Homeschooling’s Advantages Over Public Schools

When my son was about four years old, he and I used to play games of counting. He understood the concept of numbers and could add and subtract small groups in his head. I didn’t call what we were doing home school, but that’s what it was.

He would say a number then say “Now I’ll take some,” and I would have to guess how many he took by how many he said was left. Not bad for a four year old.

When he was five, I put him in kindergarten, just like any good mother, and cried a little on his first day. He loved going to school and enjoyed playing with the other kids. He was proud of the fact that he already knew how to write his name and count to ten. It made me a little uneasy at that time because I knew that he knew much more about numbers than how to count to ten, but I thought it would all come out in the wash.

When he started first grade, he had a teacher that all the kids loved. She brought home made cookies for treats and loved each one of them. He learned to count to ten, again, and began memorizing the alphabet, bringing home papers with three out of five ducklings colored yellow and apples colored red with a big “A” under them.

As time went on, he began to dislike school – a little at first, then more and more. When I sat him down and asked what was wrong with it, one of the things he said was “I’m not as smart as you said I was.”

Well, that broke my heart. He was struggling to learn things that he already knew but the teacher didn’t know that he knew. She was teaching him a different, roundabout way to add and subtract numbers. He couldn’t grasp the idea she was trying to teach him.

I have nothing against the teacher, (I think that’s where a lot of anti-home school propaganda comes from – teachers who feel threatened by it) she was simply following instructions to teach certain things to the kids before the end of the year.

Unfortunately, my little boy had to unlearn a lot of important things to bow to government standards. He no longer remembered how to play the games we played and the tension in his face when he learned to write his name again made me want to cry.

That was years ago, but if I had known or understood about home schooling then I could have saved us both a lot of misery. More than misery. We finally pulled him out of school when he was in 6th grade, not because of academics, but because it was too dangerous for him to go to school – as it is for many kids.

Our school society (and it is different from regular society) is stressful in ways that educators don’t understand. You can’t know if you’re not a kid.

I’m just one mom, and that’s just one of my kids, but I regret not taking him out of government operated schools a long time ago. He’s doing well right now, making good money and owns his own home, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of ingenuity and creativity was forever destroyed in those years that round peg spent in a square hole.

There is no government, no plan, no trained teacher, no one who can understand and respond to a child as well as his own parent. We teach them how to eat with a fork, tie their shoes, the importance of feeding the turtle and hugging Auntie when they don’t want to… what kind of nonsense is it that we can’t teach them how to balance a checkbook, write a report and memorize chemical compounds?

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