Starting Home Schooling! Good or Bad? No Shortage of Opinions!

Jude getting his school suppliesMy name is Marie.  I am a wife and mother of two young boys, Jude (five soon to be six) and Joel (four).  We have two somewhat loveable dogs, Pabst and Pau. We live a very active and somewhat chaotic life of which we chronicle in our a little blog:

 http://www.midwestfamilyfoodandfun.blogspot.com.

This year we are embarking on a new adventure, home schooling!  We will be starting with Ohio Virtual Academy this fall.  It is an online public school option in the State of Ohio.  Jude will be entering Kindergarten this year.  He is so excited.  He tells everyone.  And of course they then ask him what school he will be attending.  He proudly tells them that he is going to do school at home.  Then they smile.  But what's behind the smile?  

When you tell someone that you will be home schooling your child the reactions are mixed but never hidden.  Unlike a lot of other issues in today's day and age where people don't even care to pick a side, everyone seems to have an opinion on home schooling and most are willing to give it to you unsolicited. There are the two camps.  One is the "this is the best thing ever camp".  The other is the "we are completely mortified that you would even think this is a good idea camp".  Somehow there doesn't seem to be a middle ground.   You immediately know what side someone is on by the smile!

The warm and cheery smile is the one that you are hoping for.  Not because you want everyone to agree with you, but because it doesn't come with the half hour discussion of twenty questions.  Like what made you decide on doing this?  You live in a great school district.  Is Jude having problems?  He seems to like other children, is there a reason you don't want him around them?

People that are anti-home schooling, aka the fake forced smile people, seem to think that you choose to home school your children because you are either afraid of the world, you live in a horrible school district or you have a troubled child.  None of which is the case in our family.  Truth be told we live in one of the best school districts in the State of Ohio, our children are very well socialized and love talking and interacting with people and are very bright.  (Okay I'm their mom so I'm biased on the last comment).  

The happy smile people seem to understand that you have spent countless hours on the decision to home school your child.  Have done tons of research to pick the best curriculum fitting your child’s needs.  And are choosing take on the primary educator role and remain very active in your child's education process not to censor the experience but to expand it!

For us we have chosen to home school because we feel it will help our children become well rounded individuals that are not only book smart but also have common sense knowledge and the ability to think on their feet and adapt to the ever changing environment.  We feel they can learn from books, computers and hand on experiences that are not always available in the current state of the education system due to budgetary constraints.  Instead of just receiving status updates and grades we want to be active participants in their learning process.

This is why we have chosen to home school.  We are very proud of the decision we have made as a family.  Sure I am apprehensive and a little scared about the monumental task we are about to embark.  I realize this will not be a walk in the park every day and I am sure some tears will be shed by the end of the school year.  But now we are smiling with joy for our decision?  Are you?  I'm sure you'll tell me!

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