Life in lockdown - sounds like something straight out of a prison movie! But it is actually what we’ve all come to know as the new normal. Obviously not everyone has been affected the same way. Many have had to make major lifestyle changes - working from home, homeschooling their children, adjusting to not having a job - the list goes on.
As a former educator I can certainly understand the frustrations of those parents who are now tasked with teaching their children. But wait, isn’t that the ultimate job of a parent- to teach their children?
Honestly, had you asked me ten years ago if I thought homeschooling was a good choice, I would have said absolutely not! I had very little association with students who had been homeschooled. Those who transitioned to public education seemed immature and lacking in the understanding of social interactions.
My thoughts on the subject are quite different today. What changed my mind? My job requirements. Over the last several years public education has, in my opinion, been in a decline. The emphasis has shifted from actual learning to learning to pass a test. Now, don’t get me wrong, there needs to be accountability for students and teachers alike. It just seemed to me that I was putting more time into making things look good on paper rather than helping children learn life skills. This bothered me greatly and eventually led to my early retirement. I had the years to retire but was still several years away from collecting Social Security. Luckily God blessed me with common sense and I had planned wisely for my retirement.
As I look at social media posts and chat with friends who are now homeschooling their children, I see so much good! Many of the experiences being provided could never be duplicated in the classroom. I’ve seen so very many stories of children learning to care for farm animals, to plant and care for a garden, to learn to cook or bake or can, to sew, and so much more. As a public educator, I wasn’t allowed to have live animals in the classroom and my students weren’t allowed to use a hot glue gun much less a stove! (Keep in mind that I worked at the elementary level) These skills are essential and will be remembered better than any classroom activity because they are getting hands-on training.
The grandmother who said she doesn’t know much about science or math but is teaching her granddaughter to can preserves and jellies, I disagree. There is plenty of science and math, just not what a typical eight year old encounters in a textbook. I wish my grandma had been around to teach me how to can, I still don’t know how. (It’s on my bucket list to learn.)
The lessons a child will learn raising baby chicks will last a lifetime. Growing your own vegetables, how wonderfully satisfying. A friend’s daughter has learned to use a sewing machine. She decided to make bags for her friends.- how generous! Maybe she will start a trend.
Years ago when I saw a homeschooled child as immature and socially awkward I now see very differently. I feel that society forces children to grow up way too fast these days. The children who are homeschooled aren’t put under that pressure nearly as much. Therefore they mature at a much more natural rate.
Now is homeschooling for everyone? No, but then is anything? Luckily there are great homeschool groups/communities out there to help those don’t want to go it alone or simply cannot manage it on their own. The support is out there, one just has to do a bit of investigating.
Just as homeschooling isn’t for every parent, it isn’t for every child either. Every child learns differently and this must be taken into consideration when making educational decisions.
Please understand, I’m not totally against public education. It was my chosen career and one that I enjoyed. It is just that I now can see the benefits beyond the traditional classroom experience. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that many parents have been forced to homeschool their children due to the circumstances of our world will result in a more knowledge group of children to lead us into the future. It is my prayer that something good comes out of this mess!
Blessings to you all, thanks for taking a few minutes to read my thoughts!
East Coast Girl
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