Why are we choosing to home school our children?
I've always wanted to take a active part in my children's education. When it came time for Callum to commence preschool, Mike and I raised the issue of home schooling, but at the time, things were financially tougher, we had just bought our house, Mike was working a minium wage job and we needed to be a two income family.
We did what we thought best. Checked out all the local schools between the local area and even close to our workplaces and 'settled' on the school we thought would best reflect our ideals of a 'good' education. We drove 'out of our way', past 4 other schools to give our children the 'best start' in life.
Needless to say we ended up moving the kids 3 years ago to the 'local school' 10mins away due to Callum enduring major bulling issues that the school refused to address (a whole other post there!). The small local school, (which at the time we were looking at schools had a very bad name for itself) has been fantastic. My kids are doing well, the girls are A grade students, Callum's grades have improved with each report card and the teachers are generous in their praise of our children. Any bulling issues that should arise, are minor and are dealt with very swiftly and effectively by the Behaviour Management Specialist at the school. When it comes down to it, its a 'good' school.
So why would we want to home school our children??
I've been wanting to home school since we started to think about our children's education. I really enjoy being with our children and want to be a very active participate in their education.
Now that we have experienced the 'school system' I really think that it fails to cater for every child's need. Both Livia and Aliya excel in their school work, working above their year levels, and therefore get really bored with the work they are given. Instead of being challenged they are given colouring in sheets or run errands for the teachers when they have completed work ahead of the class. Callum on the other had will not 'set his mind' to a task if it doesn't interest him, and will rush through his work and present it 'just to have it over and done with' so he can play with his mates. For example, Callum received a D on his report card for computer studies. Now Callum knows as much if not more about computers as he has his own laptop. But he failed as he needed to create a document on word and present it to the teacher. Callum didn't ask for assistance, rushed and presented a report on something he was not interested in, and I guess the teacher who has 30 kids to juggle, didn't get round to following up with Callum about his lack of effort. And I mean that is fair enough, Callum has been told by both the teachers and I that even though it may not be his favourite topic, the work needs to be completed to the best of his ability.
This is where I think home schooling will be beneficial. Callum will be able to do a word report on a topic 'of interest' and be able to demonstrate his abilities using a computer.
With class sizes ranging from 25-30, I feel that teachers are being stretched too thinly. Home schooling should allow me to spend a lot of one on one time with the children so that they are able to really take in what they are learning and I'll be able to cater to their learning styles and have a chance to really focus and take in what they are learning.
The last few months of Callum's schooling has lead me to wonder about the curriculum that the children are learning. I found out near the end of term that the class was to present a speech on drug use. The children had to research the pro's and con's of a variety of drugs, marijuana, street drugs, binge drinking, chroming, just to name a few. I understand that in today's society, many youth will be exposed to this, but is it necessary for 11-12 yr olds to know this sort of information? Callum picked binge drinking, and even after all his 'research' didn't know what it was! This question was raised when he was practising his speech for me. (A term of research and presentation was wasted on this effort, he also got a D for this section of work)
Hopefully you have gotten this far. I didn't realise my ramblings would take so long! I will add a part 2 to better explain our reason for home schooling :)