To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool
Last Friday,I tried out something different and I am glad I did. My friend invited me to join her to go to a playgroup that consists of homeschooling moms and their kids who meet weekly for play dates. She mentioned that every playgroup they invite someone to teach on a specific topic. When she went the last time, I think a marine biologist taught the kids about marine life. So despite the fact that I did not know anyone there, I decided to go with her to check it out specially because I have always been interested to try homeschooling for my kids. That afternoon the theme was theatre for kids. The guest teacher asked the kids and the moms to participate in theatre exercises and games. My daughter Andi (almost four years old) also took awhile to adjust to the new people she met today. I wanted to take pictures so that I can document it and put them here in my blog but I was too shy!
The highlight of the day was when I met Joy Tanchi-Mendoza and her lovely mom Ms. Deonna Tanchi. Joy is the author of the blog Teach With Joy. She is a mother of 4 kids all of which she homeschools both formally and informally. When my friend mentioned that it was her who arranges these meetings, I checked out her blog to learn more about homeschooling. Her mom was there and was very gracious to talk to us and entertain our questions (not to mention to welcome us into her home!). Ms. Deonna has homeschooled all her five children! So I listened to these two talk about homeschooling their kids and its’ benefits, and the joy they have had doing it. Here are a few advantages that I learned from them (a few I already know and have seen with some of my friends who are doing homeschool). Quoting Joy from her blog, here are some of them: “quality time together with kids, the ability to choose the curriculum, positive socialization, “savings”, and the values can be passed on.” There is also growing interest in homeschooling because many parents feel that traditional schools are getting too large, too “one-size-fits-all”, and too dangerous (morally speaking) for their kids.
To homeschool or not to homeschool? That is the question. As for me, I am sold. I am all for it and I want do it for as long as I can and as long as my children want me to teach them and as long as the circumstances allow me to do it. But is it for everyone? I don’t know. Some say it is a calling and not everyone is called to do it. Does homeschooling make one a better mom? — No, it does not make anyone any better. I have witnessed some friends who choose the common path of sending their kids to school and their children turn out to be great.
So here is what I have resolved on this matter: the issue is not really about whether you decide to homeschool or not to homeschool. I believe the difference lies on the decision of every parent to take the main responsibility of raising up their children. We as parents should be the main influencer (therefore teacher) of our children. It is our role to take care of them, to discipline them, to teach and train them. And when we take this role seriously, we will be able to impart to them the most. Our role cannot be delegated and it is much too costly to remain passive about it. If we don’t parent, train, and influence our children, someone or something else will. I think there are more opportunities to do these when one chooses to homeschool their children. But I also think that all parents (including the ones who decided to send their kids to school) can do it as long as they have committed themselves to this task and call. I have friends who work full time and send their kids to school who are some of the most committed moms I know. One of them told me before that the hours right after work and the whole of weekends are dedicated to be spent with the kids. Some have made arrangements with work so as to have more flexible hours, some have chosen to do businesses and some have opted to work from home. On the other hand, there may be stay at home moms too who remain uninvolved in their kids’ affairs and are distracted with so many other things.
So the road less travelled I believe is the road of utmost commitment to our kids. And I cannot say that there won’t be any trade-offs because there definitely will be. Our commitment to teach our kids will cost us, and it will cost us a lot. It will consume our time, our energy, and will affect our social calendar. The cost is great but the reward will be immeasurable.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6