>> Monday, October 26, 2009
***part 2-why am i scared?***
to answer this, i first have to let you know that i'm going to be completely honest. mostly about myself. and a little about my thoughts in general about homeschooling. i know right now that there is one thing that i'm going to say that could possibly offend someone. please know that is not my intention, it is an honest part of me considering the homeschooling prospect. i know that lots of people do teach their children at home. some of my online friends do. but as for anything beyond that, i don't know any details and am definitely not thinking of any person in particular, but moreso just the idea. ok now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let me start telling you my fears.
i don't want to sound like a jerk right here when i tell you my first fear. it's rather simple but first i have to just say that i love my girls-a lot. i don't have to describe that love for you all, because most of you have children and know exactly what that love is like. but...sometimes they drive me nuts. there i said it. it scares me to think that the school day would no longer be a break from parenting. i enjoy my time with the girls and i enjoy an occasional break from the girls.
and to add to that, kelley and bethany feel the same way. they love each other, but they are at an age where they bicker. a lot. remember my recent confession of "grounding" them from speaking to each other? right, so i think that the school day is a good break for them too. they are close in age (18 months apart) and so much of everything is "together". friends are a good example, one sister meets a friend and because of the age closeness the other sister becomes a friend. it usually makes for a nice group. sometimes it doesn't, there are a lot of complaints of each other "stealing" their friend. (as a side note, i'm am only child and i've always felt that it is so lonely. my hope for having the girls close in age would be for them to become instant best friends. um, not always).
ok so the point of the first fear is that there might be too much "togetherness".
moving along, i do think a great thing would be to have a schedule for my day. i will admit that since i'm now at home, my days really all run together. i don't have a schedule for myself. if i was going to be the "teacher" then i'd have to have a schedule. a great thing! ok that's not a fear, just a little babble about the benefit for me.
now i will start on what is really the scariest thing and also where my disclaimer comes in. i have no idea what anyone's educational background is and unless you want to share it's not anything i need to know. am i educated enough to educate my girls properly? when i think about this i wonder if there is ever a case of a parent who dropped out of school, didn't further their education in any way and is now teaching their children. that just seems fundamentally wrong to me. on the flip side that person may be very smart and just wasn't into school. there are a lot of people like that.
as for me, i did graduate high school-barely. i was one who just wasn't interested. friends, the beach, parties, that was what i was interested in. my grades were ok, usually just enough to get by, i rarely gave it my all. looking back i regret this. i remember the big message was always how important it was to get your high school diploma. that was the goal. i think the message was wrong, the diploma is important-but as a stepping stone to college. here's a confession-i brainwashed the girls that college was mandatory. just like K-12, you go to college, end of story. i knew eventually they would figure it out. i am still a bit mad at the people who proved that you don't have to further your education and in their case, heck you didn't need to finish middle school. ugh. ok so i do regret that i didn't put my all into my education and attend a university.
i did eventually get my act together and i do have a college degree. but it's not in education. i'm a nurse. so does that matter? i really struggle with this. teachers go to college to learn how to educate. they must know things that i don't know. and when it comes to kelley and bethany, i want them to succeed. i have very high hopes. i don't want to ruin that if i homeschool them and do it wrong. from what i've learned there are lesson plans and all sorts of materials available to the homeschooling parent. so that is reassuring.
what if i don't know the material that i would be teaching? math-now the basic stuff is no problem. when you start talking algebra my mind runs away fast. that is just the beginning. i never took classes like calculus, trigonometry, etc. i can't even begin to fathom how i could teach that at all. and just to throw this out there, mr. h isn't a mathematician either. chemistry is yet another example, i didn't pass that class (though that may have been part of the teacher's fault as well). language arts is so important and i am an avid reader, am a spelling bee, but i am definitely not a grammar queen. kelley and bethany must learn these things. there isn't a compromise in my mind.
maybe if it is important enough it will just come to me? i found out that was possible in college. i wanted to do well. i knew that my potential was so much more than my high school record shows. and i ended up graduating from college with highest honors. so i know that i'm not a dummy. but still...am i good enough to teach my children? really?
i help the girls with their homework each day. i am really amazed at what they are learning. i'm sure that they are far beyond what i was learning in elementary school. that's a great thing! but another confession- there are some assignments that i can't help with because i don't know the material myself. i do understand that the homework is just a snippet of information and if i actually had that information i might be able to help them a little better. some things though just go right over my head.
another reason that i struggle with sometimes even simple tasks is because of the chemotherapy i had. it causes something called "chemo brain". and no joke, it really, really does change the brain. i won't go into that here, maybe another time. but it is yet another worry i have about trying to teach my children.
ok, so to summarize my fears...what if having the girls home all the time drives me crazy? beyond loving our children, let's face it, we all need a break from them. or is that just me? and would i be doing my girls a disservice by teaching them myself when i haven't been educated to educate?
i think if i were truly going to homeschool that i would need to stop at the high school level. as i've already mentioned there is just too much that i realistically could not teach them that would be way too important when shifting my thoughts towards college. then i have to go back to the reason i even started of thinking of this endeavor for kelley-the middle school environment. if i kept her home for three years and then sent her back to school for high school would that be too much of a shock to her system?
another concern, yet not a "fear" is socialization. kids need friends. they need to play. i do think that they would miss the daily interaction with their classmates. however they have neighborhood friends. there are always opportunities for extracurricular activities. but would it be enough?
so that's where i'm at. i need to do a lot of research and even more thinking about homeschooling. thank you for sharing in my consideration of this. and i do welcome any advice either for or against the idea!