Sunday, April 6, 2014

Advantages of Homeschooling - Part Two: Inspiring Teachers

'Vantage Number Two (to homeschooling): Inspiring Teachers!  

If you are just joining this post, check out the first post in this series:  Advantages of Homeschooling - Part One:  Academic Opportunities!  If nothing else, it will explain Kipling reference above :)   Also, check out Advantages of Homeschooling - Part Three:  Socialization and Amazing Homeschool Curriculum for suggestions.

I must begin by saying, I'm a teacher, and I realize that many teachers are excellent, dedicated, wonderful human beings who do an amazing job of mentoring students, often in difficult circumstances and without adequate support.  However.... many are not.  Both my parents and both my step-parents were public high school and elementary school teachers.  When I told them I was home-schooling, they were all ecstatically in favor of it.  They had seen things change dramatically throughout their careers and wanted their grandchildren to have nothing to do with schools.  They are all staunch supporters of higher education, but had faith I could easily get the kids there.  Some teachers just see it as a job and put in a minimal amount of effort.  Some teachers really hate their jobs.  Some are not well educated themselves.  If you have the bad luck to get one of these teachers, your child is stuck and may lose an entire year.  Even with a great teacher, controlling a class of 30 kids is more than half the challenge.  Most (if not all) teachers resort to busy work far too often. Busy work kills a child's curiosity and by 3rd grade, far too many kids dislike learning. They may like being with friends at school, but their natural interests have been a bit squelched.  With homeschooling, you (who care far more about your child than any teacher) will be able to encourage and nourish their interests.  And it's not just you, grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends all contribute.  My father and step-father (both math teachers) helped tutor the girls. My father-in-law used to do history of the presidents with them.  My mother did religious education with them.  I handled Literature, Writing, Grammar, History and some basic science when they were younger, but my brother who loves geology would take them on hikes and show them everything.  His passion for plate tectonics is crazy obvious, and he was able to get them all worked up and excited about it too.  

That's the benefit of homeschooling.  Subjects can be taught by those with authentic passion for that subject and passion is infectious!  Additionally, my kids have taken supplemental classes at learning centers for homeschoolers in every subject imaginable.  Fun classes, like Animal Care and more academic classes, like history and literature (disclaimer -- I taught the lit classes :) --many of these learning centers operate as co-ops).  My kids have taken tons of hands-on science classes from ridiculously smart parents with far more impressive science backgrounds than I have.  My younger daughter (in 7th grade this year) is taking a class in high school biology, debate, math (Algebra games), and Great Books at 2 different learning centers (each class is once a week).  I'm doing 20th C. History & Lit (with a friend - we created a co-op).  My daughter has read more classic literature this semester alone, than most high school and college students do altogether.  Most important -- she loves it.  She still loves learning.  That's what matters most to me.  She gets ridiculously excited about extracting DNA.  It's adorable.

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