Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Venturing into Homeschooling

"Homeschooling" is a word that has been coming in and out of my life a lot lately. I had never considered the idea until a few acquaintances I have started mentioning their foray into educating their kids at home. Suddenly there was a whole new world opening up to me, with which I am deeply fascinated. Teaching is a career I've always had in the back of my mind, and numerous times I've looked into going back to Teacher's College. So I guess it's not all that surprising that I've developed an interest in it.

Public school is still a year and a half away for Colin, and I'm not sure that homeschooling when he gets to that age is something I want to do. But not only have I started hearing about it more and more from friends, my grandfather (noticing Colin's intelligence) even mentioned to me the other day that I might consider homeschooling him.

Having noticed several very specific personality traits of Colin's has caused me to start doing some investigating.

Colin is very bright. Yes, I'm his mother, and so of course I'm partial, but others have also made this observation. Mostly I attribute it to his memory, which is near photographic. But the other trait that caused me to consider homeschooling is that he is what I affectionately term a "spirited child". I close friend introduced me to this idea (she herself has a spirited boy) and I really identified with it. Colin is very active, is always on the move, and can act out when bored. All these characteristics could combine to mean he's "that child that just won't behave" in school, whom teachers plop in the back of the class because they don't have the time to deal with him. Yes, it's still early, and he's only two. But the nice thing about early recognition is that if I do have issues with public school, I've already gotten used to the idea of the alternatives, and am well educated about these possibilities.

But the more immediate use, for me, is that I'm stuck. My mother is an elementary school teacher, and she has remarked that Colin already knows much of what they teach in kindergarten. In fact, she has said that he knows more than some of these 4 or 5 year olds! So my question became - where do I go from here? I knew that I couldn't just let him stagnate for 2 years until he got to school. He's ready and willing to learn, and so I felt an obligation to respond.

My research so far has been exciting. I've found a few homeschooling forums where parents discuss the different curriculum they have followed, and how they have implemented it in their home. Many are "teaching" toddlers the same age as Colin. Homeschooling is a very holistic approach to learning. Mostly I just need to recognize the every day opportunities for learning!

I won't go into much more detail here (anyone interested in what I'm learning, feel free to correspond with me further!). I just wanted to share my excitement in what I'm finding. I've always struggled with the idea of wanting to both stay home with my children, and also work as a teacher. Perhaps I've found a way to do both!

No comments: