Before I even had a child I knew that I was going to home school. My own experience with school was pretty much miserable. I switched schools every year till my sophomore year of high school. Every school seemed easier and easier to me. I was never challenged so I didn’t learn to try. I could ignore homework and barely do my class work then just ace tests and pass each grade. When I got to Noble High School though, everything changed. Tests weren’t that important. Every assignment weighed pretty equally on my grade and the work was much harder than it had ever been. Noble is a testing school. Everything is taught differently and it could never hold my interest. I ended up so frustrated that I would cry and eventually I gave up. I didn’t understand what was going on and with no one to help me in a class of 30+ I became very depressed. Two weeks before I would have graduated I dropped out and got my GED instead. The only thing I really wish is that I had the option of being home schooled.
So after that little back story, here is how we decided what we would do with Caleb and the stages we went through.
First Corey and I were considering a private school. My aunt’s twin daughters go to one and they are wonderfully mannered, sweet, and academically advanced girls. The school checked out completely and I had really fallen in love. At only $300 a month, the price wasn’t bad either. I was completely on board because every time I mentioned homeschooling Corey had complained that Caleb was going to become a loner and an outcast and what not. My best friends through high school were all home schooled so I disagreed but sometimes you just have to give a little extra in a relationship. After hearing more and more about this new fangled thing unschooling though, I started wanting to have him home even more.
Unschooling is is an educational method and philosophy that rejects compulsory school as a primary means for learning. An easier way of saying that, is that you allow the child to study what they choose to study. It allows their talents and interests to flourish without restraints. I loved the idea of Caleb’s life being lived the way he wants it to. Homeschooling traditionally has a lot of constraints and requires you to control what they are learning. The thing is, that means your child gets to decide if they learn to read, write, and do basic math. I’m against that at my core. Every single person needs to learn how to read. If you are going to drive it is required. If you are ever going to get a job that is not a skill like blacksmithing then you need to read and know basic math. Not teaching your child those basic things hinders them in life and I just can’t stand behind it.
That right there crosses out Public, Private, and Unschooling. So what are we going to do? We are homeschooling with a lot of freedom. Caleb will have all the choices in the world and be able to study what he wants. It will be on a schedule with goals to keep him focused and he will be required to learn basic algebra, geometry, reading, and writing. Everything else will be his choice because anytime you are forced into something, it tends to be met with resistance. How can you live a happy and peace filled life when most of your time is spent resisting it?
So there you have it. That is our personal outlook on schooling our little man. It is an opinion that I feel strongly about but everyone has their own opinion. Not everyone has the time and ability to home school either. As long as your child is getting an education, you are doing a good job.
Thanks for reading! Comment with your thoughts and how you are schooling your littles.