Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home or away

It is getting very close to September.  In our house that means back to school.  A welcome change for all of us.  More time for me to spend with my daughter and more time for my boys to spend with their friends learning new and exciting things. 

At the beginning of August just after purchasing some new pants and a few t-shirts for my boys, my 5 year old said to me "Mommy, I'm homeschooling this year".  We have a few friends who home school so this is not a foreign concept to him.  I said "oh sweetie, we'll see".  He has been persistent for weeks about not going to school.  When people ask him if he is excited he tells them point blank "I'm not going to school". 

My yoga mind is torn.  I want to be present and accepting in what my child wants and probably knows what is best for himself.  At the same time - we all went to school and did fine.  I have been doing my research (for years I think).  I have come to the conclusion that I am a home schooler who sends her kids to school.
As a parent I do believe that in most cases our children do know what is best for them.  Encouragement sometimes helps but if a child says they are scared or not ready, they know when they will be.  If I think of myself being an adult if I am not interested in doing something for whatever reason, encouragement does not always help.  Sometimes it makes it worse.

I have the tools I am ready to home school.  The other part of the equation is that my husband is not in favor of the home school.  He believes that we all went to school, our kids should too.  I am normally in charge of most of the activities, school choices and programs that our children do.  I am torn to ignore what my husband feels is best with doing what I think is best.  After all I will be the one doing the work right!

Right now, listening to my son seems to be what matters most.  In my mind home schooling seems like such a gentle approach to learning.  The child learns at his or her pace.  Has plenty of one on one time with the "teacher".  Does not waste time learning things that he already knows but other kids may not.  Learns things that he or she is interested in rather than what the teacher wants to teach that day.  Home schooling to me really falls in line with yoga philosophy, being kind, gentle and listening and knowing your self.  Also following tradition of one teacher, one student. 

It just makes sense to me.  Let's see if I can help it make sense to my husband...



  1. Hi Jennifer!
    I'm coming out as a lurker for your post, well, because darn, I always knew you were a homeschooler - it's the same vibe when you know a couple is a homebirthing or midwifery couple but they have an OB.

    One of the reasons why partners are so worried and skeptical is because they can't imagine what homeschool kids do/look like, and how we can measure their learning. It is because they go to work all day, while the full time parent is seeing the child each day. Work causes a certain disconnect.

    Going to the Not Going Back To School picnic will help you see how many homeschool children there are, and how amazing and connected the older ones are to their communities at large.

    Also, many homeschool children do go to school at some point or another. It's not an all or nothing type of decision but one that can be re-assessed each year.

    Good luck on this journey!

  2. Hey Jenny Wren,

    Well I think you know my opinion! If going to school works for a child that is great, but if not and there is an alternative what is the harm? Riley has time before he has to get those college applications in, why not give him a chance to be a little guy and try some different things ; ) If it doesn't work out you've lost nothing, but you've gained the chance to spend time together.

    My beloved was not 100% convinced about homeschool at first, he had no experience of it and he so wants the boys to have happy and successful futures that any risk to that was a worry. I stood firm, I explained my reasons, I explained and still explain the work we will do and why. I explain the research, the evidence that I've used to shape my ideas and ultimately asked him to trust me. Now he is excited too about the chance to be so involved with the boys education.

    If school isn't working do what does work for your children and you. I'm happy to share resources with you! I'm excited for you and happy to help out if you need it.

    BTW Erin I'd love to know where the not back to school picnic is!

    Emma x

  3. Hi Emma and Jennifer
    the Not Going Back to School picnic is September 7th at Meech lake - second beach. It's from 10ish until whenever everyone leaves (5ish). Bring a picnic and a dessert for the dessert table with a label of ingredients.

    Bring your spouses if they can make it so they can see how big the community is. Often, we go separate ways for learning but we come together a few times a year for socials.

    And if you don't know about HBLN or GVHS let me know. It's where the postings of the academic classes in the community occur.

  4. Thanks ladies! We are still on the fence. I know Erin you knew I was a midwifery client and home birther before I did. I am still torn between what I want to do, and what my partner wants. I did meet with the principal today and she has some great suggestions to look into Reilly's anxiety. I want to get to the base. Wanting to stay home with Woody and Buzz, so far is his only real reason.
    We are also going to meet with his teacher before school starts - something they don't usually do for SK.

    Sill working on it...
    Thanks ladies,

  5. don't forget you can also do part time SK... 2 or 3 days a week. There is still a middle ground.

    the school is happy to get full time funding... and you may find it works well. We did part time school until grade 2

  6. Just want to mention a quote the lovely Cheryl told me "Everyone homeschools, just some a little more than others". Whatever you choose the main factor in the success of your kids is what happens at home, even if some of their learning time occurs at school. I have very few memories of my early school years but many of learning time with my parents. Happy memories indeed and ones that I cherish now.

    Whatever decision you make your commitment to your children will shine through.