Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

With freedom comes responsibility.

I've had a while to think about this homeschooling versus... institutionalized schooling? public school? You know what I mean.
I was a teacher. I subbed for four and a half years, taught in a Catholic school for one, then four years in public school. I have an idea how the system in general works.
There were a lot of decisions I didn't have to make, which simplified things. Which text to use, how long to spend with each subject per day, how many days we'd spend per year... I didn't have to figure that out.
Of course, that wasn't always a good thing. If I planned to give the last test on the Wednesday before school got out, and then was later told that was the day we were attending the local amusement park, I was out of luck. Can you imagine? "Mrs. Price's Spanish I students, please report back to the bus. It's time to head back for your exam." So I got to adjust my schedule.
The text was chosen by the whole department. I had a say, but I was one of five making the decision. If I thought it was rotten, I was pretty much stuck with it.
I only had so many days to get through what I could. If the school year ended before we got through the eight or nine chapters, oh well. There was no calling students back into July to cover material. Off they went.
Those things were out of my hands and I didn't feel guilty about them. I had little or no control over them. I let them go.

Homeschooling, on the other hand, allows a LOT more freedom. Use this text, or that one, or none at all. Move up to second grade reading after one quarter? Sure. Leave math and spelling aside for three weeks? As you wish. Skip school on days of doctor's appointments, weekends, and good-weather days? Okay. Finish in an hour, use manipulatives all week, spend a month on nothing but science experiments? If that's what floats your boat, go for it. We have that freedom.
But then, it's up to me to see that my children are educated. If they're not, I can't blame the system, amusement park days, the administration, or bad textbooks. It's all on me. Freedom brings responsibility. Is it any wonder I sometimes get a little stressed about it? I think that's a sign of sanity.



At 8:00 PM, Blogger HISchild said...

To whom much is given, much is required.

We are readily equipped for the job but we must DO the job.

Choices, choices . . .

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Milehimama said...

versus... institutionalized schooling? public school?

I call it outsourcing.

We use the Dell Computer model of homeschooling around here, apparently LOL


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