Anthony and I are studying Religion (Lives of the Prophets) along with English. We are taking a basic writing class. And I don’t know why but it is kicking our BUTTS! Grades are fine…ish, it’s just a lot more work this semester than we are used to.
The first assignment for writing was to write a love letter. But not just any love letter; it had to be a letter to someTHING that we love, not someONE. I plan to share that once I have access to it again (long story), but for now I am sharing my second assignment. We had to write an essay about something that we strongly believe in. This paper was easy for me because I have a very strong opinion about the value of homeschooling. I believe that homeschooling is education in its most realistic form.
For the record, I originally wrote close to 6 pages before realizing I had some major cutting down to do. The essay could only be 1-2 pages. What the heck?! I could have gone on forever.
Anthony’s paper was centered around fathers being heroes to their children. (I’ll share that once I get permission. He has to be awake in order for me to get that. ;))
Below is a copy of my essay:
I believe homeschooling is education in its most realistic form. It is the most appropriate way to educate. The public school system seems so artificial. Having to learn the same thing as everyone else at approximately the same ages sends the message that what a child is interested in isn’t important, and that you can only learn certain things at certain times. Being told there is only one right way to do just about everything sends the message that we shouldn’t try to be creative. Certainly the government knows better what, when, and how a child should be learning a particular concept. In addition, standardized testing is not an accurate measurement of intelligence or progress.
I am the product of the public school system, and I think I turned out alright. Homeschool isn’t for every family or every kid. Public, charter, or private school are all options as well. However, there was a dam built in the flow of my creative juices as a result of the way the schools and government have set things up for the education of children.
It has taken a lot of effort to get the juices flowing again. As a small child I remember my imagination running wild. The things I could come up with on my own were worthy of a best selling picture book. Vivid colors, imaginative characters, and playful thoughts and scenarios danced around in my mind like a pile of autumn leaves frolicking into the air, gently pushed upward by a light, cool breeze. Exposed pebbles in my corroding driveway were ‘buttons’ that would magically transport my friends and me to new and exciting places like Bubble Gum World. But I knew that when I entered the classroom things had to be just so.
Everyone used the same color of tissue paper for a flower art project, the same design for an imagined replica of one of Christopher Columbus’ ships, and the same topic for learning acrostic poems. My classmates and I were limited by certain criteria set by either the teacher or the government. Eventually, the natural curiosity and imaginative thoughts inside of me were drowned by the knowledge that it didn’t matter how I wanted to do my project. If I wanted a good grade, I would have to follow the format and subject given to me.
The most frequently asked question I get as a homeschooling mom of six kids is, “What about socialization? How are you going to socialize your kids?” I always tell the asker that we just live life. Life is a social event. My kids are involved at church, in church activities, recreational activities, and organized homeschool events. They play with each other, cousins, neighbor kids, and they go to the grocery store and the park. Everyday social interaction equals socialized children.
Schools were not created to provide a place for social interaction. They were created to help educate those children whose families could not afford to buy the proper materials or hire private tutors for their education. At some point, it just became simpler to send all, or at least most, kids to the school for free education. Soon after that it became the law.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle. The world is our classroom and we are able to choose what to learn, when to learn, and how to learn. It offers the very best of life and can help children discover their creative genius.