What comes to mind when you think of a homeschooling family? A religious cult-like family that wants to teach creationism and argues against evolution? Maybe it’s some hippie non-vaccinating family that’s going to dance around trees and sing about mother Earth while burning sage, perhaps it’s something else. Our family is nowhere near that. We are for one, not at all religious (though we respect everyone’s own decisions to follow a religion –as long as it does not harm or hurt people or the planet) and yes, we vaccinate our children. We are world schoolers.
We never thought we’d be homeschoolers. But we’ve talked about it for years, and finally settled on going through with it this school year. My husband and I are fortunate enough to own and operate a business that gives us a lot of flexibility. I also work a part-time job that allows me to be flexible and put a lot of money towards our savings to see the world together (should I blog about this?). So for someone working a 9-5, homeschooling probably wouldn’t be as of much interest nor as manageable (not saying it’s impossible, just less likely).
We found traditional schooling to be problematic for our family. For one, our son was bullied a lot. We teach socio-emotional understanding in our home so we allow him to cry, we dissect emotions, and discuss feelings. We don’t want to breed toxic masculinity, but that’s another topic for another day. Even in the most progressive, project based, public charter in Los Angeles, we found that bullying was something other parents weren’t bothering to prevent in their own homes. There were kids using slurs and saying things like “you’re gay” towards our child (who hasn’t even specified his attraction preference) which we also weren’t fans of hearing. I know what some people are saying while reading this— “why didn’t you just toughen him up?” We definitely teach him to stand up for himself and if someone hits him first (never initiate) you fight back! But we still didn’t care for the environment traditional schooling offered. Another thing we experienced is even with two teachers in the class room, our son still performed better with 1-on-1 teaching, actually…most students do. The most frustrating part about traditional schooling (public schools) is that students were treated more as a barter item for money than they were actual people. It was more about attendance for LAUSD to get money than it was about how my child is taking information in. There are complaints from parents across the country, and while that is a more complex topic I’m glad we no longer have to worry about it.
One of the biggest reasons we’ve decided to homeschool our son is because of the way things are taught. Here we have this beautiful, multi-racial boy, who’s learning about white American history. As a woman of color and first generation immigrant to the U.S. I know next to nothing about my own history. I wish I had gotten more of a global understanding of the world too. Also, as many parents can attest to common core is the most frustrating and idiotic thing on the planet as a base curriculum for students. So why not private school? Private school still mandates a 9-5 style structure. While the education is said to be better, the 20k/year could be going towards experiences that can better educate a child. Not to mention the lack of socio-economic diversity. While it’s great to aspire having children who go to the school with the rich kids, thus proving you too are rich, we’d rather have our kid(s) be conscious of the different socio-economic backgrounds of others and not just one class of people (which also usually tends to be race dominant)
Okay, so what about college and the SAT and ACT. College/University isn’t mandatory for our kids but it is something we highly encourage. We talk about the different universities he could go to, what he could learn, etc. Statistically homeschooled students perform better on Standardized Tests than students who go to traditional schools. Also, many universities favor and embrace homeschooling because of it’s benefits which you can read about here — Business Insider: Homeschooling to Havard
I will go into the logistics of homeschooling later but I am so excited to share our family’s newest adventure with you all and can’t wait to share more!