Homeschooling seems to be on the rise. And I gotta say, I really top my hat off to the mums who homeschool their kids. I am sure these mums have good reasons to teach their kids at home, but when my oldest entered kindergarten last year, it didn’t even cross my mind.
I love my children with every single tired fibre of my being. But I work outside of the home, so homeschooling really isn’t an option for us. Plus, I cannot imagine not sending my children to school. I mean my kids have a hard time taking instruction from me as it is. When I tell them to be nice to one another, eat their veggies, go to sleep on time, they suddenly develop selective hearing. It takes a lot of work on my part and a ton of patience. Having them with me all day and every day would probably be a detriment to our relationship. And my sanity.
Sending my kids to school gives me a break. But not only that, it gives them structure. Now, I’m not saying that homeschooling doesn’t provide structure, I’m sure it does. But, my daughter gets excited Sunday night knowing she gets to go back to school the following day and see her friends and do her work. She is a great student, and if she stayed home with me as her teacher, I highly doubt she’d be as excited. She loves the adventure that school brings. She likes going to gym class, art class, and media center. Sure, I could provide all those things at home, but the school provides that (free of charge) with 25 or so additional classmates she can interact with.
I know my kids will listen better at school. Just being honest here. Kids – in general – tend to listen to other adults often better than they do their own parents. And kids usually act on their best behaviour when at school. The same holds true for young kids who go to daycare. When I sent my oldest to daycare, she never napped at home. At daycare she always did – and without a fight. At daycare, she ate all her veggies and would ask for more. At home, you’d think I was trying to poison her. And I see the same behaviour happening with my youngest. Children act out at home because home is their comfort zone. So sending kids to school outside of the home gives me a much-needed break and gives the an opportunity to behave.
I am not a teacher. I did not go to school to teach, why would I possibly think I can teach my kids all they need to know? My degree is in communication. And even if I did have a teaching degree, I wouldn’t want my kids to miss out on the normal schooling experience. Let’s face it, there is a lot more to school than just learning. There are friends, clubs, after-school activities, Girl Scouts, etc. And yes, I could enrol my kids in these even if I homeschooled, but they are exposed to so much more in a traditional school setting. And I am not well versed in every subject. I would be scared my kids didn’t learn something because I failed to teach them. I suck at math. Hopefully, their teachers can teach them to love math. Because I certainly won’t.
Sending them to school gives them independence. This is a big one. When kids enter primary school they are now in the hands of the staff at school. Kids get a huge leap of independence while at school. They learn to put their coats, boots, and other belongings in their appointed locker. They learn where the restroom is. They take lunch breaks with their classmates and have to follow the instructions. All of this teaches them how to get by without the help from Mum. And I feel this is an important step. I noticed a big change when my daughter entered kindergarten last year. She has always been independent but has become even more so, and I truly believe it’s because she has learned how by going to school.
School is an experience. Like many traditional steps we take in society, school is a stepping stone to what is next. Schools were invented to teach children. I have an important job as a parent. I am and will always be their main teacher as I am their mother. And my job as a parent is to teach my kids about life, to learn right from wrong, to be their safety net when they need me. But, I also want my kids to know that school is a place to learn, socialise, and grow as a person.
More About Homeschooling:
- How to Homeschool Your Kids
- 5 Things I Don’t Like About Homeschooling My Kids
- Why Homeschooling Works For Us