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The reason why I homeschool is quite simple… my kids are custom made, and I want to give them a custom made education.
I am not against public school. In fact, I taught elementary school myself for 11 years. However, mass public education casts a net to educate as many kids as they can. That net targets the average child because it allows public school to teach the most children. It is not a bad thing…if you have an average child.
Now, I don’t know about your kids, but I am guessing that your child isn’t “average” in all areas. Sure, she might be average in a subject or two. Maybe even struggle with another subject, but I would guess that she absolutely ROCKS at least one other subject and maybe more!
There is one advantage parents have to public school: parents know their kids in ways that teachers just can’t. Parents can take that knowledge to customize their child’s education.
Your children are custom made – with unique strengths and some weaknesses, and I believe they deserve an education that meets them where they are now. I want children to learn to use their strengths to deal with their weaknesses, to build their character to reflect your family’s values and core beliefs, and to grow into the person they are custom made to be.
Homeschooling allows me to customize my children’s education to do just that. We study their areas of strength and provide the opportunity for those strengths to become gifts. We slow down in areas of struggle and gingerly coach them with tools and strategies to learn what they need to know…and release them from becoming experts in areas in which they struggle.
I believe every child has areas of potential gifts – yes, your child, too!
I saw it again and again when I taught elementary school – even when I worked across the street from the projects. Children who were poor, neglected, hungry, or being raised by non-relatives shared their dreams with sparkles in their eyes. They had plans that all reflected who they were custom made to be and using their individual strengths. None of them planned to just get by or to keep living in the projects. Their dreams were much bigger, and It was an honor to show them they could customize their learning in those areas.
Even when teaching in areas with abundance, my students had big dreams. At 8 years old, they knew if they wanted to study science or history, if math was easy or frustrating, and if getting lost in a book was a great brain break. They often wanted to help others and give back to the world.
Kids are so wise, and I love watching them lead their own education.
Being a resource and a guide to help my own kids take ownership of their education is a privilege that I thank God to have each and every day.
We learn together – my kids and I. There are days when we follow our curriculum lesson plans, and there are days when we take the liberty to pursue the answers to their own questions.
We are not perfect, and neither is our homeschooling. However, we are working and learning together to customize what they need to reflect their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Custom made kids getting a custom made education is my favorite reason to homeschool. What is yours? Tell me in the comments!
Amy Michaels is a former classroom teacher and Gifted Educational Specialist turned homeschooler. She owns ThriveHomeschooling.com where she works as an Educational Consultant to homeschooling parents who want to simplify and customize their homeschooling to see their kids THRIVE.