Homeschool and School Holidays

Tomorrow is President’s Day and public schools will be closed for the entire week. As a new-ish homeschooling family, we’re in a peculiar place. Do we continue our lessons, since they’re simply an extension of our day? Or do we put it all on hold until the public school classes are back in session?Interestingly, people seem surprised when we take off for public school holidays. I often wonder if we’re thought of as inferior since trained and licensed teachers are not involved in our lessons. Perhaps the thought is that we need every day there is to cover the subjects other children cover for 6 hours each school day plus another few hours for homework.

I suppose, before we started homeschooling, I felt that way, too. Fortunately, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how little time is truly necessary to cover the subjects in a way that is engaging and thorough. When you strip away the busywork so often supplied by schools, you find the time to enjoy life. Children have time to be… children. Families have family time. And the children are still learning. In fact, they’re learning through real life experiences, not solely through textbooks, worksheets and dioramas.

The best decision we could have made for our family was to take our daughter out of public school and begin homeschooling her. The tough part was dealing with the worry over whether our method would be right. The wonderful part was realizing there’s no wrong way to do it.

Homeschooling is an extension of home-life. We’re learning every minute of every day. Sometimes it’s in a structured way, sometimes it’s not. The greatest joy of homeschooling is the option to play outside when it starts to snow, to take our bikes to the park when the sun warms the day, or to watch a scary movie when it’s stormy outside. Most of all, it’s the wonder of watching new awareness bloom on our child’s face because of something she learned while in our presence.

When public schools are closed for a holiday, our child might not sit with a workbook and pen, but she will still be learning. She’ll still be living the life a child should live, and we’ll all be enjoying the process.

5 Responses to Homeschool and School Holidays

  • Hello Debbie, I admire dedicated moms who homeschool their children.

  • I have 2 neighbors who home school and an aunt who home schooled all 5 of her kids through to high school. I have spent many hours in both of my childrens classrooms and have seen first hand the work being done there. I could never begin to come close to duplicating the exposure, experiences and learning that goes on in their school. Plus, I don’t have a college degree much less a master’s degree in education with specialties ranging from math to reading and beyond. I can’t even get my kids to cooperate when I have to help them with homework. I know the choice to home school or not is a deeply personal one but I also know that if all the home school efforts were channeled into public schools no child would be left behind.

  • Hi Debbie-
    Okay, I’m not losing my mind. I was reading your blog using Google Reader and for some reason it didn’t show your comment button, but I figured out how to get back to your blog to post a comment.

    I admire you for homeschooling. I thought about it when my daughter was in 1st grade. I did something a bit more radical – I organized other parents in my town and we started a non-sectarian elementary school. Am I able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? No. But it was a herculean effort. My daughter graduated from Oberlin College last June and is now applying to graduate school in Biology – guess I did something right 🙂

  • Wow, Sandy! What you did for your child is amazing! You must be so proud – and you’ve certainly earned the right to be.

    I was nervous about homeschooling at first, but this is our second year at it, and my daughter is a much happier kid. It’s so great to see and be part of.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story!

    –Debbie

  • To anonymous #2 🙂

    I have to be honest, I don’t have a college degree or masters in education either. It’s not necessary. What’s so amazing about homeschooling is the ability to learn with your child. When you do it together, the knowledge comes back to you and suddenly, they understand. It’s truly an amazing thing. What’s better is the freedom and opportunity to socialize with children of all ages, not just children within their own grade. It is sad that so many children are left behind. I couldn’t stand to watch my daughter get lost in a class of 30, and I just had to take her out. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s a wonderful thing that works for us.
    –Debbie

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