The decision to consider home school for your child can be scary but if you have the time to commit to your child it can be a big advantage and a lot less difficult than you might think. Every state provides some guidelines for homeschooling and depending on the state you live in virtual school can be an option. Here in Florida and in several other states Virtual public school is now available. Online public school offers the luxury of planned curriculum and all materials shipped directly to your home. Virtual school offers a virtual teacher online and some companies claim to provide a computer and internet access. Tuition is free as a public school option. Virtual school combines home school with public school and offers field trips and club activities which can help to eliminate the isolation issues associated with just homeschooling.
Our First Quarter of Kindergarten
While signing my grandson up for kindergarten at our local public school we were told that the maximum kindergarten class size would be 16. There were 23 children in his class. His teacher seemed nice and he seemed to enjoy school when she was there. He had some problems with the substitutes who only need an associates degree in any field. There was an incident with the first substitute which changed him from loving school to being quite apprehensive each day. I had to walk him to his class each morning to check if his teacher was in. The second substitute seemed alright, I did stay and observe in the class for over an hour just to make sure. At the end of school that day my grandson did not come out of the building with the car riders. He was missing and no one seemed to know where he was. Each teacher I spoke with told me "he must have put himself in the wrong line"! He was 5 years old, not of an age to determine what line to be in or how he was going to get home. They assured me that no buses had left yet! And if they had? What does that mean? After checking all the bus students we realized he wasn't in a bus line. Time to check with the after school programs. OK here he is safe and sound at an after school program. I find this unacceptable. But on to sub #3 I really didn't want to leave him with the third substitute but did. We were back to the morning uncertainties and him not wanting to go to school. Substitutes became regular business, his morning anxiety grew, the school had misplaced him twice and I became less confident in the public school option.
The Advantages of Home Schooling
Your child can:
- work at their own pace
- sleep when they are tired
- eat when they are hungry
- snack while they do assignments
- reduce contact with sick kids
- reduce stress
- excel in their strengths
- focus on strengthening weaker areas
- be free from bullys
Disadvantages of Traditional Schooling
- teacher/student ratios (usually 20+ students per teacher)
- bullying - from other students and just plain mean teachers
- favoritism - teachers do have favorite students and students that just annoy them
- substitutes - who are unfamiliar with students and not always cut out to teach
- flu season - most virus are contagious before symptoms become apparent
- the pace of the average student - too fast for some students too slow for others
- lack of physical activity - students spend most of the day sitting
- state laws - the legally enforced surrendering of your child over to the school dept
It is easier than you might think
Home schooling may be a good alternative for many families. I did home school my two youngest daughters after reaching the end of my rope with public schools. I found it was much easier than I had anticipated. I bought them a computer and some educational software and did not connect them to the Internet. They really enjoyed not having to go to school and "playing" with the software. My ADHD daughter did exceptionally well. She was much happier, less stressed, and I found this was a good learning style for her. My other daughter received her GED with little effort and she is now in college to become a registered nurse. She is currently working as a CNA.
It really is a lot easier than it sounds if you have the time to commit to it.