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A Dozen Fast Facts to Help You Overcome the Fear of Choosing Homeschooling for Your Family

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A Dozen Fast Facts to

Help You Overcome the Fear of

Choosing Homeschooling for Your Family

By Linda Dobson

It was 1984 for this ordinary mom. My eldest of three children, one of the sweetest little boys I’d ever had the pleasure to know (and, lucky me, the pleasure to spend life with), had reached the ripe old age requiring – or so I thought – kindergarten attendance.

Kindergarten Grump to Happy Homeschooling

Happy homeschoolingThe school automatically signed him up for the afternoon, half-day session. My sweet little guy was a morning person, so that wouldn’t do. I called the school, eventually about 50 times, before they reluctantly conceded to a change. (Only in hindsight did I see that this was just the first time I would to utilize my intimate knowledge of my child for his educational benefit.)

Somehow, within a few months of half-day school attendance, he managed to forget many things he’d already learned. He became a miserable, grouchy, stressed, nasty big brother at the same time. What were they doing to him? I volunteered to be a “helper” to find out.

No “helper” was allowed to “help” very often. The glimpses I got were unimpressive. I saw that the little art projects that should have taken about five minutes took an hour. I saw how one five year-old’s meltdown took ten minutes x 22 students. I saw how the class bully instigated trouble. I saw enough.

To make a long story short, when I was at the end of my rope, I heard about homeschooling. This ordinary mom decided to go for it, even though I didn’t know another homeschooler. It was the best decision of my life. I got my child back; the child he was meant to be.

Fast forward to 2011 and, as I intuited, the schools haven’t gotten any better; I’d say they’re worse than ever. That’s why I’m sharing a dozen fast facts to help you overcome the fear of choosing homeschooling for your family.

See also Linda Dobson Talks with the Unplugged Mom.”

A Dozen Fast Facts to Help You Overcome the Fear of

Choosing Homeschooling for Your Family

1. There is no “education magic” going on in any school building anywhere in the country, in a school rated high or low, or anywhere in the world, for that matter.

2. “It’s not about the supplies, it’s not about the methodology – it’s about power and control in the hands of the parents,” as my friend Doris Hohensee recently wrote in an e-mail.

3. Do you know what today’s children are going to need to know in 10 years? 20? Nobody else does, either.

4. Children are getting increasingly stressed out in schools with the emphasis on “high stakes” tests. They’re being taught how to take tests; they are not being educated.

5. Schools, like their parents, state and federal governments, are going broke. And they’re going to get a lot worse for a long time before – if ever – they get better.

6. Homeschooling will somehow limit your child = propaganda. Homeschooling can liberate your child’s education – and yours, too.

7. You can afford to homeschool. Libraries and the Internet are free (if you don’t count the cost to have the Internet in your home that you’re already paying anyway).

8. Homeschooling is about continuing the parenting job you’ve already started.  It’s not about putting on a teacher’s “hat.”

9. Homeschooling will not put increased stress on your time. Free of the school’s schedule, you’ll have more time.

10. Homeschooling allows your child to grow up in and learn from “the real world.” Kids stuck in school buildings are waiting to join “the real world.”

11. There is a gazillion dollars worth of free information on the Internet to help you get started and keep going. Your library has more. Your local homeschooling support group has more. Your heart has more.

12. No one loves and knows and, therefore, cares about your child more than you. Your love and knowledge are worth far more to your child’s education than a teaching degree.

“I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free.”
– John Taylor Gatto, veteran school teacher, former New York State Teacher of the Year, homeschooling supporter


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4 Responses to “A Dozen Fast Facts to Help You Overcome the Fear of Choosing Homeschooling for Your Family”

  1. sgaissert says:

    Thanks for this list, Linda. It's very empowering. Number 1 resonates the most with me right now. I'm very tired of the cult of the expert, and I wish more people would take a courageous step away from it. Bloggers like all of us help them to do that, I think.

    • grandma_linda says:

      Hi, Susan, I think you're right about bloggers – the more we "ordinary folks" share our thoughts and actions regarding experts, and show that we're not just surviving but thriving without them (!), the more people will at least question what's going on, which is step one. [g] Thanks so much for being here, Susan!

  2. Bob Collier says:

    I was a volunteer helper at the school my son attended for two years before he was liberated – "I saw that the little art projects that should have taken about five minutes took an hour " resonates with me in particular. Much of what I saw was little more than occupational therapy. Fluff and filler to pad out the school day. And some school reformers think the solution to the ineptitude of their educational methodology is longer school days and more of them! They're fantasising.

    And I could say that, when my son's ten years older sister was going through her 13 years of school, the level of effort required from her parents to watch over her school experience – the consistent involvement week in week out, which included attending every meeting, open day, prize giving and fundraiser, volunteering for every "parent helper" opportunity so that we knew the schools she attended from the inside – well, I'm glad I haven't had to do any of that with my son for the past eight years. When my son quit school, *we* quit school and are both better off for having chosen to get on with our lives.

    • grandma_linda says:

      Hi, Bob, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I truly think having left my son in school would have driven me totally bonkers. I'm really grateful it was such a mess from the get-go that I got to skip what you went through with your daughter…one reason I ALWAYS mention "getting your own time back" as a major benefit of homeschooling. I'm sorry you had to go through that, and glad you didn't have an encore performance!

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