Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why I Homeschool My Child

This article is from Salon. Interesting points, but ultimately none of those are the reason why I decided that homeschooling was the best option for my (somewhat problematical) teen. Why I Homeschool My Children

My traditional stance on homeschooling was that some things are better left to professionals, and teaching is one of them. Plus, this kid was going to present a challenge to whomever received the privilege of having Fester in his class. His ADHD creates havoc with inability to remain on task. He is frequently disruptive. With his diabetes, the schools have a responsibility to monitor his blood sugar. It seemed as though at least once a week I got a call to come pick him up from school so we could deal with his hyperglycemia at home. Now that I have more time to spend with him, we can be much more flexible in terms of managing his sick days -- and he has fewer of them.

But if there were one ultimate determining factor, it would be that the public school was in the process of referring him to "alternative school." I didn't see the usefulness of sending Fester to a place full of other boys looking for trouble.

We began by checking out a couple of GED study guides with sample tests from the library to get a baseline idea where Fester is, academically speaking. He was 15 1/2 at the time, not yet old enough to take the GED. Based on the scores from the sample test, he would have passed. He watches quite a bit of The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and CNN now. We talk about things and use those conversations as a springboard to research papers.

Since we decided to home school, the stress level is down and our relationship is better. Sure, Fester still does a lot of crazy things, but he's not so consistently in trouble. He spends less time hanging around people who will encourage him to find trouble. Even the way we're doing it, which is somewhat impromptu, home schooling is a lot of work but so far the results seem to make it worthwhile. He may well be a misfit and dropout but I still see his worth as a person. Fester is smart and funny and intuitive. He has a natural curiosity about the world and presents himself quite articulately. The public school system in two states has not served him well.

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