Accidental Homeschooling

Recently, we had the opportunity to enter our 1st grader into a Spanish Immersion program. When we first looked into it, we thought: this is amazing. And I still think it’s great. But as the summer wore on, we started thinking: maybe we want to keep homeschooling? FYI: this is totally weird because when we started the homeschool process, we had no intention of continuing it long term. I suppose you could call us “Accidental Homeschoolers.”

But we went ahead and turned down the Immersion Program because, while it’s a great option for many kids, it wasn’t the right option for us. And that’s okay. Homeschooling has been working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

So now we’ve become one of those parents: people might perceive us as hippie parents who lets their kid run naked through the field in the afternoons while their peers are sitting at a desk actually learning something. Let’s be clear: we’ve always homeschooled. But I’d say turning down the Immersion Program was our first real commitment to it. And here’s my answers to some of the most common complaints about homeschooling:

homeschooling

1. They don’t get socialized! Well, that’s not necessarily true, though it is a valid concern. It’s just that you have to actively go out and seek socialization opportunities. And let me make it clear, coming from a person who was bullied throughout most of grade school, not all public school social environments are the best.

2. Are you saying that your kid is smarter than mine? Nope! I went to public school. So did my husband and all of our family members. We turned out just fine. I think what’s best a child and his or her family varies on a case-by-case basis.

3. Sounds like a big time commitment! It is! That’s why it’s not for everyone and I can respect people who choose not to do it. But it’s also extremely fun and extremely rewarding. I love the idea that my kid can ask how glass is made and my husband (the primary homeschooler) can spend an entire day doing a project on that. It really makes learning fun.

4. Are you doing it for religious reasons? Nope. Not at all, though many homeschooling families do. There are a ton of other reasons that aren’t based around religion: learning disabilities, bullying, struggling with the public school curriculum, military families moving around, etc.

I realize not everyone will support this decision. But here is our philosophy on the matter:

“Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child’s natural bent.” ― Plato

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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