Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why Homeschool? (Part Two)

I have been doing a little reflection as to why we decided to homeschool this year and decided to share my thoughts.  Part one is here.

So why else homeschool?

Time to Play and Be a KID... - We did not make any final decisions about homeschooling until this summer. Prior to that, we planned on Selam moving onto 7th grade in the junior high.  

In May, I attended a parent orientation for the junior high and was scared out of my wits!  We parents were told that things were going to get "much more intense" for our children in 7th grade. To expect at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours of homework each night in their core classes.  TWO HOURS?! And that's certainly not going to be an accurate estimate for my non-native English speaking daughter.  The thought of her spending 7 hours in school and an additional 2 hours on homework each night just zapped me of my strength - I couldn't imagine what it would do for her!  What about sports? Activities?  Basic fun with the family? 

She is 13 years old, in many respects a young adult. But she is a child.  A child who loves to ride her bike, jump rope with her sisters and even play house (now and again) with Ally.  When would she fit that in?  The thought of removing public school from the equation, limiting her "school" to a few hours each day was just so refreshing - for us and for her.  It hasn't been all puppies and rainbows, but far more often than not, there is a new lightness about her, clearly some pressure removed.  Although, at 13, Selam is naturally bouncing back and forth from seeking to be an adult (and treated accordingly) to also enjoying her time as a child (and acting accordingly...), there has been a bit of a reduction in that push-to-grow-up-so-fast that I felt was constantly nipping at our heels last year.  We hear a bit less about wanting a cell phone and other new electronic devices now that she isn't bombarded each day with the message that she isn't "cool" enough without them.
Truth be told, I can't see in her mind and I won't claim to know what she is feeling and thinking all the time.  But based on what she has expressed and what her general demeanor has expressed, I have noticed a positive impact and am hoping that I can hold off (to some degree...) those years of teen "angst" that I admit I worried were coming at us full-force.

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