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Many people are still cynical to the home education system, which is also called as homeschooling. Apparently, although there are some burnt out homeschoolers, the growth of homeschooling is increased from time to time. I am not sure about the exact statistical number, but in Indonesia, a ministry regulation regarding homeschooling has been published. Although the law itself is still not clear since it seems that it us the law to move the school to home, I just conclude in raw that the law has been the result of the increased number of homeschooler existency.
We just started our homeschooling 3.5 years ago without any help from people around. We just thought about the happiness of loves of homeschooling at first. The time is running and we experience the bad things about homeschooling that many homeschoolers, especially the new one should know about. Here are the loves and hates of homeschooling that I have experienced.
The Loves of Homeschooling
The Freedom of Learning Anything, Anywhere, and Anytime
Once we decided to homeschool our children, we just feel the freedom of learning. It is hard to answer about how long we learn every day. We learn anytime we like and we can. There is a school time, but it is hard to keep the learning time limited to the time. The flexibility to learn and school might make people think we are not discipline. We might learn untill late at 10pm when we have a bright sky to observe with the telescope.
We have a school room, but it is hard for us to answer where we learn. We might spend our time in the garden when the topic is about plant. We spend the science experiments in the kitchen most of the time.
We use text books for some lessons, but we will tweak the lessons when we want to know other things outside the curriculum.
Another fact that make us love homeschooling is the ability to customize the lessons for each of the child. For example, both of my elder sons have different Maths resources when they reach the same level. I help them in different ways since they have different way of learning maths. At first we used the same curriculum for both of my children, but it didn't work well. I can't imagine how my friends who had difficulty in learning had to follow the school's curriculum when I was at school. Can you imagine how the fast learners are forced to wait the slow learners.
Deal with Real Things
Homeschooling children have a chance to experience real things in learning. Children socialize in a real society. They face people with different background, ages, and characteristics. Children have more chance to apply the knowledge in real life situation. For example, learning about plants can be applied by planting and taking care plants without any time and space limit like when it is at school. Children learn naturally, not in.an artificial or made-up condition.
Get To Know Each Other Better
I was just aware that I hadn't known my children as well as I thought when the first time we started homeschooling. I had a guilty feeling at that time. I felt that I had neglected them a lot. Homeschooling has made me known children much better. I find new things about each of them every single day we have. Thus, I feel very grateful that we have a chance to homeschool children. I know that this period of homeschooling will not be as long as I imagine. The life phase will pass soon when we throw back later in our future life. You might think that I am too self-centered for being afraid missing the time with children. However, there would be a time later in the children's life throwing back the memory of getting to know each other in homeschooling. Family relationships should be more everlasting than friendship by any chance.
More Time To Explore Interests
I wonder what the children in the public school can do in a day other than the school's matters. Before our children were homeschooled they spent the whole day for schooling matters. They woke up at 05.30am. The school was from 7am to 1pm at that time. They had test and homework almost every day so they still had to learn and do the same things they had at school after they took a nap in the afternoon. Other schooled children might have any extra which is usually related with the academic things.
We feel that the routine is tiring and children have too much things to do related with schooling matters. There isn't any chance to do activities related to their interest and talent while they are still young.
The Hates of Homeschooling
Divided Attention for Moms
Homeschooling my children, I have to be able to do multitasking works. I know that it is not a good idea as I would lost my focus a lot of times. I also cannot do things my best as it was. However, the more frequently I do multitasking works the more I am used to it and I can do it much better. It is a kind of habit right now. Every day I always think of writing a blog post in 30 minutes without disturbance, but it rarely happens.
The Uncertainty of Law
This is the hardest part of homeschooling so far. The Indonesian regulation for homeschooling is still not settled yet. One officer in the education department will have different interpretations about the idea, the law, and the regulation of homeschooling with other officers. The problem will be dealing with the exam and requirements mostly. Therefore, we need to be proactive to the government.
The Negative Opinion and Attitudes from People
There are a lot of negative opinions and concerns that make me bored to hear, for honest. Every time people know that we homeschool the children, there are a lot of same questions that sometimes make me tired to answer. It is lucky when the questions don't lead into a debate which I try hard to avoid. People have a right to choose how to learn and how to educate their children as long as it doesn't crash the responsibility of parents toward children. There are a lot of great blogs and books that actually should be read by people who doubt about homeschooling. Here are my favorite homeschooling books that you might read or show other who want to know more about homeschooling. I have also collected some resources for those who want to know about how to start homeschooling
Harder Responsibility of Parents
Homeschooling for 4 years only, my husband and I feel that we have a very a huge responsibility toward our children's education. We should not make any mistakes in decision and action. The administration work is a hard work for me honestly. Next, we need to register and prepare the children for the exam. Whether I agree or disagree, exam is something unavoidable for homeschoolers. Going to the public school, parents still can get the public school does those works. However, the academic things are not the main goals and purposes of homeschooling. Character education is much more important than all of them. Above those hard work, we are not alone. As the Family Toolbox says, God will be with us in educating the children. Children are not ours only. God has purposes to create them among us.
Every homeschoolers will know about this. Patience is a hard temptation, especially at the first time we adjust each others. I have never claimed that I am a patient and capable mom of homeschooling my children ever after, but my children have taught me a lot about being patient. Although I still have to work hard for this, I think I have improved a bit for being patient.
What are your loves and hates of homeschooling your children?