Monday, July 18, 2011

Teaching My Children

I love being a teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching in the public schools--everything but dealing with nasty parents. I love summer break because I get to be with the kids all the time and we do lots of fun and educational things. I'm teaching my older two boys piano and I'm teaching them art lessons as well and really enjoying it. Now, I think I would enjoy teaching other kids piano too, especially since they are less likely to talk back during the lesson, but even so, I am enjoying this time with them.

I love doing preschool with my children. I love teaching them one-on-one in a more formal setting and also doing some of the other less formal activities we do. As I look around, I wonder if I am the only parent in the world who thinks teaching them preschool myself is so much better than sending them to someone else for preschool. These preschool years are so short, so precious, and I want to be the one to provide them a foundation for a love of learning.

As much as I love teaching my children, I also love sending them to school. I think there are valuable things that they experience at school that they won't experience if I home school them. I think home schooling would be a wonderful experience. I think I would enjoy it and my kids would thrive. But I like that they have to learn to maneuver through the social pitfalls of school, that they have to learn to work with other personalities and meet new people. I like that they have to adapt to someone else's teaching style and learn how to follow another person's rules. I like that the particular school they are at is so big on school pride and they sing the school song every week and have assemblies all the time. Even with the incidence of my son being bullied a little this year during second grade, I feel like school is a good place for them, especially the school they are at. It doesn't have stellar academic programs or a super reputation. It is, in fact, a brand new school, opened in August 2009. But it's a good school, you can just feel that it's a good environment when you walk in. I like that they get to experience these new things and new ideas and things I might not be able to teach them at home.

These days, it seems that so many are turning to home schooling to teach their children and I think that would be great. I know I could do it and my kids would thrive. Is it strange, though, that even with the teacher in me and the fact that I love having them home 12 weeks in the summer (I can't believe we only have five more weeks of summer, I'm so SAD!) that I still want them to be in public school? I don't rejoice at the end of summer that I get to have a break from them; rather, I'm excited for them to start a fresh school year. I love the back-to-school time of year.

I guess I might always just feel torn between the two options. I love the idea of home schooling but I also love having my children experience new things and meet new people. They are very independent and outgoing and have a lot to give others and gain from others. Maybe someday I will homeschool. Maybe someday I will go back to teaching. Right now, I am just happy that they are home with me for the summer months and we have been very busy enjoying this time.


swedemom said...

I deeply respect those who homeschool for it seems to me that it requires a lot of discipline, consistency and focus. I understand the desire to teach your child personally, especially when you feel that child needs something different than a traditional school setting. The only time I disagree with the motivation to homeschool is when people want to shield their kids from all the bad stuff. Of course, we all want to protect our kids. But at some point and time, they need to be able to navigate that world--to respond with strength against temptation, to be able to choose for themselves. I think the idea of shielding can then really backfire. In school, if there is a good staff and you are really on top of things, kids can get that experience they need so they can go on to be adults in the real world--but still be in a relatively safe environment. I've known some homeschooled kids and some have great social skills and others really struggle.

I agree with you that public school has much to offer. I loved the reasons you stated for sending your kids to public school.

I too love having my kids home during the summer (though not so much this summer because of our move and all I have to do) and I am also always a little sad to send them back to school, though I am excited for the new opportunities to learn.

I myself could never ever homeschool my kids. I have two children who absolutely need the interaction of many adults and children. We would all go crazy if mom were the sole teacher. I also struggle with consistency and I worry that I would fail my kids. I also need some quiet during the day to manage the house effectively and also for semblance of peace and quiet.

Royalbird said...

I'm not sure I would ever really homeschool. My husband is pretty opposed to it and he has a lot of valid reasons why. I think I could do a great job and my children would thrive, but I like that they are learning to navigate that world. Right now, they are in a good place, at a good school with good teachers and I'm glad for that. I do love teaching and I do love having my kids around me, but I am excited for the good experiences (and even the learning experiences) they will have at school.


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