Schools or Homeschooling?
I love that at any time, I can call my local school and register my kid and the school will welcome her. The thing is not every kid wants to go to a big school. Some kids work better and excel outside of a school setting.
Homeschooling is not easy or any one way. Every family does it uniquely from what I can tell. We are still relatively new to this world of education. We didn’t come to homeschooling for religious reasons or because of school phobia.
It was just time for a new choice. My DD asked if she could take a break from school and after consulting with her teachers and advocates, we took the leap. It was a big leap that I was not planning on, but it was time.
That first year was a lot of trial, error and successes. My kid went from a small school with most of her social time in one place to meeting many circles of friends. There were enrichment programs, hooping classes, minecraft get togethers, anime club, the Y and her time with me volunteering for the Medicine Wheel Gardens. The ages and backgrounds of her friends expanded far beyond her school circles.
The second year we started the Northwest New Jersey Homeschoolers to see if there were other families out there like us. Sure enough there were. We started meeting at the Frankford Main Library and then started a 4-H group. The group enjoyed a series of trips to Fairview Lake Camp. A whole new circle of friends grew through their time doing team building, archery, stream assessment and a swamp walk.
I admire the way my DD can now walk into any new social setting and give it a go. I know she can continue to homeschool or go to a school and find her peeps. The time away from school, better prepared her for returning, when it is time. I am thankful she has options
So, I’m not dogmatic about school…or homeschooling. What works for one kid, may not work for another. And that can change from year to year too. I hope in the near future schools will become more flexible and not be so “either you are in or out.” It would be great to have access to afterschool activities to be a part of the school community. There are also wonderful hybrids popping up like the Princeton Learning Cooperative. Teachers are there to mentor kids, give them options and support them in following their passions.
My only advice as a newby homeschooling parent is, always think of school or homeschooling as a choice you are making now and keep your options open.
You can always make a new choice, as long as you don’t put yourself or your kid(s) in a box.