Domestic Bliss Report

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What is "homeschooling"?

There has been some discussion over here on what homeschooling is. Now, it doesn't seem to be that difficult to figure out, but then even presidents have had trouble with otherwise obvious definitions. I'll offer my two cents here, because this is my forum. We'll start with what it's not.

Homeschooling is not... helping your child with homework assigned by someone else. Even if it's done at home. That falls under the category of good parenting, not homeschooling. It doesn't matter if this work was assigned by a regular teacher in a typical school situation or enrichment work from an extra tutor. Not homeschooling--it's parenting.

Homeschooling is not... work done with you in addition to a regular student work load during the typical school year; I think the term coined for that is "afterschooling." Note the difference in spelling. AFTER =/= HOME.

Homeschooling is not... done just for the summer. If Labor Day rolls around and you bounce your merry bundles of joy off to somewhere else for six or seven hours a day, you aren't homeschooling. I would call it "summer-schooling."

Now, all of these are valuable practices. They do tell your child his or her education is important and you as a parent are involved. Those are good things and worth anyone's time, but they are not homeschooling.

Homeschooling is when parents take the reins for their child's education and are the main, if not sole, arbiter on what is taught, when it is taught, and how it is taught. The parents choose the text, the method, and the schedule. If they don't think cursive is important, they don't teach it. If they want their children to spend the year learning all about of the bugs they find in the backyard and park instead of global warming, they do.

And Mom and Dad take the flak for it. They don't have the teacher to blame, or the poor curriculum, or the time taken out for standardized testing or the ridiculous necessity of teaching to said test, or the administration that doesn't recognize the genius of their precious angel. Mom and Dad do. Mom and Dad have the labor of figuring out if their child is ready for fractions, or why their eight-year-old isn't reading, or how to teach composition to a six-year-old, or Latin is going to be more confusing for the one learning to read than enriching the one who's two years ahead in reading. It's Mom and Dad, all year round.

See the difference? Mom and Dad. Nobody else. That's what makes it homeschooling.

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2 Comments:

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

AMEN!!!

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger THE MOM WITH BROWNIES said...

I second that sister! :o)

 

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