T ball, swimming, music,ice skating twice a week, ,and gymnastics. sometimes little random things come up that we participate in like winter classes which meet once a week.
sounds like a lot doesn't it? Sounds like maybe our homeschooled kids are overscheduled, something many felt like we should avoid. The thing is though when I (or you) break down the actual times of these classes and the amount of free playtime we still have I don't feel like my kids are over scheduled, I feel I am.
The kids enjoy getting out and interacting and learning different activities and the truth is they aren't in school for 6 hours a day so the dragging from here to there and getting dinner and homework isn't really an issue.
To me the over scheduling can be a direct result of kids being in school for so many hours. People don't say your kid should drop geography in order to have time to play little league. School kids days aren't cut shorter to make room for the fun, "Extra curricular" activities. they are doing the fun stuff in addition to being in school.
We don't fill our kids days with activities but they are exposed and the list makes it seem like, "Wow they do a lot"
Maybe they do but they have still have tons of free time to sit and play and learn. There is almost no homework (Music class gives homework)
In one week the total hours my kids spend in class is between 7 and 10 hours..A WEEK! Add in a special class and maybe the number goes up by 2 hours.
In between the scheduled classes they have friends over or play with each other.
So while our calender is chuck full of activities,play dates, and my work schedule if I had an hour by hour schedule most lines would be blank.
I don't think unless your kid is in class all day being told what to learn, how to learn, when to eat, then hurry hurry to the next activity where someone is telling them how to stand , how to dance, how to hit a ball, then hurry hurry to the tutor for homework practice then hurry for dinner then bed. Yes that is over scheduled b/c of the lack of down time.
In spite of the long list activities we still have tons of downtime.
So even though most of my homeschooling brethren are often lamenting, "Why do we call it homeschooling if we're never home" and most of us are calling to see who is free to play which day, I do not believe we over scheduled.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
It's true, I can't help it and I apologize if I sound like I am pushing homeschooling. I just feel so sorry for those kids you tell me about. I feel sorry for the ones who are so anxious they make themselves throw up in the morning, the ones who can hold it together for school but let in to you when they come home. My heart breaks for the kids whose parents tell me, "she doesn't have any friends" "She thinks the teacher doesn't like her" and "they must sit quietly at lunch"
This isn't judgment. I don't judge you for sending your kid to school I REALLY don't but when you say things like, "I don't think I could I could do it" I want to change that. I want to empower you, show you that YES you can teach your child.
When I hear you tell me that your child wishes to be homeschooled I want to show you how easy it can be, especially in this state. I don't want you to think I am a pushy homeschooling mom trying to tell everyone how to live but that door feels left open for a reason. I sometimes think maybe you want me to convince you that you can do it, because I know you can.
While I don't think school is detrimental to every child, my own niece thrives in school. I do think that many do not thrive and actually end up solely surviving and that school grades are not the best assesmentof whether a child is thriving.
So Yes I would love to convince everyone to homeschool if they could so I apologize if I sound overzealous I just don't want you or child to miss out. There really is another way.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I do. I live in lovely town with "great" schools. What that means I guess is that most kids graduate and go to college. However in my circle of homeschoolers who take their kids out of school the complaints are such that I do not consider much of anything a good school district. kids that I know have been taken out to be homeschooled b/c class size was outrageous, kids having homework in Kindergarten, or kids spending all day coloring; Kindergartens that are full days and just way too much for a small 5 year old and kids who needed recess but were punished for talking so that privilege was taken away. Those are not good schools are not good school policies for children in my very humble opinion.
Good schools I can recognize but those are in my opinion charter schools which are very hard to come by in NJ. I do however love the The Ridge and Valley charter school philosophy and if I ever had to send my kids anywhere that is where they would go.
This http://www.nj.com/independentpress/index.ssf/2010/03/petition_circulating_to_save_c.html is from the "excellent" school district, which although not exactly my district, we are close enough neighbors that it could be.
Please for moment remember what Kindergarten was like for you. I remember the play kitchen, the big wooden blocks; which a student once dropped on "Miss" O'donnel's ankle and sent her to the nurse. I remember our round tables and warm milk and cubbies. I remember needing a smock for finger painting and using my father's old shirt.
I can't say I LOVED kindy but I do remember not hating it. The smell of warm milk is really the biggest memory for me and that smell is not pleasant so the association is not warm and lovey.
Kindergarten was for little kids to get used to going to school but that has been replaced with Preschool. The problem however is that kids are still 5 when they go to kindergarten and whether they learned to write their name in Pre K or not they are still 5 year olds that need lots of imaginative play, creative outlets and freinds. No one learns best by being lectured to but children need to figure stuff out.
They need to play and learn to play together. The brain is still growing and some parts of it are not ready for what we are shoving into it at this young age. This does not mean that we can't manipulate a kid and shame them inot learning something but where does that leave the desire to learn? What might a "red card" sent home for mis behaving do a child's view of education.
Is education all about being quiet and learning or is education bigger, louder wild and unleashed.
Information is everywhere not just in classroom full of kids and teachers and pricipals who think art is not as important as writing. Maybe they forgot the rule that art skills help develop handwriting. I don't know, but I'm glad my kids don't go to a "good" school.
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