Updated: Apr 6
I know that many people began homeschooling because of covid, but I hope they continue to do so. As a matter of fact I hope that more people than just those that are legitimately afraid of the virus, "forced" to because of work closures or those that are unwilling to mask up will continue to homeschool. I also hope that they will do it properly and for the right reasons, the first and foremost being to give their children the best chance to do more than just survive, but thrive.
People have been waging war on the "patriarchy" in some form or the other every since the first rule was put forth. Whether it's the prospect of a better way, the distraction of novelty or the simple cry for attention can be debated for every situation. On the specific topic of schooling, people are now fighting against who teaches their children, how they teach them and what they teach them. The fact that the latter is even brought up should be a warning light to anyone that is subject to be affected by the next generation.
Even before the classroom was a “newsworthy" battlefield anytime homeschooling came up there is usually one reaction. I will admit that rarely people will say good for you, but mostly it’s disbelief. Either disbelief, because there are schools and children should be socialized or disbelief because parents can’t stand the idea of being with their children all day.
It is greatly appreciated when people are encouraging. They almost always offer advice when this is the case, because they, themselves, homeschool. It's scary how even when we are practical and decide on the best course to take, our peers can relentlessly beat us down with judgment. All it takes is a seed of doubt to throw someone off their game and back into a flock.
Those that worry about the children being socialized correctly(whatever that means!) confound me. They, themselves, aren't in the classrooms listening to what is being taught to my children or theirs when it comes to manners or how to talk to people. Yes, children need to know how to play and develop the courage to engage with other children, but who is there to intervene if one kid is bullying the other? If the bullying behavior is only positive for the perpetrator then why would they understand how much it hurts someone. Who is teaching them the all-of-a-sudden shunned, 'Golden Rule" which is essentially just telling people not to be dicks?
They don’t know for certain if a child is being abused either by a teacher or another student. Believe it or not even the weakest, most slimy adult can push children around pretty effectively, both physically and through influence. Even if statistics are on our side as far as physical wellness is concerned, it says nothing about what we are unleashing onto the world or the fact that some students are being groomed for abusive behavior. Our society is in a vicious cycle of allowing our youths to be damaged and unable to grow up fully only to be made to rely on drugs to get through their later years. That is either legal or illegal drugs.
The parents that can’t stand the thought of being with their children all day are probably on the aforementioned drugs. There is a difference between being a parent and a breeder. The effects of a neglected or abused child is far easier to hide when you are in the upper classes of society. That is a class that is classified by their income amount for clarification. I do not take anything away from anyone's grind, successes or assets, but being able to afford to send your kids to boarding school or buy them a car does not make you a good parent.
But for the mothers or fathers that doubt themselves and are overwhelmed by the prospect-it is possible. You simply have to lay down ground rules concerning schoolwork and an award system, maybe sweets and videogames or playtime. If your child does like video games then there is a great chance that being encouraging and saying good job at the right time or
straight up setting it up as a loot system will make them want to face and overcome challenges and see how far they can go. If your kid is competitive and responds to positive feedback then you are golden, whether you know it or not. As far as knowing what you are teaching, there are many resources, teaching templates and of course the information itself is online. Plus the awesome subject-books that have been put together and available online or an actual store that may still be surviving.
I'm going to post videos of the books that I purchase, sites that allow free downloads and any templates that I work up.
I had decided to homeschool my children long before now, however. My little sister was bruised by her kindergarten teacher and when brought up to the principal it was deemed unworthy a reason for my sister to be moved from the class or even to get to go to another school as there were zoning laws. I always surmised that I wouldn't be able to handle that type of situation-letting the government tell me that I am imagining my child's bruises. That is to say that I can not fathom being told that my child is unimportant and it would be illegal to not send my child to learn from an abuser. To contend with this possibility I could either become a teacher for the schools which wouldn't help my own children, become an advocate for school choice, which still doesn't guard my own children against the possibilities or teach my own children.
Isn't it funny how the people who are trying to change what is allowed to be said to young children are being portrayed in a positive light generally and the PARENTS that are upset
about assaults and abuse that their children are facing are seen as terrorists? Not funny ha-ha.
