Last week, danamelana commented on my post about curriculum. This led me to her homeschooling blog and her page about why her family homeschools. I decided to share this page in my “Another Voice on Homeschooling” post this week.
Here is a homeschooler who comes to homeschooling after a career as a classroom teacher. “I never intended to homeschool,” she writes, echoing so many other homeschoolers. And yet (like so many other homeschoolers) here she is.
There are very few homeschoolers where we are now and it seems like everyone raves about the public school. It’s small and quaint with excellent teacher-to-student ratios. I’ve met the principal and several teachers and they are equally wonderful. My children’s friends go to public school. If I taught there, it would be a dream: involved families, small class size, great hours, no commute. However, in the meantime, we have become hooked into homeschooling.
I know a rather large number of public school teachers who have become homeschoolers. It is a transition that interests me a lot. Every now and then someone suggests that, once my kids are off at college, I should get my teaching certificate and become a classroom teacher. This implies that the experience of homeschooling somehow prepares me for a career as a classroom teacher, but based on what I hear from friends and relatives in the field, I don’t think the skills I’m learning homeschooling my children would carry over well to classroom teaching. While I’m certain that many teachers develop close bonds with their students (the fact that I still keep in touch with my kindergarten teacher is part of what I use as evidence for this claim), teaching a classroom of other people’s children seems like a dramatically different animal than sitting one-on-one with a child I have known from birth (actually, even before that) and with whom I spend essentially 24 hours a day. Moreover, I don’t think I’m cut out for classroom teaching; I like to be able to go to the bathroom whenever I need to and not have to spend my day in front of dozens of little eyes.
So with this in mind, I find it especially interesting when someone goes from teaching in a classroom to homeschooling his/her own children. I wonder how well classroom teaching skills transfer to homeschooling.
If you have a moment, please check out Homeschool Planet and leave a comment to let her know you stopped by. And while you’re there, read some more of danamelana’s posts about homeschooling her two boys in a cabin in rural Texas.