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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home at Last!

Wow! What a rush!
Last weekend was the first that we had spent at home for six weeks. Beginning in late April, all through May and the first weekend of June we were exhibiting at homeschool conventions.
We traveled to Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey. I estimate that we drove around 5,000 miles. We met lots of great people for the first time, and saw some old friends. I wish we had many, many more hours to speak with you folks. It is quite a rush to teach, learn, encourage and generally share life with people who are going through the same struggles and challenges. It is draining, but well worth it. I hope we helped many of you.

In talking with hundreds of people who are grappling with special needs challenges, there is one thing that I find most common. Everyone at some point (and often it is after a six hour session trying to teach a 30 minute math lesson) asks themselves "Am I really up to this? Wouldn't Josh be better off in public school where they are trained to handle this?" The answer is always: Yes, you are up to it and no, he wouldn't be better off. Even if you are not officially homeschooling, the fact of the matter is that you will still be homeschooling. Let me explain.
The public schools are by definition and necessity designed to serve the masses. Their weakest point is when they have to specialize or accomodate for people who learn differently or have learning disabilities. If you child falls into this catagory, he/she will get the standard issue education- whether or not it is a good fit for their needs. If they are to succeed, you as the parent will have to complete their schooling at home. Thus you will still be homeschooling.

Strengths of homeschooling are: teacher-to-student ratio (tough to beat 1-to-1),
self-paced & independent study,
wide choice of methods & curriculum,
better, personalized learning environment.

So be encouraged and be reassured.
It is frustrating.
It is exhausting.
It is also the very best thing you can do for your child.

2 comments:

HUMom said...

It is a lot of work, but not only do you gain so much through the positive aspects you mentioned, but you know your children intimately through the process of teaching them. And learning from them. Homeschooling doesn't exclude your kids from "the real world", but you can protect them from some negative aspects more easily until they are mature enough to respond with confidence.

crystal said...

HeadsUpDad wrote:

So be encouraged and be reassured.
It is frustrating.
It is exhausting.
It is also the very best thing you can do for your child.


Thank you. I need that reminder EVERY day