I almost titled this post, “Homeschool Versus Public School,” because I want to share my decision to stop homeschooling and return the kids to public school. But it just didn’t feel right. Although we’ve shifted from public school to homeschool and back to public school again, I don’t want to give anyone the impression that either choice is universally right or wrong.
Let me repeat that…
I don’t want to give anyone the impression that either choice – homeschool or public school – is universally right or wrong.
I only want to share why we decided that public school is right for us this year.
A Look at Our Educational Choices Thus Far…
I Loved Homeschooling, But…
I loved homeschooling my kids. But I hated the stressed-out mom I became trying to do it.
I loved seeing the spark of learning in my kids’ eyes. But my kids drove me nuts by the end of the day.
I loved tailoring their education to their interests and special needs. But I was terrible at planning ahead enough to do it.
I loved planning and organizing their homeschool days. But I didn’t know when to quit looking and planning and just make decisions and DO it.
I loved going on field trips to provide hands-on learning for my kids. But I spent too much time and money trying to do it too often.
I loved joining homeschool groups and activities to provide social interaction for the kids. But we never found quite the right fit for all of my unique kids.
I loved that my toddler got to spend so much time with his older sibling. But I hated neglecting him most of the day to focus on their homeschooling.
I loved being able to adjust the environment and educational support for my special needs learner. But I struggled to find what really worked for him and saw him regressing.
Now We’re Loving Public School, Because…
My kids’ teachers are AMAZING. And they’re only an email away so I can keep involved.
My kids are learning more social skills than I was able to provide while homeschooling. They have so many friends!
We have a structured schedule to go by, which my kids seem to need.
I am making more mama friends, too, through school functions and the kids’ friends.
I am able to volunteer in their classrooms, which they LOVE and fulfills me as a
former teacher teacher-at-heart.
I am able to get support and professional opinions from the school district on my child’s special needs.
I feel like my time with them at home is more quality mama time instead of stressful “teacher/school time.”
I am able to spend more quality time with my toddler while his siblings are at school.
I am better able to balance my business, home management, and parenting.
THEY are happier.
I am happier.
Speaking of Education…
I am so grateful to have the choices that we have for education. I know that many love and succeed at homeschooling. But after our homeschooling endeavor, we now know that public schooling is for us. At least for right now. And regardless of whether I agree with all of the educational bureaucracy or politics, I am so so thankful to have a public education system as a choice for my kids. I truly believe in the value of education; I know that my kids are lucky to have access to an education that will better their future and our world.
So when I was invited to share about the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign, I was thrilled! For every soft toy and children’s book sold between November 9, 2014 and January 3, 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children. The donations will help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials in the schools, help rebuild schools, provide better water and toilet facilities, and increase school attendance rates.
Here is a specific example of how this campaign helps kids:
“In Ethiopia, the funding from the Soft Toys for Education campaign has helped increase the enrollment rate of children into grade 1 of primary education, which has now reached 92%. The gross enrollment rate for pre-primary schools achieved a significant increase of 15.9 percentage points. Over one year, it went from one in 20 children to one in 5 children getting enrolled in pre-primary school.”
Now that’s a campaign I can get behind! How can you help? The Soft Toys for Education Campaign is a global initiative and involves the entire range of IKEA soft toys and children’s books. There are five new heroes soft toys this year, and there will even be a contest for children to create their own soft toy, too. So get to an Ikea and buy some soft toys and children’s books, Mamas!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.