Homeschool – A New Hot Button?

There are just some topics you can’t talk about with some people. For whatever reason, these topics create a knee jerk reaction where They Are Right. You can talk to them until you are blue in the face, but they will hear nothing you’ve said. Politics. Abortion. Religion. Gay marriage.

And to my surprise, homeschooling.

That’s right. Homeschooling.

I had no idea (in my oh-so infinite wisdom) that people were so very very opinionated about the whole public versus private versus homeschooling options.

I should have known, given the emotional fervor that college football game can create. And that’s just a sport.

(Yes, I am one of those who could really care less who wins what. But if asked, I say Go Cyclones! and Hook ’em Horns! After all, I live in a city where the pan handler at the intersection wears UT colors on game day.)

I’ve been doing research on homeschooling lately, and have been very surprised by others’ reactions when I tell them that.

I can see positives and negatives to both sides.

My biggest issue, particularly with the younger grades is their schedule. Whether due to the No Child Left Behind Act or some other reason, it appears they’ve removed most of the time for kids to just be kids (meaning a much shorter lunch and recess). I remember when I was in all day kindergarten, I had 3 recesses: one in the morning, after lunch (followed by nap time), and in the afternoon. Even through middle school we had at least an hour for lunch and recess together. It wasn’t until high school that lunch time was reduced as recess was eliminated.

Now they have half that time to run around.  And unless something dramatic changes about The Tackler soon… well, he can sit, as long as he can be a crazy monkey boy in between.

The Tackler loves going down the tube slide.I remember we had a grocery “store” in kindergarten. We had desks, but we only sat at them for a small part of the day. We were always sitting on the floor, doing art projects, playing games. And that was all inside of our classroom (which was huge, about 3 times the size of a typical classroom, complete with our own private restrooms conveniently located directly next to our class).

I’m pretty sure that doesn’t exist here.

I have a fear that my son will be bored. And if he’s bored…. Currently he turns into deranged, button pushing, deaf to direction, misbehaving monkey boy.

Kind of like he’s been the last hour, with three time-outs for pushing and knocking his sister over.

(Interruption:  Lil Diva’s just discovered she can reach the blinds on the other windows. Oh goody!)

Which brings me to the downfall of homeschooling. While I could tailor the schooling to him and adapt to the best learning style, what if I’m a horrible teacher? How do I make enough time for that and Lil Diva? How do I keep from strangling him when he turns his superpower to the Dark Side?

I’ve recently joined AAH, the Austin Area Homeschoolers. Mostly for informative purposes. Partly to see if I can find some good options for preschool homeschooling The Tackler, as he isn’t enrolled anywhere this year.  Hopefully this way I can work out the kinks before he gets school age (he has two years minimum until he makes the kindergarten deadline). Perhaps if I can find a good way of doing it, we will stick with it.

If you ask my son what he wants, he wants to go to school NOW. That’s because whenever we see a playground he can’t play on, I tell him it’s because it belongs to a school. Or if we can’t have a play date with a friend, it’s because they’re in school (daycare = school for ease of explanation). So to The Tackler, school = playgrounds and friends.  Who wouldn’t want to go?

So for now I’m attending some AAH meetings, getting more informed,  and attempting to create some time to work on things with him (although with an 11 month old, time without having her trying to eat books or crayons, or whatever activity we’re doing is in very short supply). Perhaps I can find some other parents who are in the same boat I’m in and we can group together.

For sanity’s sake.

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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3 Responses to Homeschool – A New Hot Button?

  1. Kathryn says:

    Hey Kelly! I have been homeschooling A for over a year now and loving it! And I recently added B to the mix and still find time to do preschool with C and take care of D. Let me know if you ever want to talk about this “hot topic”.

    • Kelly K says:

      I have no idea how you do it. You leave me in awe. Chase is just so active and crazy and Kyra wants to be doing whatever he is (or eating everything he’s playing with). If Kyra is happy to let us hang out, it means she’s eating book bindings or climbing something.

      She’s getting 3 top teeth currently…

      I’d love to bring both over some morning and have Chase do preschool or school w/ B & C and see how it goes.. Kyra can give Dorothy a climbing class. 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    The author of a blog that I like to read has been writing a lot recently about home schooling. She just starting home schooling her daughter this year. Lots of insights about philosophy, resources, as well as the nuts and bolts of home schooling. You might want to check it out.

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