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Teachers Turn to Homeschooling and Love the Difference

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Teachers Turn to Homeschooling and Love the Difference

By Linda Dobson


"Public education reality is often sad."

Teachers, those parents with the most direct knowledge of school classrooms, are turning to homeschooling in growing numbers. Former teachers with intimate knowledge of the way the system works offer important comparisons between public or private school and homeschooling for those considering both options.

Teachers Turn to Homeschooling

It begins with preschool, according to Karla. “I was a preschool teacher for six years and felt so bad for some of the children in my classes. I taught full-time ‘preschool.’ For most parents it was day care,” she explains. “Although we had great programs and activities, these were very long days for such young children.”

Louise, another homeschooling teacher, picks up the scenario in the elementary school years, recalling the year she was a substitute teacher after receiving her teaching credits. “The children weren’t eager to learn in the way I’d expected. To the contrary,” Louise says, “they seemed as if they were in what amounted to jail, and many of the teachers had the same attitude about the situation.

“I want to make it clear that I was never taught anything in all the elementary education classes that would qualify me to be a teacher of any kind,” Louise continues. “I was one scared twenty-one-year-old when considering the prospect of taking on a classroom full of children to educate. While substituting I would run into old acquaintances from college who had once been very idealistic; they looked dull and bitter going down the halls with restless lines of children. Public education can be a noble ideal, but the reality is often sad.”

See also Smart Free Range Kids: Or Why Homeschoolers Don’t Stay Home

Teaching music classes in middle school led to Tanya’s disillusionment and ultimately to homeschooling. “I saw how much time is wasted and how little learning occurs,” she explains. “I now teach a homeschooling choir and my teaching is identical. The only difference is, I don’t have to use all those discipline tricks I had to use in public school.”

And, yes, differences were noted even at the college level, where Holly taught English when she decided to take the homeschooling journey. “My reading – John Holt and David Guterson particularly – convinced me that homeschooling was the best way for our children to learn and grow. My affinity for unschooling was part of my decision to leave academe.” Holly adds, “I found even in college the students are treated like feeble-minded clients.”

What One Homeschooling Teacher Learned

I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in early childhood education. I remember how hard it was for me to do my student teaching.

We had a team situation in the classroom; I got the lowest fourth-grade reading group and the highest second-grade reading group, all in the same room at the same time. I had twenty children in my fourth-grade reading group with twenty minutes to teach them about reading. I’d do the math and groan – one minute per child per day for those struggling with reading.

To make matters worse, the second-grade children were reading the fourth-grade books “for fun.” I asked the teacher why we couldn’t just let the second-grade children read the fourth-grade books. “They’re not ready,” she flatly stated, refusing to discuss it further.

I had many moments of frustration. I wondered why children couldn’t just go at their own pace. Let them be free to go as fast or as slow as they need. Let them be free to find their own level.

Parents, these are just a few of the many teachers who choose homeschooling because of their intimate knowledge and experience with the “educational system.” Take their experience to heart, and consider if perhaps homeschooling will allow your child to gain a better education without losing the love of learning.

Homeschooling works.

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