This is a guest post by Jennifer Silva, about why she has chosen to Homeschool her son this year. All the opinions expressed are her own. She’s one half of the team behind the podcast and website Life Hacks LA.
When I was in my early twenties I had the opportunity to work with children in a Montessori school in Seattle, WA. I saw how wonderful it was for kids to have the opportunity to have a one to one instruction.
I also saw how happy the children were in an environment that not only provided them with high quality academics, but also provided life learning experiences such as taking care of themselves and their environment, and also being kind to others.
This experience really got me thinking of the great differences between traditional education and non- traditional education. It also made me realize that we do have choices, and we must choose what is best for our kids.
Just like each family, every child is unique. A child has interests, talents, and needs that many times go unnoticed in a classroom where everyone has to learn the same thing, the same way, at the same time.
Public education has lots of challenges that includes fluctuating budgets, large classrooms, under staff, and even politics that sometimes seem to benefit an employee more than a child himself.
There are other challenges within the public system, for example children are not allowed to use the bathroom when they need to.
The first time I heard of this I was shocked! So kids are supposed to tell their bladders that they missed the chance of using a bathroom? Yes! They do.
They are assigned a colored pass and that color indicates the time they can use the bathroom. Would you like this at your job? I would tell my boss, what is wrong with you? But kids don’t get to do that.
Lunch breaks are rather short, which in my opinion it kind of teaches them to choose fast food because, well it’s faster to get and it’s faster to eat. Which works well when you have under 15 minutes to eat every day.
And bullying, don’t even get me started there… understaffing has a lot to do with this. Many bullying incidents happen in areas where there are not enough adults supervising and providing guidance to those who didn’t get the “be kind” memo.
Many parents, like us, believe we are the ones who hold the education ticket of our kids and we should do everything we can so that they get the education they deserve, in an environment that is enriching and is not hostile.
In our particular case, we have chosen to homeschool our son because we want to provide a meaningful education for him.
We want our son to assimilate information at his own pace and to explore in deep the subjects that are of his own particular interests. We prefer for him to learn a science lesson for example, at the planetarium, science center and so forth. Or to tour the botanical gardens when he’s learning about the cycle of plants.
Also, we want to travel and show him other cultures, flavors and people. To inspire him to ask himself what does it really mean to exist or to be alive? To inspire him to create great things, and to explore the world and learn from it.
I like to think of homeschool as a new movement, a movement of parents taking charge of their children’s education, and to stop the old thinking of leaving the future legacy to the hands of a system that is far from perfect.
I have noticed that some families have decided to homeschool their children because of the coronavirus issues. I think parents most definitely explore and learn about different ways to homeschool their kids.
We particularly will begin with a homeschool curriculum that follows the State requirements but it’s presented in one to one instruction and supplemented by an online curriculum. Plus field trips and group activities such as book clubs and sports.
I recommend to anyone who is thinking about homeschool to visit the California Department of Education for information about what you need to do to start. (See our homeschool resources post, linked above.) Also I recommend to read articles provided by Home School Legal Defense Association HSLDA, they can walk you through many questions parents may have regarding instructions on how to fill out the forms.
After reading all the information, you can choose the homeschool style that is the best fit for your family, then enjoy planning curriculum and activities.
I can’t describe the joy of having a direct hand in my child’s educational future with the benefits of homeschooling and I highly encourage any interested parent to give it a try.
This is a guest post by Jenifer Silva. All the opinions expressed are her own. She’s one half of the team behind the podcast and website Life Hacks LA.