Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grandparents and Homeschooling: From a Dilemma to an Adventure

From Teachable Moment October 1997 written by Skip Evelo:

In my last blog, I mentioned reactions relatives sometimes have. Here is an honest article that my father-in-law was willing to write after we had been homeschooling for six years or so. I appreciated it then and I still appreciate it to this day.

" You're going to do what? Homeschool our grandchildren! Have you lost your minds? Don't we have a vested interest in our grandchildren? Even though you two have college degrees, you aren't teachers. Where did we fail as parents? Oh! We had many questions and many more doubts.

Okay, so they'll study at home. What about their social relationships with other kids? Do you want them to be "hermits"? I can just see it now;  Jared, Shelley, Lindley and even Matthew laying in bed till around nine AM. Then a leisurely breakfast watching TV, maybe a little Nintendo later, then it's time for lunch. Later Mom exclaims, "My goodness, we've got to study now! Get your books. Let's see, we'll try some Math and maybe a little English, then you can go out to play". At this rate, it'll take them forever to learn anything!

That's how we felt about this "home schooling thing". And that was six years ago. And after much enlightenment and observation on our part, we've completely changed our minds and attitude. It's nothing like we imagined it to be.

In our opinion, our grandchildren, thanks to dedication, hard work and yes, persistence of their parents, are receiving a well rounded education, and in my opinion, receive a more advanced and structured learning experience than they could ever receive in public school. To those parents and grandparents who are just a little skeptical about homeschooling, let me briefly outline a normal day in the life of a homeschooler.

My oldest grandson, Jared, age 14, is presently attending a special religious seminary class sponsored by our church, so he arises early enough to meet at the church at 6 AM. By 7:30 AM, he is back home and begins his studies. The others are up by this time, have had breakfast, and will start their lessons soon after. Even Matthew, age 5, is in homeschool kindergarten. The kids are being tutored by their mother. For several hours a day, they complete their lessons interspaced with numerous field trips and participating in learning circles and groups with other homeschool children. Much of their studies and research are accomplished by utilizing the family computer in addition to frequent visits to the local library. Through the process, my grandchildren are exposed to a multitude of learning experiences and I am amazed at the knowledge they possess.

One unique facet of their learning experience is the opportunity to explore various career opportunities. Jared has a desire to become a veterinarian, so arrangements have been made for him to spend three hours a week "shadowing" or observing a local vet, while Shelley, age 13, has some thoughts of becoming a dentist, so she is "shadowing" a local dentist. These are special projects that they have elected to complete. You tell me that they would have these opportunities in public school!

Yes, we're sold on homeschooling and both my wife and I support my son and his wife and our grandchildren in their decision to seek a well rounded education."

Many high schools will arrange for their upper grade students to do some sort of shadowing outside the school in their chosen career paths. The difference is that those students usually only get to do one internship versus homeschooled students can start at younger ages and can do whatever their parents are able to set up with whoever the students want to shadow! A big advantage!

I loved this quote our newsletter editor placed right after the article from my father-in-law.

" Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned, and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly." Thomas Huxley

PS: Jared did not become a veterinarian; he is an accountant. Shelley did not become a dentist; she is a registered nurse. Lindley is also a nurse (she was a junior volunteer at CRMC) and Matthew is a college student.

No comments:

Post a Comment