This topic is so huge that it is going to take several different posts to cover it all, so this first one is just general info.
Boy for cruising families, this is the "hot" topic. Usually, unless you are VERY good friends with a family, it is politely avoided like the elephant in the living room. And it should be. There are so many variables in the equation of homeschooling that trying to converse about homeschooling with a parent is like trying to get directions in Hong Kong from a person speaking Chinese - you can ask, but you are still going to feel lost. The age of the child, whether the kid enjoyed regular school or not, the attitude of the child about learning, whether the child has any special education needs (either super smart, or with learning disabilities), whether or not you have a lot of internet access, the family's religious beliefs, which state your child is registered as a homeschooler in - all of these things, and more, can make each family's homeschooling experience completely different.
So I can't tell you anything about homeschooling other than what our experience has been. We are a family with one 13 year old son who absolutely hated the school experience, has a horrible attitude about learning, and who has been diagnosed with moderate/severe dyslexia (which was the cause of his hatred of school), and who is quite intelligent like many dyslexics. Did you know that Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, Richard Branson and Erin Brokovich are all dysleyxic? So dyslexia is not about intelligence or abilities, it's about how your brain takes information in.
School was going so poorly for Jack that we were going to pull him from the system in 2008 regardless of whether we went sailing or not. School had completely demoralized his belief in his abilities and basically only "taught" him that he was "dumb". And he was attending a great private school with small classrooms where he was a popular guy. His idea about himself came from comparing his abilities to those of the kids around him. And truthfully, no dyslexic is going to shine in a school setting.
So for us on Just a Minute, our number one goal of homeschooling has been building self-esteem. We started out slow and just focused on Reading, Writing and 'Rithmatic - just like a little pioneer schoolhouse. Over time we have added in more subjects. Homeschooling has never been easy. But it has been incredibly rewarding. After two years of sometimes absolutely painful struggle, I am happy to say - things are going very well. I feel great success. Jack is now reading for fun; though it will never be his favorite thing to do, he does enjoy reading a good book. His attitude toward himself is very positive. He has passed his once-a-year Standardized tests that WA state requires with very good results (mostly in the 90th percentile ranges for the six different topics). But best of all, we have reached a place where our daily school session is not a battle of wills punctuated with anger and frustration. And that is heaven.
3 days ago