Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Homeschooling Question

When I was in college, I took a lot of child development and educational psychology classes.  I was convinced that the best approach to education was one in which the child was free to explore his world and develop at his own pace in his own time.  I favored Waldorf, Montessori and homeschooling.  Jason and I used to plan and dream about what our lives would be like, what our children would be like and we always said that we would either homeschool or send our child to a Montessori or private school.  Unfortunately, there are no Waldorf schools in our area and the nearest Montessori school is over an hour away, not to mention that I am not sure if it is even within our means.

I had considered homeschooling when the girls were young, but as with many other things, once they actually came along some of my priorities changed.  I became very concerned with how they would fit into the world around them, how they would find their place in the world and learn to interact if they didn't actually have the traditional education experience.

I read magazines and books that convinced me that the new model of public school education was incorporating some of the basic principles of Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner.  I was thrilled with my girls' pre-school and kindergarten experience.  Allie's first grade year was marked by a child from an abusive home who acted out daily and bullied and threatened the other girls.  Her second grade year was great, until the last marking period.  Third grade was for the most part, okay.  And I adore her fourth grade Language Arts teacher, her math teacher leaves a lot to be desired, however.

But, I just keep going back to homeschooling.  Jason is all for it.  I just feel, well concern for how my girls would fit in socially, though we have a neighbor that homeschools and I have joined several listservs and there are a lot of groups that we could take part in.  I also feel overwhelmed by the responsibility, like what if I miss something important?