Summer is coming to a close the hot topic of discussion is “Back to School”. Some parents are jumping for joy, while others are frantically buying supplies and clothes. The end of summer sticks out in my mind because this is about the time when I would be freaking out about finishing my summer reading. I would put it off for the entire summer and then read day and night for the remaining weeks of summer vacation.
Now that I am a parent, multiple people have asked me about sending my kids to school this fall. My son is eligible to start Pre-K this fall in NYC, but my wife and I have decided that it is best to home school him for multiple reasons. When I respond by telling people that we are home schooling they hesitate and then respond with some arbitrary response like, “Yea, people are doing that now.” My favorite response is not a response at all. On more than one occasion I have had parents just gloss over and then start anxiously talking about their own kids. They just have no idea how to respond to the statement I just made. As the conversation continues I can tell people do not know what to make of my choice to home school my children. In all honesty I initially did not know what to make of the idea of home schooling.
I attended public school for Pre-K through 8th grade and then a Jesuit high school before attending college. I was in the school system for many years and I had some fun, learned a lot and made some great friends. Aside from school, my mother, being a teacher, always supplemented my education with workbooks and activities at home. My mother was always home during the summer and she ran her own”camp” where we did daily activities and projects. Looking back on it now, I believe that at the time my mother would have done just as good of a job educating my brother and I at home as the public school we attended.
Having attended school during my childhood, I thought school was just something you did when you reached a certain age. When my wife and I first discussed home schooling our children I initially was apprehensive and dismissive of the idea. I had heard of home schooling, but I always associated it with fundamentalist religious people and Little House on the Prairie settings. I now know that this was very ignorant of me to assume these stereotypes. After much discussion and research I am now aware of all of the great resources for children and parents and the positive results home schooling yields.
So, to answer people’s question, my wife and I will “start” teaching our children this fall, although there is no school to go back to, and in reality, we never stopped teaching our children. Our school is our home and I could not be happier with our decision.
I am going to continue to write about our experiences and hope that you can share yours with us as well. I’ll also post resources I find and share what I have learned during this enriching experience.