Each week, we take emails from local moms who want their question to be answered and discussed on Alpharetta-Milton Patch. The Moms Council gives our opinions and then we open the discussion up to other readers so moms can get the input and ideas from a broad spectrum of people in the area. If you have a question you would like us to answer, please email the author. If you would like to comment and add your opinion to the discussion, please do so in the comment section below. Today's topic is homeschooling.
I hear more and more parents talk about homeschooling and see that more and more home school academies are popping up. It seems these offer smaller classrooms, more flexibility with schedules and allow for accommodations for students who are quicker or slower to learn the the average student. They have school dances, sports teams, field trips and seem really great. I can't help but wonder what I am missing here. If they are as good as they sound, I wonder why everyone who has a stay at home parent isn't doing them.
Q: Would you consider home schooling your child? What do you think about home school families?
A: I think homeschooling is a great option for educating our children, and the home-school families I am familiar with seem to do it very successfully. If I were not a working mother of four, I would consider the option. I do think you need some extra skills including organization, patience, creativity and persistence!
-Teri Harrison, mom of 4
A: I have always been curious about home schooling. I use to think it was a great idea but worried about the socialization of the children. I know this has changed greatly and there are many opportunities now for kids who are home schooled.
I see a lot of benefits to home schooling. Kids have more individualized attention and have more freedom with their schedules. Parents know exactly who their children are associating with and how the children are being treated by others. Parents have say in what their children learn and who they learn from.
When kids go to the home school academies, I think they get the best of both worlds. They get a school environment that is more controlled and smaller. They get the socialization of a school and parents know who they are with. They are often through a local church so parents have that benefit as well if they want it. The cost is lower than private schools. I think the only disadvantage is for the parents who have to be responsible for their children's education. Parents have to be able and willing to make the education of their child a priority in their lives.
-Tammy Bester, mom of 3
A: Simply put, Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. Homeschooling is not for the weak of heart. It takes an extremely dedicated parent/parents to do a good job of homeschooling. People choose to home-school for the opportunity it allows them to combine academic and religious education, others for the opportunity to better address their child's particular learning styles or special needs be they gifted or disability. Whatever the reasons, it usually is done with serious sacrifices of time and finances on the part of the family.
These combined home-school/schools still take a large amount of parental involvement, and the school hours are not usually ones conducive to holding down a job unless the child is older and more independent. So if you need to work, or want to work, it's probably not going to be a realistic option for you. If you are perfectly happy with what the public or private schools can offer, then there is no reason to submit yourself to the extensive time and cost commitment of homeschooling. Others prefer their child to have a less than perfect educational experience because they feel it is the reality they'll encounter throughout their lives. Homeschooling is just another path parents choose for their own personal reasons.
I had considered homeschooling at one point, but I ultimately decided that for me, it would mean too much conflict at home since my first was (and still is) quite oppositional by nature. I've met many home-schoolers, and the vast majority of them are extremely well adjusted, polite, intelligent, self-learners, and go on to excel in high school and/or college when they transition from home school to institution. It's good to have options.
-Audrey Greenwood, mom of 3