Sunday, February 27, 2005

my kid hates homeschool

My daughter Evangeline hates being homeschooled. She spent a year-and-a-half in a preschool, where she got to make a number of friends her own age, and now she is here at home with her father and younger sister, Rachel.

I try my hardest to make homeschooling enjoyable and educational for her. We have her involved in activities where she can be with other children her age, we go on homeschooling field trips regularly with the co-op we belong to, and we try to arrange playdates with her friendsfrom preschool, but she still wishes she were in regular school.

As someone who worked for nearly 10 years in the news media, I can attest that most of the colleagues I discussed it with thought homeschooling parents should be commended for their commitment to their children, and they also were impressed with the success stories of the homeschooled children that we diligently reported.

But homeschooling remains not for every parent, and not for every child. We've been homeschooling Evangeline for kindergarten because she was reading-ready at 5 years old, but missed the cut-off date for our school district by two weeks. My experience is that the socialization that occurs in a school setting is usually destructive, rather than productive. Schools function on the law of club and fang, where people who are different are ostracized and put down, and we're made to feel ashamed of our differences, no matter how beneficial those differences are.

A charter school is different in that it's multi-grade level, so that Evangeline will interact with children who are older than her and are not dealing with the same issues she is, and therefore might actually be positive rather than destructive role models for her. It's also different in that there is a lot of parental involvement, which is usually somewhat difficult in a public school setting.

Well, we'll see what happens. She's said several times that she doesn't want to be homeschooled after kindergarten, so we're almost definitely going to enroll her at the charter school, I think. And I'll be there every step of the way with her.

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