Why Some Teachers Homeschool: Taking Control
Today’s post is written by a former kindergarten teacher who fully expected to put her own children in public kindergarten once they were old enough. She realized, though, that all-day kindergarten was not really what very young children need. They need to be with their parents and be encouraged to learn and explore. They need to be allowed to be children–to run and play and have fun! In this post, Amy tells her story.
The teacher who wants to have control over her own child’s education
Teaching full day kindergarten showed me that young children should not be in a classroom all day, five days a week. Children should be playing, exploring, being kids. Unfortunately, with the now state-funded preschool day-care, full-day preschool and kindergarten have become the norm with the false message of a “Head Start in Learning.” Being in a full day classroom with 24 children in an urban environment was taxing on me and my students’ diverse learning needs. I was unable to give them the education that each of them deserved. I encouraged parental involvement, but parents were simply not as involved as their children so obviously needed.
I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I thought I would homeschool my kids for their first years or so, and I figured I’d have the perfect working schedule once my kids went to school. Now, after researching homeschool curriculum and realizing how much fun I have learning alongside my son in our at-home preschool, I know that homeschooling is right for our family. I want to influence my children morally and Biblically. I pray for the Godly wisdom to set boundaries and put them in the “protective bubble” that the anti-homeschooling crowd looks down upon. Yes, I can and I will shield my children from vulgar books, videos, media, and bus conversations. They can be socialized in so many more ways than sitting in a classroom and wasting their precious time sitting at a desk for 8 hours every day.
I encourage any mom who has ever considered teaching her own children to seek it out. Research the laws of your state and look for free and inexpensive curriculums online. I am only at the beginning, but I’d rather be teaching them than allow a complete stranger, un-chosen by me, to teach and educate and shape them. I believe in hands-on learning and teaching every student at the level of that student’s individual needs and learning styles.
The more and more I read other blogging moms and talk to homeschooling parents, I am drawn to Classical education and how it edifies the whole child. I want my children to have strong grammar and phonics foundations. I want them to learn Latin, Hebrew, great works of art, and read brilliant and timeless literature. I want to challenge and edify them. I know that my child would not be wholly served, educationally and behaviorally, in a public school setting. My son is very rambunctious. Would he be labeled as “that kid who is too loud or active in class”? My daughter is quiet and submissive. Would she be ignored and unchallenged, as she passed through her classes, quietly and non-energetically? I saw both situations happen in my short time as a public school teacher. I know my children best and I am blessed beyond belief that God has entrusted their lives and education to me.
Amy, M.Ed, at Wildflower Ramblings is a former kindergarten teacher. She homeschools her 3 1/2 year old son as her 18 month old daughter tags along.
Thank you for your article. I am a teacher who homeschools. I have a 9 year old boy and 7 year old girl. I did send my son to Kindergarten a couple of years ago and he had the best teacher but even with a great teacher I was called to homeschool (before I even put him in school) and still after a good year in school. Being a teacher and having actually subbed in the school I had no argument when I withdrew him in the summer before grade 1. I did not send my daughter to school.
My plans were lofty and I have fallen short and we definitely have our challenges, we’re definitely not perfect but its all good. I totally agree with the bubble. I do sub on occasion and every time I leave for the day I’m so glad we homeschool.
Teachers spend at least 40 hours a week with their students, parents if they are not working after school and if bedtime is 8 pm, that gives them 4 hours a day with their own children which during the week would work out to 20 hours. But in reality, most parents are working til 5 or 6 and kids have activities, so it probably is more realistically less than 20 hours in the work week. Some people may make up for that on the weekends. Again, no control over what your child is learning in school, formally and informally and from peers. I have yet to learn what kids learn from their peers except bad habits.
Homeschooling is becoming a more popular choice among people and I rarely have to defend my choice to homeschool, I actually receive positive comments from friends and strangers. Of course when I tell them I’m a teacher, there really is no argument. One thing that has struck me when I started our homeschool journey, someone asked if we don’t want the break (school giving us that break). They were a parent.
There was just something very wrong when I was spending almost 40 hours a week with other people’s children while mine were at home and I did only have a few hours in the evening with them, some of that prepping for the next day. (I was a teaching for a term to cover an illness). Knowing it was a short time and my husband was at home some of the time was fine. But I’m glad I do not do it full time.
From my own school days I think of all the hours and years I spent with peers and teachers (hundreds and thousands of hours when you add them all up) all that time for people I never see or talk to the rest of my life. Now when I homeschool, all those hours and days are put into my forever relationship with my children. And hopefully a tailor-made education for them as well.
Homeschooling is challenging and there are some bad days but there are great days and I don’t regret it at all. I do try and get some small breaks in during my day and the odd day off sometimes. Its all good.
Most people think because I am a teacher that its easier to homeschool. Its not. In fact I had to “relearn” things. I was used to teaching to the status quo, teach the curriculum, get it done, etc. I’ve had to learn to gear things for us. The curriculum is not the ruler, just a guideline and we can repeat a lesson til the child understands the concept. I’m a work in progress and every day I try to be open to what God has for us each day. There are so many resources for homeschoolers, its almost overwhelming.
It is a great adventure. It will stretch you in many ways. It will challenge you. There is rarely a boring moment. You will grow and learn beside your children. You will have a bad days but hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. Don’t be afraid to stop and change things as needed. Keep God at the head of your family and homeschool and you won’t go wrong.
Wow thank you so much for your response, you have some great advice!! I love your breakdown of the hours put into school vs. at home with parents. Sad, but true. The unfortunate reality is that many parents do have to work that much, and many don;t truly know the teacher or adults who are influencing their child(ren). It is wonderful that homeschool is becoming more acceptable — we know our children best — and flexibility and adapting to their needs is key <3