By Tracy Lamperti,
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
Part 1 in the Homeschool series
This is the time of year when parents all over are questioning their children’s education for the following year, particularly if their child is entering preschool or kindergarten.
Over the last 9 years of homeschooling, my husband and I have fielded our fair share of questions about the decision to home-school our children.
Here is our story.
It was August and our son was due to enter Kindergarten the next month. Based on his height, social skills and cognitive level, we were concerned. We met with the school and were told unequivocally that they could educate any child, no matter what the circumstances in the grade they should be in based on their age. Just so happened, we were attending a church with a pretty good size of families who were homeschooling their children; The Cape Cod Bible Alliance, if it is important to know. By the way, a church where MOST of the kids were going to public school, some private school and the smallest number, homeschool. In other words, CCBAC is not a church that shuns the “public establishments” or conventions. On the contrary, we are living in and with the community. OUR reason to homeschool were NOT based on “religious” reasons.
Anyhow, back to the story…I was concerned because I had a 5-weeks old daughter and a private psychotherapy and consultation practice. And, sorry Mom if you are reading this…but pretty much no family support for the decision to homeschool, from either side of the family.
Loving as my mother is, and adoring of her grandchildren, she quickly came on board and took on the art class requirements, and oversaw the schoolwork one full day per week. (Thanks for loving us Mom!).
However, three years later, I was very overwhelmed with so many responsibilities and we met with the principal about enrolling our son (he was just finishing 3rd grade). Our daughter was still not Kindergarten age. Our son was a year ahead because of skipping Kindergarten, had just been tested in all subjects and scored “post high school” in everything except for Math, and his social skills remained impeccable (NOT to my credit. He was born with a special temperament and character). We were told that he would be dropped back a year to where he was “supposed” to be. That was just not going to happen. We looked into private school and found the cost out of our reach and the travel time every day unfair to our whole family, especially our children, so we continued forward with HS.
Currently, our son is in 9th grade. He is enrolled in 3 core subjects at a fully accredited online high school where he has real, live teachers and classmates all over the world. His father teaches him Science, and always has, he takes Rosetta Stone Spanish and I oversee his other subjects. Our daughter is in 3rd grade. She takes all of her classes from a hard drive on the computer where her classes are pre-recorded. It is a nice complete package and I oversee all of her work and actually work alongside her with office work from my business or bills, shopping lists and menus or whatever, so that I can assist her whenever she needs it.
With all of my heart and mind, I can attest to the fact that homeschooling your own children is a huge task. It is filled with rewards and hardships. As a mother, homeschooling parent and psychotherapist…I am not shy about saying that homeschooling is not right for every parent, child or combo of the two. I am also not shy about saying that many fine and well educated students graduate from public school.
We all have a unique story.
There are many days that I question the decision to homeschool. For our family, we enter into a sort of reflective, evaluative mindset every April, reassessing the needs of our children, our family, ourselves, etc. to determine the best plan for the next year. The children are part of that to some extent but the power to decide has never been turned over to them. Not so far anyway.
I’m not sure how many weeks I will blog about this topic, but I plan to cover some basic questions that are asked of homeschoolers by family, friends, the school and the general public, like;
1. What about socialization?
2. Will you homeschool in high school also?
3. Can homeschoolers get into college?
4. How can you stand to be with your kids so much? Lol
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