Since the boys turned 4 people ask all the time, "Are they in preschool now?" The easy answer is no. The more complicated answer is yes, but we are homeschooling. This is not a decision we came to lightly, and we do not take our children's education lightly, either. This is very serious and being treated that way.
I fully understand that the decision was primarily mine but I have the support of my husband and mother. There have been many reasons to go this route, some big and some small. I think the biggest reason stems from the school systems around here and public school in general. Teachers are doing the best they can in an imperfect system. I have the utmost respect for teachers (most of them anyway) and this decision is nothing against them. The schools are trying to take kids that need to be active and making them sit still. Children all have different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or a combination) but schools do not have the time or resources to cater to all kids. They have to cater to the average, so, some don't get it and some are bored. Very few kids are actually average. Public schools are necessary because not everyone has the means or motivation to pursue alternatives. I am not anti-school at all. I went to public and private schools but I consider us lucky to live at a time when homeschooling is more accepted and so much information is available to home parents and students.
One of the biggest pet peeves of teachers, from what I understand, is a lack of parental involvement in their child's education. I plan on being 100% involved by homeschooling. We already teach our children how to use a spoon, tie their shoes, and use the potty. Why then can't we continue to teach them? I read a great book recently by Lisa Welchel, the actress from The Facts of Life. It's called So You're Thinking of Homeschooling. It gives 16 different family perspectives of their how's and why's of homeschooling. She acknowledges right away that homeschooling is not for everyone. One of the families said it best, that you only really need to be one day smarter than your students. Kids have lots of questions. As parents we may not have all the answers and even the best teachers never have all the answers, but we just need to have the ability to FIND the answers.
I have to say that since we made this decision the whole world has become more of a learning experience for all of us. When we went to Dunkin' Donuts after the doctors yesterday we practiced counting and basic subtraction with hash browns. If JR has 10 hash browns and mommy eats 1 and JR eats 2 how many are left? Today we picked up sticks in the yard for starting fires in the fireplace and wood stove so we talked about thick and thin, short and long, and heavy and light. If used properly the world is a classroom and that is what homeschooling seems to be all about at it's most basic. We will take it one day at a time and one grade at a time. Right now we are just in "preschool" but I found some information on Kindergarten curriculums so we have goals to shoot for. I have not picked a "formal" homeschool curriculum, there are so many, but one day at a time for now.
One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein. "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." Well said, and I think that is a big part of my homeschool philosophy.