Last week when I was at the Anchorage Museum (read about our visit, here), I noticed a small group of kids with quite a bit of variety in ages. I noticed that there were nearly as many adults with, both men and women, and they didn't seem to be affiliated with any school. I was pretty curious, so I was happy when one of the moms commented on how cute Riggs was - it was the perfect chance to learn more about her little group.
Turns out they were a homeschool group, and long story short, they meet two or even three times a week to go swimming, go to the zoo, visit the Loussac Library, or in this case, visit the Museum. Chatting with her about their little group brought the whole school question back up for me in regards to Riggs. Public school? Charter school? Private School? Homeschool? How am I supposed to decide which option will be best for him and any other, future children?
A friend shared an article on Facebook the other day that listed 18 good reasons to homeschool your children. You can find the article here and read over it for yourself if you're interested. I found all eighteen reasons to be pretty substantial, but one stood out to me in particular.
"16) Better socialization, less unhealthy peer pressure and bullying. Our kids no longer beg for video games we don’t want them to have or clothes we don’t like, or junky snacks they saw at school. One of our children struggled socially in school, and his schoolmates were ruthlessly mean. Despite a school anti-bullying policy and our best efforts to work with the teacher, nothing changed. Last year he played alone on the playground everyday. Now he’s organizing playground games at our homeschool co-op, and he’s smiling again. No one has ever said an unkind word to him at our co-op, because every child is there with his or her own parent. Our kids have plenty of time with friends, but without the unhealthy peer pressure and bullying." source
The introduction of unhealthy influences has always been one of my biggest concerns about public schools, and even charter and private schools. I want Riggs to like something because he really likes it, not because 'everyone' else likes it. I want to be able to control who he spends the majority of his day with and for him to spend time with other children whose parents are responsible, loving, and similarly-minded when it comes to the major issues. And when I say similarly-minded, I'm talking about what they expect of their children, not politics or religion. Some people disagree with this approach, with the idea of 'sheltering' their children too much. Personally, I think that it's my job to protect and shelter him, to let him be a child as long as possible.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Were you home-schooled and if so, what was your experience? If you read the article, what did you think of it? I realize that it might seem somewhat premature to be thinking about school when my child is only 14 months old, but there's so much to think about and research and prepare for! I also want to prepare him a year or two ahead for which ever schooling option we decide on, especially if we decide to send him to school away from home.