The question I asked myself last year was “To homeschool or not to homeschool?” Now that that has been answered, the question a few people ask me is “Why? Why homeschool?”
Maybe I should answer that by answering the question “Why not homeschool?” first. We’ve always been open to it, but our considerations in the past had to do with Danae needing social interaction, not because she lacked it or because she had poor social skills, but because she was (still is) such a social being. She just enjoyed playing with and being around people. I also considered the fact that Noelle came the year that Danae was going to start pre-school (2009). Homeschooling, for me, would have been impossible while taking care of a baby. A small school was the next best thing.
Come Kinder, Danae and I would butt heads a lot when reviewing for exams. That just reinforced our decision to keep her in Kidvantage Learning Center. I could not imagine the stress we would both be enduring everyday if we started homeschooling then. Before Prep started, I discovered that she was actually interested to homeschool, but it being such a surprise to me and since classes were 3 months away, we agreed to wait till 1st grade.
I tell you, I had gone back and forth so many times last school year, trying to decide whether it would be right for us to start homeschooling or not. Every time Danae and I would encounter problems, I would think I’m not ready. I’m not cut out for it.
Then I noticed certain changes in her behavior and speech that surprised me (in a bad way). I also noticed her complaining more and more about teasing in the classroom and about some kids being mean to her. My concerns about INFLUENCE resurfaced.
When my friend Michelle shared with me a conversation she had with her husband, it struck me. The real reason I was hesitant to homeschool was ME. Besides being afraid of the probability that Mom-venger Hulk would come out often, I didn’t want the work or the stress involved. I realized too that my lack of patience and self-control had become my excuse, my comfort zone. I was actually willing to be stuck there, instead of taking the opportunity to grow in character. I knew then that homeschooling wouldn’t just be for Danae’s best interest, it would be for mine too.
So why homeschool? First, to REGROUP. We want to have better control of the influence surrounding Danae again, so that we can better build strong foundations, and better help her form her values and build her CHARACTER. She is 6 years old and we believe that this age is crucial. Whatever values and attitude she practices now, she will most probably carry till adulthood. We just don’t want to take the risk.
If you’re wondering about her socialization, she’s got plenty. She belongs to the homeschool group which the moms called SPARKS, or Shepherding, Promoting And Realizing Kids’ Skills. She joins a weekly MAPE (Music, Arts, Phys Ed) class with a bit of reading taught by yours truly and science experiments taught by my friend May, with a bunch of other homeschoolers her age. We belong to a huge spiritual family, and she gets to interact with all kinds of people, children and adults alike, each week. We schedule play dates with old classmates and friends as well.
Second, TIMING. I believe 1st grade is the perfect time for us to start. It was right to put Danae in a regular school for pre-school because it helped us to teach her independence, discipline, putting value to her work, and to help her love for learning grow. In our case, regular school actually prepared her for homeschool.
Everything just felt right. My heart was in the right place, and we were all excited to embark on this journey. I did not even stress about preparations and all, probably because my husband is partnering with me and because I have a strong support group in the Alabang Homeschoolers’ moms, who already know what they are doing and who are willing to help me.
So far, it’s been good. I have since discovered more reasons why homeschooling is right for us at this time, which I will share with you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I hope you are inspired, encouraged, or even challenged by this post. God bless you and enjoy your children! 🙂