Saturday, January 25, 2014

To Share or Not to Share.. That is the Question.

When we have a difficult day with school I share it. When we have a great day I share it. (Loudly, I'm aware.) But what about when we have a normal day? A day when we just do school and enjoy each other?

This is the weirdest kind of day to share, which seems odd, I know. But when we have a calm day where we meet some of our goals, some house work gets done and perhaps dinner is made, well, these are the days when the coolest things happen. These days I know I'll see again - frequently.

 These regular days are my favorite days. They are the ones where I see all of the many reasons we chose to home school become reality.  I see my kids learning to work together as a team. I see them cheering each other on. I see a new enthusiasm for learning in each of them. I see what I've been teaching them randomly given back to me within other subjects, in their journals, in our conversations and even in their play. The other day Sarah was telling her American Girl Doll what 'commutative' means. John tried to put a mathematical set {a,b,c} into his journal. Violet wants to learn a piano piece by Tchaikovsky for her project on Russia. 

Sarah is flying ahead in reading. I had no idea she could or would read like this. Because we're at home she can read through her books at her own pace. She wouldn't be able to do this in public/private school to the extent she is here. If I tell people about this, then am I telling them that their child is being held back?

Violet can now work independently. She's had the hardest time with this. She'd come to a problem, not immediately know the answer  and just sit. When I'd  ask her what was wrong she'd tell me, "I don't know this one. What's the answer?" It has taken us four months for her to learn true problem solving skills and to learn to push herself. She most definitely did not learn those skills in public school. She expected to be spoon fed the information. Because of the public school system? Or the level of difficulty of her work? Or because I just happened to hit this phase in development? I don't know, but if I talk about this I feel certain that those in public school hear me saying their child is not learning to learn.

 We've come to learn that John has mild dyslexia - although 'mild' is hard to measure, I think. He doesn't get 'mildly' frustrated when he can't read because there's just too many words on the page. I believe that  if he were in public/private school this year he would have become 'that' kid who finishes his work too quickly (and poorly) and then causes problems, and the real reason may not have been found. After many conversations and much research, no, I don't think he would have been well serviced in public/private school. (Dyslexia is considered a 'medical diagnosis' by the education world. It is considered an 'educational diagnosis' by the medical world. Thus giving each side the opportunity to not address this properly.)  I also fear the conversations I would have had, the situations he would have caused because of his activity level. I don't think this could have been addressed well if he were in a traditional classroom- he causes problems in our classroom of three, I cannot imagine what would happen in a class of 23 +. At home, we are addressing all of these issues at once and already seeing some success. I believe it's because I can provide him with one on one support, encouragement and problem solving. If your child has these same difficulties and I share all this with you, are you hearing that your child can only be successful if you home school?

Too many questions, none of which can be answered. When talking with others I hear myself saying things like, "This is our gig. It works, but that doesn't mean your way doesn't work." It's like that Seinfeld episode where they keep saying, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

I don't want my excitement in sharing our special moments, our mundane "YAY" moments to cause others to think I'm judging them. I'm not. No matter how incredibly awesome I think homeschooling is, no matter that I know a couple mom's who would ROCK this out should they take the plunge (I'm talking to you, Jeannine), I don't want anyone to feel I'm judging them for their decision to not do what I am. 

I also think that perhaps I over think things.