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Why Homeschoolers Choose to Stay Home
"A 10 year old boy in his fifth grade has been reported dead after being strangled by his classmate [11 years old] because of a heated argument"-Baguio City [Baguio Central School]
I heard the above news from the television last Friday and was shocked to my bones. What is happening with our children today? Aggressive as they have become, it seems that violence has invaded the regular culture of the young ones. With violent computer games and animated programs, children have been taught to see violence as a regular process of releasing their anger and making other people the subject of their frustrations.
Psychologists explain that what the visual senses perceive to be real are recorded in the sponge-like minds of the children as they see these issues to be regular matters posted on televisions, magazines, and now the internet. the mark that these media influences impose on the young minds create a thought that these situations are rather normal. This is perhaps the reason why there are some social critics who label the new generation to be thriving in the courses of the "death culture". Respect for life is becoming a thing of the past. The young generation today seem to see that value as a mere myth. At some point, violence has become one of the most common outlets as to how people are able to get what they want and what they need from others; and this is the culture children are growing up in at present.
Parents are then becoming more concern as to how they are supposed to protect their children from this particular culture. True, parent often try hard to protect their children through making sure that their recreation-time is well spent on good books and good television programs. However, when it comes to going to school, parents are no longer able to see to it that their children are not exposed to the culture of violence. Being mixed up with other children from other courses of upbringing, the thinking and the values that the parents trained up their children in becomes influenced by others.
Responding to "peer pressure" is probably one of the most common and hardest challenge the children in school have to face. Their beliefs and the things their parents taught them are constantly being questioned and challenged by those who push them to doing something against their will or at least against the values that their parents taught them in their homes. A part of going to school is knowing the "bullies". Also closely related to peer pressure, bullying has become a regular issue in schools today. From here comes the development of school violence.
These issues often confront the parents as they decide on which school to place their children in. As for me, this has been one of my greatest concerns. I do know that I taught my son well to defend himself in a properly manner. He did so one time when he was bullied by a classmate. Sadly though, the classmate did not respond to calm argumentation and decided to go the other way around. My son, 6 years of age went home with the scratch in the face and a splinted arm. I was furious at the time, but I tried to calm myself and talk to the parent and the guidance counselor about the matter. They said that the other kid has behavioral issues and does not respond to calm arguments. He specifically is fired up about anything and decides to take matters on his hand every now and again. At first, I thought it was just child's play, but upon hearing what they have said, I tried to tell the parent to see to it that the child does not do it again and asked the counselor to see things through and check on the children every now and then... after a few days, the bullying was repeated. This was the time when I decided to pull my child out. I felt that if there was anyone who can handle my child's needs of learning, that would be me. Hearing the news from the TV about a child killed by his classmate because of rage even pointed out how evidently "correct" our decision was to teach our own child through home school.
It is first and foremost the responsibility of the parents to educate their children with the right skills and values that could protect them for life.
Like us, other parents are also opting to put their children in homeschooling programs simply with the hope of protecting them from the awful influences that they might catch from school. However, as it is widely known, putting a child in home school program poses a great challenge to the parents as it does require time and patience to handle the children's discipline, their education and providing them an ample space to grow into who they really are rather than on who we want them to be. There are also some pitfalls of homeschooling that parents should be careful of falling into. Some of these advises could help:
- Do not be your own child's "BULLY": Sometimes, being parents, we expect our children to perform in an extraordinary way. We have this certain standard that we impose on them to reach. As a result, we become overly anxious when they do not respond to the learning process we present them with in the manner we expect them to. With this irritation comes aggressiveness and there are times when we, the parents, become our own child's bully. When handling home school activities, we must remember that the aim is for our child to learn and not to earn any achievement.
- Follow the Child's Path of Learning Advancement/Learning at his or her own pace: The beauty of homeschooling is that there is no school calendar to follow, no school mates to compete with, just the learning process to focus on. Every child is unique and has unique ways of learning and digesting lessons. It would be best for parents to simply follow through that pace and learn more about their children along the way.
- Give the Child Some Space: Like any other children, our child needs some time to relax and play, giving them that chance even when they are in a home school program is an important part of retaining their interest in learning.
As for us, homeschooling our child is a plan of teaching that we tend to handle until the time we are sure he can already handle himself while dealing with other members of his peers. Perhaps at the right age and at the right time, we would introduce him to the school setting, the time when we are sure his values are already solid and that he could already protect himself with an upright decisions on what is right and what is wrong.
A good read about avoiding becoming a bully of your own child could be found here
- How to not loose your temper when disciplining your child
Most of the time, children, being silly as their nature is, often bring parents into the bridge of loosing temper. Discipline then becomes a punishment that children despise. Giving a calmer process of discipline allows the children to learn more and
Protecting our children requires our personal concern for their being....
It is our quest to define the lives that our children would take on later. It is our duty to guide them and not to force them on what we want them to become. Being their mentors, parents who are homeschooling their children have a greater chance of creating a valuable gift of proper education that their children need to suffice their personal desire for success in the future.
For further reading, these books could help homeschool enthusiasts as they handle their responsibility of handling the secular education of children as they set
This book provides a heads-on guideline on how independent homeschoolers could create worthwhile curriculum that could fit their child's needs based on learning cases and age.
This book gives an outline of the most common mistakes of parents whenever they go into the decision of putting their children in a homeschool program. Knowing these mistakes could specifically help us in avoiding the said mistakes while creating a good home school environment for our child/children.
Some helpful links that could provide you good advice about homeschooling are as follows:
- 10 Tips For New Homeschoolers
Homeschooling is a big, and sometimes, frightening step to take. Here are ten tips for those just starting out, from a veteran homeschool mom with 8 kids and 19 years homeschooling experience.
- Schooling: Homeschool vs. Public School vs. Private School
This provides an overall definition on the differences of the performance of children attending homeschool, private school and public schools.