone considering homeschooling, is the free ebook a Welcome to Homeschooling Guide by Time4Learning. It's so comprehensive, but I didn't feel like I needed to take notes to get through it. :D

    Again, I loved reading your thoughts on homeschooling! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Hi. My given name is also Tharen. I am a 70 year old grandmother. I googled my name and found your blog. I am curious how you got your name. My mother was reading a book as a young girl and Tharen was the name of the main female character. She decided to give the name to her daughter if she ever had one. I thought I was the only Tharen in the world until I learned of a Tharen, who came with her mother as a baby to the US from Ireland. I always believed the name to be Irish or English in origin and was a female name. I was dismayed to find that many believe it to be a male name. If you find my comment I would like to know what you think.

  4. When I think of homeschooling, I don't think about confidence...I think about patience. I'm not sure I have enough of that! But the option is definitely appealing, and if it weren't for the excellent Montessori school available to us, we might have opted in.

    P.S. But I do miss the amazing-ness that happens during their days!