Reasons I Decided to Homeschool My Daughter
Coloring Activity to Learn Anatomy of the Digestive System
A Brief History of Homeschooling
A few years ago, I made the decision to homeschool my daughter, and I chose this type of education for several reasons. As with all my decisions, I thoroughly researched homeschooling in order to make the right choice for my daughter, Sam.
We learn quite a bit from looking to the past when planning our future and historically, formal education is fairly new. Up until the 1850’s, the majority of children were homeschooled, or received no education at all.
Formal education was only available to those who could afford it, which in those times, was a very small number of people. Obviously, homeschooling worked. Colonial America would not have survived and evolved into the civilization we have today if only an elite few were formally educated.
Interestingly, Native Americans educated their children with homeschooling and apprenticeships. When formal schooling was introduced, the Native Americans emphatically objected.
Throughout history there have been proponents of homeschooling. In 1964, John Caldwell Holt wrote a book entitled How Children Fail condemning what we now call traditional education.
Holt, a teacher himself, believed children want to learn but they want to do it through experience. He thought children would only learn what was necessary to gain approval of teachers and other adults in the formal setting.
Thinking and experiential learning had no value to the students; producing the correct answers were all that mattered.
He also thought students may be afraid to answer questions because they might be wrong and be humiliated, causing them to avoid challenging situations.
Ultimately, the students would become conditioned to see failure as defeat instead of a learning experience.
Holt wasn't the only person who felt this way, Raymond and Dorothy Moore also agreed that formal education was detrimental to a child’s ability to learn.
The Moore’s took things a bit further. They found over 8,000 studies on the mental and physical development of children in a traditional school setting and published their findings.
The results indicated that formal education in a brick-and-mortar school setting not only impeded a child’s ability to learn, but that it was also harmful to their mental, social and physical development.
My Reasons For Homeschooling
After finding all the above information, I began to think about my own experience with traditional schooling. I didn’t have the greatest one.
I was a social outcast and although I loved learning, I disliked the classroom setting immensely.
I would have preferred to pursue my education on my own through reading and performing experiments.
Grades made things very stressful. My parents were satisfied with A’s, B’s and C’s but every report card involved a lecture on how they knew I could do better.
Having Fun With It!
Needless to say, I didn’t want my daughter to have the same experience I had. But that wasn’t my primary reason for choosing to homeschool her.
I realized I didn’t want someone else teaching my daughter. Why did I have a child if I didn’t want to teach her myself and watch her grow and experience life?
A stranger teaching my child just didn’t sit very well with me.
Safe Environment for Learning
Being able to learn at her own pace is another reason I chose homeschooling. There are no other students to distract my attention, which allows me to focus on her and the lesson at hand.
Sam is the center of attention when we’re learning something and that facilitates bonding between us as well.
This one-on-one attention will provide her with the safest learning environment I can provide. She won’t fear giving the wrong answer or asking what may be a “stupid” question.
I also have the time to work with her ADHD. Instead of forcing her to sit still, she can fidget if she needs to while she reads to me aloud.
She can get up and walk around if she can't sit still any longer, and come back to her lesson when she's ready. I've found this makes it much easier to teach her, especially when it comes to subjects like math.
To me, homeschooling represents a sort of freedom in her education. She is free to learn what she wants, when she wants. I know I would have retained much more than I did if I had been able to learn that way.
Nature Lessons Are Easy!
Excellent Reading Material on Homeschooling
I recently became a stay at home mom. I was burned out at work, so I decided I needed time to regroup.
Because of my career, Sam and I really have never gotten along, or gotten to know each other. I was getting to the point of asking myself why I had her in the first place.
However, the longer I stayed at home the more I realized I really want to get to know my daughter and homeschooling will give me that opportunity. Not only will I get to know her, but I’ll be the one to help her find her way in life.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized going to a traditional school will take that experience away from me.
As a parent, my job is to guide her and help her find her way to a fulfilling life. I don’t want anyone else teaching Sam their values and morals. I want her to learn what values and morals are important to us, her parents.
This leads me to our spirituality. As a pagan family, discrimination and intolerance is a way of life. I can’t change the opinions of everyone in the world, but I can teach Sam how to conduct herself when she is faced with this situation.This would be difficult if she were to attend a formal school since values and morality permeate all aspects of life.
Homeschooling will give me the opportunity to teach Sam respect for Mother Nature and how imperative balance is in our lives. Paganism and spirituality will be the foundation of her education which will open her mind to learning new things and foster a lifelong love of knowledge.
The flexibility of homeschooling will allow Sam to study subjects based on what interests her most. Finding her interests early will be invaluable to her future and provide us with the opportunity to find ways of integrating other, less interesting subjects into activities she finds enjoyable.
We can go to the park one day and learn about physics while playing on the seesaw or play an educational video game that teaches her hand-eye coordination while she learns logical thinking skills. There are a myriad of options open to us.
Traditional school teaches facts and figures and while these things are important, it is also vital to learn how to put those facts and figures to practical use. Learning through experience kills two birds with one stone making learning that much easier. It will also give Sam a better understanding of abstract concepts.
Ultimately, I chose homeschooling because teaching Sam and watching her learn about life is exciting to me.
Finding new and innovative ways of teaching her new things will not only be fun, but educational for me as well as her. That is being a parent, in my opinion. Teaching and learning with your child is the rewarding part of being a parent.
I don’t want to give that reward away to someone else. Call me selfish, but I want to keep this fun, adventurous experience for myself!
© Copyright 2012 - 2015 Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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