A couple of months ago, I expressed my concerns about the growing homeschooling movement.
To me, it makes no sense to try to teach academic subjects to your child amid the chaos of home.
Plus, I think a parent is preventing a child from learning valuable social skills by isolating him or her at home.
Now, I see an article by a mom who enthusiastically tried homeschooling but abandoned it for many of the reasons I cited.
“I began to notice my once social and happy son becoming a withdrawn child who wanted to stay in his jammies indoors all day long,” writes Lori Garcia. “This just wasn’t my kid.”
I can’t imagine how a homeschooling parent could establish enough structure in the house to make serious education possible. How would you enforce tardiness? How would you keep a child from being distracted by TV and toys?
“Home is where the Wii is,” Garcia writes. “And the iPad. And the TV. And the toys. And the snacks. Every day I’d prepare a beautiful and fun (or so I thought) lesson.
“BooBoo would begrudgingly sit down and the floodgates of irritating questions would open: How long do we have to do this? Can I play the Wii? Can I have a snack? Are we done yet?”
Homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone
I wonder how many other parents have tried and abandoned homeschooling.
Homeschoolers are a fiercely devoted group who sometimes won’t tolerate those who disagree with them. Here’s an article from a parent who gave up home-schooling but says she’s received little support from those still involved.
She encourages other parents to trust their instincts and stop homeschooling if it isn’t right for them.
“If you honestly can’t say you love homeschooling anymore, if you’re consistently frustrated, if you’ve tried changing curriculums, plugging into a support group, exploring your family’s learning styles, taking care of yourself … then keep listening,” writes Debra Anderson. “If the thought of doing this for one more year inwardly gives you pause, those hesitations are telling you something.”
Here’s are words from a woman who tried homeschooling but found the task overwhelming.
“Eventually it came down to this: My mental and physical health (Mom’s needs) and our marriage,” writes a blogger who calls herself only Katherine. “All were suffering. I was exhausted, grumpy, losing it regularly and, with no one to talk to, it came out toward the people I loved the most: my husband and the kids I was trying to give such a wonderful life to.”
I found a Facebook page for parents who tried homeschooling but quit. It’s called Homeschoolers AGAINST Homeschooling.
The site also has comments from children who were homeschooled and disliked it.
“I went to public schools my whole life until last year when my parents decided to homeschool me,” one boy writes. “I hate it, and I’ve been depressed the whole damn year. My social life was destroyed; I rarely talk to anyone who is not part of my family.
“And I got so damn annoyed when my mother keeps trying to teach me and she is a horrible teacher. I hate homeschooling.”
I suppose parents should have the right to homeschool their kids. I see few merits and many drawbacks to the concept, but I also support parental rights.
Still, if parents try homeschooling and it doesn’t work, they should feel free to stop. Parents shouldn’t homeschool their kids out of obligation or pressure from homeschooling advocates.
If you do, you’ll be miserable and your child’s education will suffer.
Homeschooling is trendy at the moment. Will the trend last? I don’t know. But like any movement-of-the-day, homeschooling deserves scrutiny. Don’t jump on the bandwagon unless you’re sure it’s the best choice for your family.