Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Homeschooling: Then and Now

by Guest Blogger Rebecca Messmann of

                There is a group of parents that I originally thought I would be a part of.   This was before I had children and before I mentioned homeschooling to my in-laws and received the “not with my grandchildren” look. 

                I have to admit that when I considered homeschooling my friends and family looked at me as if I had stepped right out of the 1960’s.  Somehow I had magically transformed into a flower child that was bucking the system.  I wasn’t really bucking the system; I just wanted what I perceived was the best for my child.  But, then like I said I had children and realized that I would be a poor educator.  I could partner with a public school which is what I like to call what I do but I could not be the only one responsible for my child’s education – if so we would be counting Froot Loops and watching Oprah all day.   

                While I don’t homeschool I have many, many friends that do and it is amazing to see that what I and my in-laws thought about homeschooling is such a small part of it today.  Today, parents have become organizers of their children’s education.  Gone is that “kitchen-table” mentality and in its place is the “well-rounded” approach public and even private schools can only dream about. 

I see my friends who home school not as folks in isolation but rather as folks who have found a niche in small groups.  They get together with each other and even us public school folks.  They don’t limit their child’s educators to just themselves, they search out experts.  They go on field trips.  They live the education! 

Homeschooling is no longer the taboo is was when I first considered it.  It is an industry in and of itself today producing valid, sustainable results with children.  It is something that should be on the list for consideration when you have children, right next to public and private schools.  

And, now as the “school year” winds down they are looking ahead to next year and conventions are popping up everywhere!  Check out the AVKO schedule of conventions to find out where we will be at and definitely stop by and say hello. 

It’s a funny thing to miss something you never had but often I find myself missing that life. If you are at all considering homeschooling one of these conventions would be a great place to stop by for lots of information.  And, if you can’t make one of them do a search in your city for a homeschool association, you might be surprised to find that your city is home to lots of homeschoolers!  

Editor's Note: Homeschooling conventions (and indeed, resources "for" homeschoolers) needn't only be used by homeschooling parents.  School educators are under a lot of the same pressures as homeschooling parents (time constraints, budget--or lack thereof, lack of a support system, inadequate training in all domains, etc.).  School teachers should take advantage of opportunities like homeschooling conventions, homeschool blogs, and all of the free and low-cost resources and downloads that these places have to offer.  Educational resources do not discriminate! 

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