Friday, March 14, 2008

The Big Decision

*I have to warn you, this post is full of my opinions.* If you noticed the comments on one of my recent posts, you probably already figured out what our Big Decision was...

We've decided to homeschool Carlee (and her future brother/sister). Homeschooling has been in the back of my mind ever since we first had Carlee, but I kept putting off the decision since she was so young. Well, now she's almost 3 and would be going to preschool this year. A lot of things affected our decision.

I once added, "Why High School is Pointless," to an essay brainstorming list in my senior year creative writing class. My teacher has circled that one, saying, "I would love to read this." Did I write it? No. Why? Because I knew it was pointless, it wouldn't matter if I wrote it or not.

The present state of public education is just sad. Some have asked me, "Well, what about the social aspect?" Yeah, socialization with a bunch of kids whose morals are nonexistant. That's just the socialization I want Carlee to have! Face it, most of our country's kids don't care to have a sense of right and wrong, and are doing things they should never even be faced with at such a young age. I'd rather have at least a little control over who she socializes with, and what she is introduced to, than none at all.

Then there's the general aspect of learning. Learning is a natural passion for kids, no matter how advanced or not, they still love to learn. Public schooling takes away that passion, that excitement for learning. For example, all kids are on different levels of understanding and comprehension, but let's generalize like the school does, and say there's above average, average, and below average (and these are just their natural learning capabilities on that certain subject, they could actually excel in something else.) Well, the school will teach to the average level (the level to pass the state exam,) and the above average students are left bored (when they could be learning so much more), and the below average students are left struggling, trying to keep up (when if given the appropriate attention they could excel.) In both situations, the love for learning is squashed. Even the "average" students are not being challenged anymore. Now I understand that with so few teachers to the enormous amount of students, it is impossible at this time to make public schooling cater to each student's needs, sadly. However, (with all aspects in my life) if I can do something about it, then I'm going to.

I really want Carlee to keep her natural love for learning. She is so excited about new concepts and new things, always asking questions, always curious. I looked up a general preschool year course description, what they are expected to learn, and Carlee knows about 2/3 of the list. So what happens if I send her to public preschool? Are they going to teach her the last 1/3 of things, and then encourage her to keep learning? ha. no. I want her to keep learning, keep experiencing...

And that's another thing. I want Carlee to learn from experiences, not just from reading a text book about what that certain author thinks you should know and feel about a certain subject. I want her to think for herself, to learn because she wants to, to read because she enjoys it.

I had a few doubts to get over. Is it fair? Could I really do it? Do I have the patience? Do I know enough? Do I have the time? Are we going to be able to stay on one income? etc. I came to peace with all of these questions.


Is it fair? Yes, I believe she'll have the advantage over all the kids who "aren't being left behind." I realized the other day, that yes I could do this job. I realized that I was already doing it. I'm teaching her all day every day. She knows she is free to ask me questions, "mommy, what are you doing?" "Mommy what is this?" "Mommy, draw a T." "Mommy..." all day, she is so thirsty for learning, and I indulge her. I never leave a question unanswered. I never leave her out of whatever I'm doing, she's always right there, helping, or watching, learning. I realized I had the patience the other day, when Carlee brought something to me. Two lime juice containers from the fridge. Instead of saying, "Carlee, what are you doing in the fridge? Go put those back! Stay out of the fridge." I just looked at her, and said, "What did you find? That's lime juice, do you want to try?" I poured a little in her hand for her to lick, and she experienced very "sour" for the first memorable time. This was when I realized, "Hey, I could do this. I do it already. I have patience teaching her already!" It was so awesome to realize that. Do I know enough? was a silly question. I realized almost as soon as I thought it, that everyone knows enough because the educational resources are abundant. If you know how to sift through credible internet sources, use your library, find people who work in fields that your student is studying, then you have plenty to offer. I have plenty to offer! And like I was reading (on the net), if you come to a subject that you don't understand enough to teach, you can simply hire a tutor for that subject. Do I have the time was an easy one. I'm a stay at home mom. It's my job. Carlee is my priority. I'll make time to give her a good education. Can we stay on one income? Well, we've been successful at that so far. Tony's decided to make the Navy a career, and I don't see our spending habits changing, so I'm pretty sure we'd do fine. Also, with Tony deciding to make this a career, we will still be moving a lot throughout Carlee's school years, as my friend pointed out in the comments, homeschooling will add much needed continuity to her school learning.

So we decided the other night, that yes, we would homeschool Carlee from the get go. Do I have more research to do? Yes, of course, I'm already in contact with the local homeschool group. I can't wait to meet the parents and ask a few questions, and of course there are already books on their way. We are very excited, and happy with our decision.

10 comments:

Angela said...

I've seen great results from home schooling. It allows the more exceptional students (which I think Carlee is one of) to excel. I think you will do a great job in teaching her (as you have so far) and she will continue to love learning! Good luck!

Mrs. Guthrie said...

Good for you!!! The confidence you have in your answers to your own questions is already a huge start, too!! I've met several moms who feel that homeschooling is what they "should" do, but are lacking the confidence in their patience and abilities. I think you will be great at it and have fun while you're at it! :)

Sheena said...

Thanks you two! I really am looking foward to teaching her :0)

Wilson said...

You know that Thrall was homeschooled ;) ;)

Ok that last part i'm not quite sure, but in my heart, he was :)

I applaud your decision. Personally, I would my daughter to be homeschooled as well, but my wife thinks otherwise. Sigh.

Thumbs up for you ^_^ And remember...the Horde stands by your decision :D

Caraloopy said...

Good for you! You can do it.
What is Tony's remark about another mini-him hmmm???????

Sheena said...

lol loopy, I forgot to mention it on here. I was trying to make sure we called everyone first. shhh... haha :)

Reese said...

I am interested to hear what else you learn about this program. I support you and wish you the best of luck. How do you feel about bilingual Dora books?

Sheena said...

Wilson- LMAO You are hilarious. And thanks, I appreciate the encouragement. You know I haven't played in a long time. You miss me? haha. Tony still plays but on a different server. There was never anyone on when he was on the oceanic one. Anyway, hope you are doing great. :)

Rise -I'm learning a lot already. I've looked into different methods, but I think I'm going to start out by just following Carlee's lead and let her continue learning the way she does now, by just exploring. I'm thinking about starting a blog just about homeschooling Carlee, that way I have everything together. Some states require documentation, others (Like the great state of Texas require nothing! No regulation at all of homeschools!) Anyway, but I'm going to do it just in case, because I don't know if I'll have to follow the state's law or military law, I guess it might depend on whether or not we live on base? That's something I have to find out. Dora is one of the few things she gets to watch, so books would be even better. We're planning on teaching Spanish to her, she knows a few words already. And a few Italian, but I think once we leave here, that might be forgotten, because Tony and I are horrible at Italian lol :)

mira said...

Sounds like you're making an informed decision, and you're right, you've been her teacher since she was born, so why stop now??

just don't move to CA, where it's now the law that you can't homeschool without a teaching degree =(

Sheena said...

Mira - my thoughts exactly! and about that law... wow, that's rediculous, I don't understand why they would take one case and apply it to the whole state. I hope that gets overturned. We were actually thinking about going there. Guess not now...