Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool

I like Greg Sherman's article on Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool. He starts with:

My three children and I were standing in line at the grocery store the other day, and a woman behind us started conversing with my thirteen year-old daughter Grace. At some point in the conversation, I overheard the woman ask Grace what grade she was in and what school she attended. Grace responded innocently that she was homeschooled, and that she wasn’t exactly sure what grade she would be in if she went to school. The woman looked over Grace’s shoulder and directly into my eyes. She wrinkled her brow and asked me, very casually, with perhaps a hint of skepticism, ?So, why do you homeschool??

Why do we homeschool? My wife Shelly and I have homeschooled our three children for the past 10 years, and in our experiences, people such as old friends, new neighbors, relatives, and even total strangers have asked this rather large and complicated question in a nonchalant and often cynical manner. I’m certain most homeschooling parents would agree that responding to the ?why? question is not something that can be accomplished succinctly or casually. After all, the question is big. Really BIG.

Unlike many homeschooling parents, however, I am also asked "why?" regularly by teachers, school administrators, university faculty members, and education graduate students. I represent one of those conflicted homeschooling parents whose professional experiences are rooted in public education. In fact, both my wife and I began our educational careers in the classroom. Shelly was a primary grade teacher, and I taught junior high school science. After spending almost 10 years teaching in the public school classroom and attending graduate school, I acquired a great deal of valuable educational experiences while earning degrees in the fields of educational media and instructional technology. These fields of study are defined by many ?why? questions related to learning and instruction, and since graduating I have been involved in a variety of research projects designed to find answers to instruction-related problems. In addition, I have taught university courses and worked as an educational consultant in the areas of evaluation and instructional design. Although I have grappled with a variety of teaching and learning problems throughout my professional experiences, the question ?Why do you homeschool?? has been one of the most difficult education-related question for me to answer truthfully. In fact, over the years I have developed no less than four different types of answers.

No comments: