Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homeschooling Discussions

Big Guy and I had a "discussion" on my way into work yesterday.  We're currently at odds on the whole schooling thing with Little Guy, and I don't foresee these discussions going any better the closer Little Guy gets to attending school. 

I am on the side of homeschooling and will argue vehemently for that.  My reasons are sound, and, until recently, I thought Big Guy and I were in agreement on schooling.  I do not approve of the schools in the area where we live.  I do not believe they will be able to educate my son appropriately.  I do not hold the teachers at fault, but the area we live in was one of the hardest hit by the economic downturn because many of the people in the area are blue collar, factory workers.  Many of the people around here do not value education or what it can accomplish and I do not want my child growing up with that attitude. 

Big Guy has gone from agreement with me to saying, now, that Little Guy should go to the local schools.  He argues that we will not be able to educate him properly because we lack the money to buy the homeschooling books.  He says that Little Guy will do fine as long as we support his education in the school.  A lot of this started because a friend of ours, who teaches high school, made the comment that homeschooling was going to be bad for Little Guy because we would not be able to give him the social interaction he needed, no matter how hard we tried.

Now, Big Guy has gone from the "It's OK to homeschool" camp to "NO".  I'm frustrated and irritated because the normally smooth ground my marriage exists on has become somewhat bumpy.  Both of us are absolutely convinced of our position's correctness and these positions are diametrically opposed!  Our view of what's important plays a big part in our difficulties right now.  He sees social activities as an important part of school, while I view the quality of education as more important than socialization. 

Honestly, I hated the social aspects of school.  I was never good at playing the social games and never felt comfortable in the social groups.  I wasn't a band geek, I wasn't a jock, I was more aligned with the smart kids, but not really...  My group of friends referred to ourselves as "The Outcasts" because we were different.  Amusingly, we were all drastically different from each other as well.  But, the social strata was different in a much more condensed way.  It was a small parochial school; therefore, things were going to be difficult. 

Who knows what we'll do.  Big Guy doesn't think it's worth arguing about because we have a year and a half before Little Guy goes to school.  To me, that means a year and a half of more fighting until we come to an agreement.  I'm concerned that if I give in on the unimportant years, the earliest ones where they go over the basics, then I will lose ground later on where the difference in educational quality will become noticeable.  



Hammer said...

I am a former teacher. I will not homeschool my kids, although I would be very qualified to do so. The reason is just what Big Guy stated. You can always supplement the education that the local public school provides - where it leaves holes, you can focus your own resources to fill them in, rather than trying to use those limited resources to reinvent the wheel.

Usually, when I discuss this with homeschoolers, they trot out statistics, or anecdotes. Those are all fine and well, but those statistics are not going to teach your child algebra, and those anecdotes are not going to be able to provide an education in chemistry. It comes down to each situation being unique. But there is a reason that most people do NOT homeschool. They recognize their limitations, and want to use the available resources as efficiently as possible.

I would recommend using local schools, and supplementing that with work at home - especially during the summer.

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

My DH fears the whole social aspect of it too - but then I point out how many different homeschooling support groups there are that have weekly get togethers, as well as when she's in dance and sports, and he's feeling better about it. The library alone here already has different things we can attend each week. (It's funny though to hear my anti social husband worry about her socialness lol)

I would start to gather your materials now, plus you can start him out slowly a little earlier too. We're still a few years away, but I pick up books and stuff as I find them secondhand to get us started.

Angel said...

I am pro homeschool when you are in a location where school isn't what it should be, I was home schooled in 6th grade and turned out okay (i think ;) ) but my fiancee is on the other side, he went to a private academy and thinks our kids should most definitely go there regardless of the cost, because the public schools in the area are not good.