Reasons to Homeschool and Our Experience (Part 2)

Posted: December 20, 2011 in Education, Indulgent Commentary
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Jim Erskine wrote and illustrated an article called 20 Great Reasons You Homeschoool.  In this blog I took his 20 reasons and wrote about how I relate to the reason.  So, this a personal experience with my son, who have newly started homeschooling.

11.  Vacations can be called “extended field trips” . . .

As a child I went on a couple big family vacations to San Diego. In San Diego we saw everything including the zoo, Sea World, the missions, an aquarium, went sea creature hunting on the shores, saw Palmer telescope, went grunyan fishing, and visited Mexico to name a few. Now this was in the early 70’s. What a wonderful educational opportunity. I learned more in that three weeks than I ever could have learned in over a year at school. I think family vacation are the best field trips. Lucky for me at the time my school recognized it too. I am not sure if the same would happen today.

Today we even use small trips as an educational experience. One day as we drove I explained all of the highway signs and what they meant and the markings on the road. Yes, it was a basic drivers education class. Sometimes when we drive I ask my son to read every sign he sees and then I can pick a word and ask him to spell it. What a great way to practice spelling.

All of this is real life education and you don’t even know you are learning when you are doing it. So here’s to field trips.

12.  You get to read more books than you ever realized existed . . .

I love this one. I happen to have a degree in literature. Nothing burns my butt more than the “banned books” list. There are no banned books in my house. If you read and teach them in their historical context, what is the issue? This censorship is bullshit and should be against the law. Literature is a part of our history. Are we going to put the statue of David in a closet because the nudity offends someone. IF YOU DON’T READ IT!

So in our home school my son is going to read Huckleberry Finn, along with all of the other banned books! What a great teaching lesson about the hang-ups of our current day.
13.  The latest fads usually never make it to your house . . .

I am really lucky. My son hasn’t caught onto this fad thing. Perhaps it is because he is a boy and it may be less prevalent. Instead, my son has, from little on, been encouraged to be who he wants to be. In first grade he sported a mohawk. Lately he is in a big afro. I am happy that he dares to be himself, which I think is much healthier. I guess he gets it from. I was born a hippy and will always be a hippy.

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14.  You don’t have to worry about what your kids learned in school today . . .

It is really scary not knowing what information your child is being exposed to every day in a public school. While my son was in public school I constantly asked questions about what they were learning. Sometimes teachers would make some major misassumptions. Martin Luther King day was always an emotional time for my son and I think it was related how the school presented the information from their “white-sterile-centric” perspective. Our school was predominantly populates with white children. My son is not and his “roots” are directly from Africa and are not a part of the Black American lineage as it relates to slavery or civil rights. We had a teacher who assumed my son was a Black American and was using him in her lesson plans for MLK. I was furious. The lesson she was trying to teach was good, but her assumption that my son was African American was just plain ignorant! I don’t think she will make that mistake again.

Now, with home schooling I don’t have to play the detective sleuth. I know what my son is being exposed to in his education and I know how information is being presented to him.

15.  You don’t have to raise your hand to go to the bathroom . . .

Not only do you have to raise your hand, you have to face the fact that the teach may tell you to wait and go between your classes.  Worse yet, you have to carry around a hall pass.  Going to the bathroom is a natural life process, but my son w

as so concerned about the process of asking for permission to go to the bathroom that he just didn’t go.  He made sure he didn’t drink anything all day.  Then ending result was frequent urinary tract infection.  Bathrooms also provide a means of privacy.  When a child has Tourette Syndrome sometimes they need to go to a private place so they can try to get their tics under control.  With my son anxiety came hand in hand with his Tourette Syndrome.  In school he was already embarrassed by his tics, but also has to draw attention to himself when he asked for mission to go to a private place.

Now at home, this is no longer a worry.  You go to the bathroom when you want to go to the bathroom.

16.  You can wear pajamas to class and not be kicked out . . .

There is nothing better than doing your school work in your pajamas.  Pure relaxation.  You can do your work in your bed snuggled up with a warm blanket.

In fact you don’t have to worry about any of your clothing.  You can wear a hat.  You can wear a tank top.  You can wear a bandana.  We don’t have to worry about gang wear.

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17.  Chores may be called “home Ec. Projects” . . .

Why not?  One of the most important thing you can give a child is some basic life skills, which may include loading and unloading the dishwasher, taking out the garbage,  picking up your clothes, helping fold the laundry, and basic cooking.  If he doesn’t learn this from you, how does he learn it.  In our home school we are including chores in our lessons but we are also adding other basics, which include things we do every day such as banking and grocery shopping.

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18. There’s always time to bake cookies . . .

Not only is there time to bake cookies, but there is also time to take a break and eat a few.  Sometimes taking a break is a good thing.  What if you didn’t sleep well the night before?  You would be tired the next day.  Does the school take things like this into consideration?  Do they recognize that sometimes you are having a bad day.  With my son we had some days where his tics were really bad and went on for 3 or more hours in the night.  The school expected him to come to school and learn in this state.  A child must be in a state where they are able to learn.  If you are tired, or having a round of tics, you can’t learn.  No more worries.  Breaks are common in our home school.

19.  Learning becomes contagious . . .

In our short time of home schooling we have found out that learning is contagious.  There is excitement that everywhere we turn is a learning opportunity.  In addition, we can plan the lessons around interests.  Recently my son showed some interest in photography.  Guess what our science lessons are now.  Photography!  This way of learning is practical and the child can make the connection between what he is learning and what happens in real life.  As a result of this learning is fun.

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20.  Your family is right where they ought to be … home!

What more can I say about this?  The whole family is engage in the process.  We are having fun doing it.  We don’t have to worry about outsiders that can cause negative things to happen.  We are in control.  We can teach our son what he is going to need to be a responsible citizen in this country.  He will get the basics, but perhaps there will be less emphasis on the things like the French and Indian War.

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Drawings from “20 Great Reason You Homeschool” http://www.homeschoolnetcast.com/home/2011/11/21/20-great-reasons-you-homeschool.html  Written and Illustrated by Jim Erskine

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