Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day #55: Decisions, Decisions...on Education

I have a confession:  for quite some time I have been doubting our choice for our children's education.  It is not because of our local school district, as one of the reasons we chose our new home was because of the schools.  I also really do love knowing my kids are just a few blocks away at our neighborhood school.  I just don't love the strict guidelines being put in place by our government officials and I especially dislike our children's ability being determined by their performance on standardized tests.  

As a former public school teacher, I cannot even begin to relate to today's teacher.  I have only been out of the system for 7 years, but to my trained eye it seems like there is little freedom to use creativity and innovative ideas to teach the content required for each grade.  Classes are too full, hands-on exploration seems almost non-existent, and there seems to be little time for anything but literacy and math.  

My interest in homeschooling has gone from zero to sixty in a matter of a few brief years.  Our son is excelling by our school's standards, but there is a big part of me that feels he could be challenged so much more.  I want him to be able to explore his interests, to have more exposure to science and social studies curriculum, and to spend more time learning and less time waiting for others to catch up.  

This is a decision that will not be taken lightly.  We intend to do a lot of research in the upcoming months, spend some time talking to some families we know who have chosen to homeschool their children, and to really evaluate the pros and cons of this choice.  Long ago I had a discussion with a friend before our kids were even old enough to begin their school years and I loved her philosophy on education:  no choice is permanent.  Each year we can evaluate the needs of our children and make an informed decision about their education.  Contrary to what our government appears to believe, education is not one size fits all.  We have the ability to make adjustments if needed.  I truly believe this is an important point for all parents to consider.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on education!


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