Simple living in New Mexico...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why we home school

We home school because we live 45 minutes from the nearest schools.  The bus stop is 8 miles from our house through a canyon that takes  20 minutes to drive.  I know there are some good teachers and some good schools in the town we live near, but the town has a great deal of dysfunction, and this is evident in the schools.  It makes more sense to me to keep the kids at home and do school here.  I like knowing what my kids are doing, call me a control freak.  It takes a lot of my time, but its nice to  know my kids.
     It is not the easy route.  For example, the hardest thing I have ever done is teach my oldest to read.  Day in and day out we struggled.  We finally used a curriculum called Rocket Phonics.  It built confidence, pretty (a good 8 months) soon she was reading.    As for my qualifications, I was a teacher and I have a pretty good education.  No, I can't provide everything they need, but who can?  Most critics of home school do not understand the curriculum choices available that we can purchase, even online classes.  When I was a teacher, I would have done a lot better if I had used someone else's curriculum.  I think if a child can read they can gain a ton of experience and perspective through books.  I want my kids to have time to read, and time to explore things that are of interest.  Spending over 2 hours on a school bus each day cannot be very enriching.   Taking care of horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and little sisters is also a good thing.  Being gone all day, coming home exhausted with hours of homework and no time for home life?  Would you want to do that?
      I can feed my kids healthy food, make sure they are safe, and spend quality time teaching them from proven curriculum with time left over to play (and work) every day.    Not everyday is perfect,  I lose my patience, the kids don't try, the babies are distracting. What I think helps our home school to really work is consistent curriculum. The scope and sequence is all worked out, so each year we build on what we learned the year before.
   I know homeschooling is not for everyone.  I could do a better job, more structure, more time...We are not perfect; nothing is perfect.  Many days I would rather be doing something else with my time.  Living out here is a trade-off.  We don't run to town for soccer or dinner, but we do ride bike, ride horse, ride 4-wheelers, and read a lot (the 4 R'r right?)!  We make a ton of  messes, but the kids are home too so they can clean them up as well!  Some good websites for homeschooling:

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