I planned and researched some things that have totally changed my mind more than a few times. For example, I always thought that it would be better to get kids in school as soon as possible, but there’s many studies that led me to change my mind. I also always thought we would as a species decide whether the world was an amazing miracle or a magic trick, so I am also teaching them that historians still haven't decided on an origin story.
The idea of not being able to socialize them properly was never a big issue. There’s parks and organized activities. And why, oh why do I want someone teaching my children how to play or participate in sports? I think it would be great for them and am still open minded, but now athletes are being praised for anything but their athletic prowess. Why should it matter that someone always dreamed about playing a sport? Millions of people have that dream and do not have million dollar contracts! I personally think it's more important to teach children that substance and drive is more important than dreams and wishes, but of course finding the right combination is like getting the holy grail.
I've begun with the basics with both of my daughters. They are four and six, so we haven't begun an official curriculum. After doing some research I found a study that showed that seven was a good time to begin teaching formally. In the meantime the kids have plenty of time to run around and learn about manners, controlling their anger and the basics.
Sitting for a dinner calmly for long enough to finish the meal is not an easy trick.
So first we learned the alphabet and then the sounds that correlate with different letters and letter-combinations and finally sounding out words almost directly alongside numbers. How to recognize and write numbers and count them, both with fingers and on paper. Working with single digits-we did addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and then we added more digits. We have been working strictly on multiplication and telling time with my eldest lately and are soon going to transition into fractions. 'Half an hour', 'a quarter past', etc. is like the perfect natural segue. In a very casual setting, we will ask her the time from an analog clock and about quarters and halves.
She has no idea..taha.
My younger daughter has been writing her letters and doing addition for awhile now. We have now been asking her how to spell words by sounding them out, just to get her in the habit of trying. It makes such a difference when your first reaction towards a problem is how to solve it and think calmly as opposed to panicking.
One is a Virgo and the other a Taurus. I totally believe it makes a difference now.
Even still just the basics have had some pitfalls, but seeing just how differently they learn has made me more determined than ever to keep homeschooling them. It’s not just that teachers are now sharing their ideologies and not letting kids think on their own terms, but even in an ideal teaching situation the teacher won’t have time to access the way that each child learns. Some kids can count up numbers in their head, some count fingers, some need to count out loud, and others have to write it down. Hey, they are all brand new to it and not even they know how they learn yet. Who are we to judge or try to change the way that they process information?
For a movement that stands behind "freedoms," advocating for singular learning paths is pretty tyrannical.
I have been doing shadow work and learning how much actually saying a thought or problem out loud can make a difference and help with understanding and clarity. It would be nigh on impossible to have a classroom of children counting out loud. Why would we want to deny them the most effective way? And how could we blame the other kids for not being able to concentrate? Most grownups can't play the mind-your-own-business game, much less teach their children. Any relationship dependent on the gossip and assumptions of others is not a relationship, but a cult. Impulse control and blabber mouth syndrome is learned at home. Children that think it's natural to speak their mind even when they are supposed to be learning and getting addicted to the reactions and laughter of their peers is the makings of a perfect bully.
To each their own, but every parent, parent wannabe, expecting parent…Heck every aunt, uncle, grandpa or grandma that truly loves their spawn, future spawn, grandspawn, niece or nephew need to realize that the world is going to be shaped by the next generation one day. The better, more competent, responsible, purely good people we can make, the better. Better for them, for us, for everyone. Is it sad that it is seen as selfish to want your child to have every opportunity available for them. The privilege of having two parents in the household is something that every parent has the power to provide. Yes, it's easier to decide this before you procreate and sometimes a partner not related to the child by blood is a better choice! We all seem to have priorities and are willing to work or not for some reasons rather than others, but
Possibly the only positive thing to come from the White House of late is the promise of affordable internet for all, so that every child and parent will have the sum of our human knowledge on command.
Can you say, "Make the most out of a shitty situation?"
Whatever you decide, you are not alone! You are a very practical person and there's help, resources and friends out there...whichever way you go. Good Luck!
-A Selfish Homeschooler