Time has flown by — it seems as if just a few months ago you were teaching your baby to walk and to talk. How can it be time for your little one to go to Kindergarten Round-Up already? Now you have more worries on your mind than just childproofing the kitchen cabinets. You have heard rumors of how bad the public schools have become — but does that include your district? You might know someone who homeschools their children, but you have never seriously considered it yourself… until now.
Will it really hurt to send Little One to Kindergarten? How much harm could be done in just one year? You had thought about having a little more time to yourself once Little One went off to school. You could look into the Christian school… You have taught him to count to ten, and he knows most of his letters. Isn’t it harder to teach him to read?
There are many positive elements to keeping your precious Little One at home for school, and there are just as many negative elements to sending him off to the classroom. As harmless as Kindergarten may seem, it has probably changed a great deal since you last looked. You remember the bad attitudes that you or your classmates waited until Junior High or High School to pick up, but your child may meet them in the early elementary grades. You remember your sex education classes, but now they begin in Kindergarten and include instruction about AIDS. Public school teachers have less authority than ever to discipline unruly students, and new Zero Tolerance policies have nearly completed the transformation into one-size-fits-all institutions. Is that really where you want to send your Little One for the next 13 years?
Educating your children at home is not difficult. You can begin Kindergarten merely by reading storybooks together and continuing the many informal playtime activities that you and your child have enjoyed for the past few years. Teaching reading is simplified with a basic phonics program — starting with letter sounds, and then combining those sounds to make simple words. Arithmetic is much more difficult to spell than it is to teach. Counting and sorting, the basic steps to math, are easily accomplished with everything from building blocks to M & M candies.
Social interaction is much more easily taught without the roomful of competing students. You and your child can play board games and card games together — teaching your child the fine arts of patience, taking turns, and sportsmanship. You and your child will be able to continue spending the best hours of the day together, fresh and full of enthusiasm. You will be mentoring life skills while running errands or grocery shopping, preparing meals, and tidying up the house together. Your child will participate in life as it really happens, not just hear about it from the isolation of a classroom environment. Educating your children at home does not have to make tremendous changes to your everyday routine, but adapting your household to the rigid schedule of public school does require great dedication.
My own desires for personal time paled in comparison to the value of my children. Although my children did begin in public school, I have regretted that decision. Once my own stubborn mind recognized the benefits of homeschooling, we gladly left the government institution. The public school environment had caused major changes in my children’s attitudes. Homeschooling gave us a complete turn-around, back to the family-first values we held dear.
Homeschooling provides a high-quality, one-on-one education in the loving, safe, and fun environment of your home and family. More families begin homeschooling with each passing year, and there are more excellent materials to choose from each year. I encourage every family reading this to consider homeschooling before you send your precious offspring down the street to public school. Your children are much too valuable to leave to chance.