Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Homeschooling, Again

Once upon a time, I was going to be a homeschooling mom. I attended homeschool conferences. I joined a Yahoo! homeschooling group. I researched curriculum. I bought curriculum. I wrote lesson plans. I created a homeschooling organizer to help homeschooling moms, like myself, organize home and school at a glance. I even passed judgment on others not homeschooling.

Then life happened. And I decided that I wasn't going to do it. I do mourn some relationships that seemed to evaporate at the same time. Relationships with other homeschooling moms. It goes without saying that I'm a little...sensitive...about it all. Talking about or reading articles about homeschooling makes me...defensive, so I try to stay quiet.

However, I read this article today, sent to me by my husband, and thought the guy had a great point.

If I want to see a video of some quilting technique, I can find a dozen online. For free. On blogs, on YouTube. Or I can go down to my local quilting store and get lessons there. Is it the same with homeschooling? I did my homework and I think it's because there are lots of moms teaching their kids who are like me: not teachers. And they, like I would have to do, find materials that do the teaching for them with scripted lessons. Your part in bold. Is that the same as teaching?

Deciding to homeschool is an easy decision compared to figuring out what book you're going to use for math. Experienced homeschoolers could help others starting the process by doing what Mr. North is suggesting. Make their lessons available for downloading. Make teaching videos. Most who homeschool feel passionately about it. But passionately enough to give it away for free?

For me, one of the main reasons I chose not to homeschool was the complete lack of knowledge on what was "best" and lack of time to figure it out. Facing that task was overwhelming and left me feeling like a failure. There has to be a better way than every mother reinventing the wheel every generation.

1 comment:

Luke said...

There are several groups of people who create homeschool materials/curricula and give it away for free. The trouble with it is--like so many other free resources out there--that it is difficult to find the right tools and support through it. Plus, while the plans and ideas may be free, you still have to pay for the books/materials somehow.

Enter a company like Sonlight. We create tools that help homeschoolers through every step of the journey. But to be able to update our curriculum every year, let people know about what we do, and to produce teaching resources/videos takes time and money. So, we sell the books people need along with the resources we create.

So, yes, there is a way for moms to not have to reinvent the wheel every year... and that's to have companies take the time to do it for them. But that costs money. But, yes, there are ways to get your homeschool curriculum for free. But that takes your time and money.

Which is better? It depends on who you are and what you want to do.