Saturday, February 27, 2010

Life stress and homeschooling

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that young children can avoid excessive stress as young children. Academic pressure, separation anxiety, and the rush to school in the morning are some of the many things that homeschool children "miss out" on when they are educated at home.

As our children got older, I started to worry that our life wasn't stressful enough to give them opportunities to grow. While keeping up with state defined academic standards and useless school projects may be a bit arbitrary, they can give children opportunities to push themselves.

While I like my children to do hard things, I don't necessarily want to embrace the alternative reality that is created in a school environment. So, in the place of artificial stressors like bullies at school or cramming for a test on material they won't remember after the test, we've taken on challenges that make our children's lives more stressful in the real world.

These real world stressors take the form of foster care children who come to live in our home. The last three weeks have been pretty rough. With the addition of two foster children, we now have 6 children in our home: a two year old, three year old, 4 year old, 9 year old, 13 year old and 15 year old.

Our three year old son, Baby Bop, did not do well in the situation at first. He would scream almost hysterically when the two new additions would touch one of "his" toys which translated to every toy in our house. Screaming was followed by hitting and scratching. I felt like the farmer in the "fox, chicken, grain puzzle." Baby Bop and the two year old simply could not be left in the same room without constant supervision.

Now that we are three weeks into the process, things are actually getting to be quite manageable. In addition, Baby Bop is eating and talking much better (he has significant delays in both) and is hitting and scratching much less. My big girls have had to really help out while juggling school work and their other activities. We've all had to step up a level in our day to day efforts.

I'm thankful that my kids can work on hard things that will really matter ten years down the road.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, public school, public education, education


Carletta said...

I'm glad your kids are adjusting. I hope things continue to approve!

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot...I sincerely feel sorry for your children.

Anonymous said...

I have been considering homeschooling for my very anxious daughter and one of my concerns has been that removing all stress from her life would not provide an opportunity to mature. Thanks for the reminder that life always has stress, and how much better to spend their emotional energy on things that matter, not missing the school bus.