In the 1970's and 1980's, I spent my school days sitting in a wraparound school desk with a metal bin below my seat for my heavy, brown paper-bag-covered books and Pee-Chee folders. For most of the seven hours in a school day, I sat peering over another child's head transfixed on the green chalkboard and the lecturing teacher in front of me. Or, of course, I may have been silently completing my busy-work on purple-inked, dittoed worksheets. It sounds terrible, I know, but I loved it. School was my thing. I was a high-achiever and people-pleaser. My impeccable attendance was demonstrative of my love for the traditional classroom. Didn't everyone feel this way?
Clearly, not all students did. Can you relate?
The biggest differences between then and now are a whole lot of options from which to choose. Classroom education has come a long, wonderful way, but so has the option of homeschooling our children. Both can be done exceptionally well.
Just as the classroom model worked well for my mode of learning, the homeschool model works beautifully for others. As a teacher, I have had the privilege of experiencing both platforms. For 13 years I taught elementary aged students in a small, lovely neighborhood school. For 13 years, I have also supported families choosing to homeschool with the accountability component of having me, a credentialed teacher, oversee their program. And, yes, of course I had to homeschool our own sons at some point, right?! Right! There are numerous, valuable things I learned and loved about all of the teaching experiences I had with other's children and my own. But, what I love most is that I had the freedom of choice.
There are plenty of strong-minded people who can make compelling arguments on both sides of the educational coin; however, the choice is not only personal: it depends on the individual child. That is truly the catalyst to spark any decision a family may make.
So, whether your child sits facing a Smart Board in her neighborhood classroom or on a beanbag in the family room reading from her Kindle, it is critical we teach and learn how to live life in a way that makes us most proud of the choices we have made for our children and ourselves.
It is my assumption we might all like to hear our children someday say, "School was my thing, and I loved it." With the freedom of choice, hard work, and the support of others, we have every chance to make that happen.
For any educational encouragement, lesson ideas, or writing inspiration, please visit me at Write On! Webb
Author: Melissa Webb
CA Credentialed Teacher