Recently I read an article by a friend of mine about why should could never homeschool her kids. She is certainly not alone in her opinion, but I couldn't believe the backlash she got. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion, it's another to basically call someone a terrible mother because she's making different choices than you. That's what was happening to her, and I was just appalled at the level of criticism.
Teachers look at their profession as a calling, not just a job. I should know – I was one of them for ten years. I worked with some amazing colleagues, loved hundreds upon hundreds of kids as if they were my own, and loved that moment when I really connected with a student.
So it comes as kind of a surprise when people find out that my husband and I plan on declining the highly rated public schools in our town, and homeschooling our kids. Our kids are still young, but we’re preparing a space, planning a curriculum, and getting ready to take our girls’ education into our own hands. In other words, I disagreed with my friend. So I should hate her now, right? Write something that slams her?
Funnily enough, you know that book I'm in, I Just Want to Be Alone? The one with the funny stories about the guys in our lives? She's in that too! We're co-authors! You pre-ordered, right?
No. I’m here as part of a series called “Validate Thy Neighbor”, linking up with Stephanie of When Crazy Meets Exhaustion. This crazy idea was started by Erin of Social Butterfly Mom. Stephanie is a huge advocate of public schools. But in this series, two bloggers team up on a topic where they have opposite views, and support the view that is opposite from their own. So I’m here to share with you five reasons why you should send your kids to public schools. If you head over to Stephanie's article, you'll find her sharing the reasons that homeschooling is a great choice for some as well.
Let the craziness commence!
Why Teacher Knows Best - Five Reasons NOT to Homeschool
1) Teachers have more training than ever.
Teachers are put through intensive programs, a full apprenticeship of student teaching, a rigorous certification exam, and are required to keep up with their own education while they are working. Teachers are sent to extensive training when a new curriculum is introduced. They are continually participating in professional development, learning about the latest research and educational trends. They are trained in behavior management, how to differentiate instruction, what the research has shown about literacy, numeracy, arts, you name it. If your child isn’t picking something up one way, they have another option to try. If your child needs help, they can find a way to provide it. If you want your child instructed by someone with a huge amount of training in how to do it, public school is the way to go.
2) Your kids will meet a variety of people.
They’ll interact with people who are like them. They’ll interact with people who are different. They’ll interact with people they get along with easily. They’ll interact with people they have to struggle to get along with. Parents of homeschoolers make an effort to get their kids interacting and socializing with a diverse group of others, but if you choose public schools, that diversity is there for you.
3) You have a teammate looking at your child in a different way.
If your child is struggling in school, the teacher will come to you so you can make a plan. If your child is struggling at home, you can discuss strategies with their teacher. You see them at home, they see them at school. You have different perspectives and can work as a team.
4) There are amazing memories to be made.
For every teacher you remember who you didn’t mesh with, there was one who inspired you. For every cringe-worthy moment of adolescence, there is a moment of joy. You look back with nostalgia at first day of school pictures, elementary school plays, high school band. You can’t wait for your child to make their own memories – their own scrapbook to look at. You want them to have all your good moments – and more.
5) Teachers really do love your kids.
For every piece of legislation that handcuffs the way a teacher instructs, for every frustrating test, for every educational mandate, there is a teacher who is passionate about making sure the kids are getting the best possible educational experience. They will find a way to reach your child. They will fight for your child. They will make it work for your child. They will love your child. They are passionate about what they do, and they are determined not to let any legislation change that.
I’m completely confident in our decision to teach our kids at home, raising socialized, educated, well rounded , happy kids. But is this former teacher judging you at all for putting your kids on that big yellow bus? Not a bit.
Interested in participating in the Validate Thy Neighbor project? Email Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org. And find us on Twitter with the hashtag #validatethyneighbor