I know, I know, this is a bit premature, given that she isn't walking or talking yet. But no one ever accused me of not planning ahead.
Part of me is very seduced by the idea of learning with my kids, reading great books to them, and helping instill a love of learning, rather than sending them to public school and watching it be drilled out of them.
Both Dyami and I went to public school, and both of us got a good education. With a few exceptions:
- I remember dreading the first two months of school in elementry grades, because it was all review. I made paper clip chains and tried to get through it.
- I would read ahead in my textbooks and then be lost when I got called on.
- Worksheets where we had to write "complete sentance" answers, even when the repetition was numbing. Example: Why did the chicken cross the road? Ans: The chicken crossed the road to get to the other side.
- Dyami was in Montessori for his first grade year, and then in public school after that. He said he didn't learn anything new in math until sixth grade. Man, he could have been a Nobel Laureate in Math by 6th grade if he hadn't been held back by the public school system.
- The whole 'being smart is dumb' culture really sucked. I put up with it until high school, where in our school, being 'average' was dumb. Also not cool, but it was nice to have a break.
- A mediocre teacher and a lousy book in PreCalculus in high school. God, I hated that class. I could never figure otu the homework, and neither teacher or book helped. I scraped by, but learned almost no math. In college, I got an A in Calculus with a good teacher and good book. (I still don't remember any of it, but I did master the material at the time).
- Dyami opted out of Honors English because the teacher was obnoxious. (Being Dyami, he told the teacher so, in class). It didn't harm him long-term, but he probably missed out on some cool books.
- I was a little worried about getting beat up in Science C in Jr. High.
- Junior high in general, actually.
- Health class. Ugh.
- Just a lot of wasted time. A lot, a lot of wasted time. And we were in good schools.
And (perhaps naively) I think Dyami and I could do a good job of educating. I am pretty qualified and excited about language, history, and social sciences. If I had a good math curriculum, I'm sure I could do fine (I always did fine with decent books). And Dyami is great backup if I hit roadblocks. Both of us love learning, love good literature, and are constantly seeking out new forms of knowledge.
When I think about actually learning things with my kids--going to the library and seeking out info on the Renaissance, or photosynthesis, or being able to fill in the gaps in my own education while helping my kids to learn, that sounds pretty cool. I mean, I did Spanish and English grammar study for fun one summer. I know, I'm a nerd.
And reading a bunch of great books together (though I don't plan on making my kids read Jerome and Hercletes in translation, sorry).
And trying to tech them spanish--maybe going to Mexico for a month as a family for language immersion together? Or to Argentina? pretty cool.
As for "socialization", I know a family that homeschooled all three kids (well, they're still in the process) through high school, and their kids are completely sane, well-adjusted, and socially adept. In fact, they're pretty awesome kids. So there's no reason it can't work.
FInally, I really, really, really dislike the consumer focus of our society. With the branding, and the emphasis on labels, and who has the best toys, and kids with cell phones, and high school kids with new cars. And the marketing is reaching earlier and earlier and earlier. This really bothers me. I know that a lot of this is guided by peers, in school, because it sure was for me, in the days of less-intense advertising. Guess, Keds, Espirit, Trapper Keeper, etc. You know what I'm saying.
Here's my hesitation.
1) I'm worried I'm thinking about this just to prove something. Like with EC, I tend to seek out the most difficult, high-effort way of doing something and then bang my head against the wall in an effort to show how superior I am to everyone else.
I do not think this is a biblical model for homeschooling. I am trying to pray that God would show me if homeschooling would be good for my mental health.
2) I have a friend that homeschools that really, truly, loves being around her kids all day.
I'm not sure I will be in that camp. I love Lucy, don't get me wrong, but I really covet the baby-free moments I get.
So those are my hesitations. If I'm a worse mommy because of homeschooling, it's not worth it. I don't want to be a witch or a martyr. I would like to have time to do my own writing and thinking again someday.