Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

School DAZE

I’m a first generation homeschooler. My parents started homeschooling as soon as it became legal in Nebraska. That translated into fifth grade for me. I loved it! It was a perfect fit for someone who is a very self-motivated learner. Give me a textbook and a schedule, and I’m good to go. Check back next month.

My daughter is a second generation homeschooler. She’s doing great. We’re in our second year, and she’s doing a great job with second grade.

Let me tell you, things have changed. Here are some examples:

1) When we started homeschooling, people assumed we were weird, my parents were hiding us from the world, and all kinds of other lovely things. Today, if I mention we homeschool, the first reaction 99% of the time is – hey, that’s cool. Wish I could do that.” Very different reaction…one I have to get used to.

2) When we started homeschooling, there were very limited curriculum options. We used Abeka in the early years, and could only order it through a Christian school. See the challenge…mom had to find a Christian school who didn’t see homeschooling as the loss of potential students. Now a days, a person can get overwhelmed by all the choices…there is a plethora of options and supplements in every subject area. Thank goodness I already knew what we would use.

One thing hasn’t changed.

1) Support groups continue to abound. Support groups are a key way for homeschoolers to connect, to get their questions answered, to take field trips, to study electives. Now there are even coops where families share teaching. How cool is that. I just need to plug into one…because I was homeschooled, I’m more than happy to arrange my own small groups for Abigail. But this week I joined the local support group. It was time.

I love the control homeschooling gives me over my kids’ education. I also love the way it allows me to spend lots of quality time with my children. I get to be there when Jonathan sounds out another word. Or when Abigail figures out fractions. That is an incredible experience.

How do you participate in your children’s education?

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- October 2007; Sandhill Dreams -- May 2008 and Captive Dreams -- September 2008 (Heartsong Presents) Deadly Exposure -- June 2008 (LI Suspense)
The Law, Life & Books: http://carasmusings.blogspot.com
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans: http://kannerlake.blogspot.com


At Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, Blogger Gina Conroy said...

I'm so glad things are going well with homeschooling. I put my kids in school this year after three years of homeschooling.

I'm definitely involved in their education, and I plan on supplementing and enhancing their school education like I've always done.

Abigail and my Timmy are the same age and I thought homeschooling him would be a breeze. He's so easy going, but his stubborn side came out when I homeschooled him. I had to fight him for two years to do work. He would rather play. It wasn't fun.

I loved having control over my kids education, but I didn't like all the stress that came with homeschooling 4 kids. I still miss Timmy not being at home, and I'm even contemplating homeschooling him next year along with my 1st grader, but I'm enjoying this year without the emotional physical stress on my body and household.

It's a bitter sweet year. I want him home with me, but for now (and both our sakes) it's better for him to be in school.

At Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, Anonymous Tabitha said...

My children go to a Christian school and I talk to their teachers quite a bit. I have always been fascinated with homeschooling since my husband was homeschooled. At this time, we have chosen to not homeschool, but it is still in the back of our minds.

At Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, Blogger Sherry B said...

We are seriously considering homeschooling our youngest daughter for several reasons. My oldest daughter is in high school. I've seen the degrading of the school system that has taken place since she started to school. It makes me sad for the future if it continues to go downward.

At Sunday, 16 September, 2007, Blogger Serenity Now! said...

I had always wanted to homeschool. Until I realized it was more about me than my son. My son craved school Out There and my personal reasons for homeschooling were to satisfy my own need for control. I had to admit that we clashed and he was happier out in the realms of public school.

It wasn't the control over my son's education that I was craving, it was control over my son. Not healthy.

I am still as involved as I can be in his education. I love the homework and reading with him and discussing numbers. I have shelves upon shelves of workbooks so we can pull one out and have some quality learning time together.

We've been blessed with great teachers so far.

But recently I was involved in a discussion between homeschooler and publicschoolers that (predictably) didn't turn out well. The HS'ers made comments about how us PS'ers didn't "worry about our kids' socialization" or that we had less concern about what our kids learned.

I may HS in the future, but my main concern is other HSers... I feel I will fail to live up to their expectations if I don't love every minute or wish that it wasn't so hard or hope that he wants to go back to school...


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