When I was pregnant with my son Benji, I felt as though there was an almost innate need for him to be home schooled. I had forgotten about it after I went through a very stressful birth with him. When he was 18 months and in Early Intervention for speech I revisited the idea. When I couldn’t find a curriculum or school system I agreed with in public, charter, or Catholic school, I ended up walking through this door of infinite possibilities — home schooling! Many people started to emerge and extend their hand towards us, offering trips to conventions, curricula, catalogs, websites, and help.
I decided to start on my own research in the local library and on Google, which led me to Amazon and my Kindle. I started with a book called Back to Basics: Raising Self-Sufficient Children by Barbara Frank. I found that I just kept devouring books on child psychology, social skills, education vs. learning, teaching methods, the political agenda with the school system, etc. I researched Home School Legal Defense, I researched other community options for the dreaded question of “How will you socialize him?”.
All my research led me to a place of confidence that I could teach my child everything he needed because he in fact learns at least one new thing a day on his own. He will have learned how to speak, walk, dress himself, use the potty, brush his own teeth, wash his hands, and draw a circle, maybe even read before he enters the school system, If he learned all of that with me, why can’t he learn more?
I don’t remember learning about the Declaration of Independence. I don’t know too much Algebra or even how to make all of those nice geometric triangles, and I don’t remember being taught anything except how to get an A on a test. I want to teach my son everything he wants to get his hands on and not have to see him held back to be kept at the same pace as other kids, or pushed forward in a subject because he isn’t excelling fast enough.
Children are sponges; I have noticed that the smallest thing to an adult like being able to cut a piece of paper is utterly fascinating to a toddler. I showed him how to glue two pieces of paper together and he was in heaven. He wants to learn, he want to play his “games” and he has no idea that the games also double as education.
Benji goes back and forth between his dad and me on his Dad’s work schedule, which is not solid and rotates different days every month. I figure with home schooling I will see my son more than I ever would with him back and forth between school and his dad’s and my house and me working. Not worrying about how much I won’t see my son on top of sharing him with his other parent and having to share him with teachers and an administrative building in the great years of his life is one stress I don’t need.
Above all else, it is help that is most needed through this. Support and encouragement that waking up everyday to learn something new is really going to benefit him in the long run. The research is gratifying, and websites and books (even Pinterest) have tons of tips on organizing your home schooling home. The other great part is that it doesn’t even have to be done in the home! You can take learning to the zoo, museum, library, beach, nature walk, vacation spot, even camping! The possibilities are absolutely endless.
We live in Massachusetts and the law states that he has to be in school from 6-16 when schooled from home — I am ecstatic! I have three years to prepare him and myself? I’ll take it! The best part about each day is knowing he will learn from play from me, from his little friends, and his huge family. Learning should be cherished and sought out; to diminish the light inside children that drives them to learn everything, touch everything, and even eat it at inopportune times is a travesty.