marți, 12 februarie 2008

23 de ani de homeschooling

Am citit aici aceasta impresionanta marturisire a unei mamici care a scolarizat acasa 4 copii.

O redau in engleza, din pacate nu am timp s-o traduc acum, dar n-as vrea sa se piarda :


Homeschooling is difficult but it is rewarding. I have the advantage of being able to look back and see the fruits of my labor. I have been homeschooling 23 years now. I am in the last semester of homeschooling. It has not been easy. It has been lonely at times. But I did not lose my focus on making sure that I educated my children better than the schools would have. They have worked hard. They have succeeded. My twins I homeschooled up to eighth grade. They entered the public school right into honors classes with no problem . They did wonderfully. The school had an excellent science program and that is why we enrolled them there. The younger two children I homeschooled all the way through high school.

My eldest daughter is a now 3rd year medical student with a B.S. in biochemistry. My second daughter now teaches in a private school- high school biology and math. She has a B.A. in genetics and a Masters from MIT in biology. My third daughter is a junior in college and my son will be going to college in the fall. He’s been accepted already at the school of his choice. All of the children are strong Christians. I am very proud of my children. Through hard work, determination, and God’s grace, they are good, kind, and intelligent adults. They have the skills to do whatever they choose to do.

Balance is indeed the key when it comes to education. I am probably more on the end of the spectrum that is “book” learning. I wanted to make sure that my children were truly educated and had ALL the tools needed for whatever they wanted to do in life. I wanted them to be able to function well in society. I wanted them to be able to communicate well - verbally and with writing. Critical thinking is absolutely necessary but do not ignore the 3 R’s. Reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic.

We used primarily the Abeka curriculum. I found it to be the most well grounded in the basics and the most challenging. Along with Abeka, (after the book learnin’ for the day was done) the children played a variety of educational games. Some were computer games, some were not. The children watched very little, if any, television. We read aloud and individually. I read to them from day one. All of them have a love of reading. I can remember very fondly trips to the library. We would leave with arms full of books only to return a week later wanting more.

My children always loved science. We used every opportunity to discover something new. For many years, we ordered praying mantis egg sacs and “hatched” them. We would eventually release them in the garden to do what praying mantis do. Speaking of gardens, each child was responsible for growing a vegetable of their choice. They would plant it, tend to it, and harvest it. A few years we had an above ground swimming pool (4 ft deep). Apart from swimmng in it, the children would take water samples and look under the microscope at the protozoa. When summer came, we would catch cicadas and mark them with chalk and let them go. We’d chart how far they would travel. We’d do all sorts of things like this BUT we did not neglect our “book” work.

There were subjects that my children didn’t particular enjoy. Perhaps it was history for one or english for another. Yet we did the work regardless of their desire or interest because it was important to me that they have a well rounded education. In the real world, we don’t get to just work doing what we enjoy. We work because we need to. No one will keep a job very long if they only work when they feel like it. My husband and I encouraged them to have a good work ethic. Get the work done and then play.

All four of the children had real jobs as soon as they were able to (the age is 14 in our state). They all worked all the way through high school. All of the children did volunteer work as well. Many days, they didn’t necessarily feel like going to work but they did anyway because they knew that they had to be responsible and honor their commitments.

My husband and I encouraged them in the Fine Arts. All four children took piano lessons for many years. They would practice daily for a set amount of time (usually at least 30 - 45 minutes) not because they wanted to practice that long but because that is what it takes to truly play well. Creative writing was also something they all participated in and enjoyed. The children and I were involved in Young Authors’ Club for 12 + years. I hosted one at my house once a month for almost 10 years. We have such fond memories of those days.

Although the state we live in has few homeschooling requirements, I made sure that I dilligently kept attendance records and portfolios of their work. I had no problem having them tested because I was confident that they were learning what they needed to learn. All three girls graduated with an accredited high school diploma. My son will receive his accredited high school diploma at the end of this semester. It was important to me that they met the state’s education requirements and then some. I felt that if I took on the responisbility of educating my children then I’d better do a better job than the state would.

Yes, it was very difficult at times. I sacrificed a lot but I would do it all over again. The proof is in the pudding. I can honestly say that my children are prepared to enter college/the work force with the skills that they will need and then some. And isn’t that what homeschooling is all about?

If you are a homeschooling mom and I can help in any way, be it advice, encouragement, or prayer, please leave me a comment with your blog and email address and I will contact you."

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