Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homeschooling a Middle Schooler

Almost every homeschooling family I know sends their kids to public school in middle school.  Some wait until high school.  I'm assuming much if the decision is based on social reasons, or the parents are afraid they don't know how to teach the higher level math and science subjects.  Either the parents feel the kids need to branch out, or the kids are ready to branch out.  Either way, if it works for them, I am for it. 

I, however, have a middle schooler who most emphatically says he never wants to go to school again.

He had some really great experiences in public school, but he also had a few really horrible experiences.   And I am here to tell you, even those few bad ones have left their mark.

What drives me nuts is when people assume I am holding on to him, pulling him back by the tail-feathers and forcing him to be homeschooled.  I promise, I'm not.

What is it that is so strange about a middle school aged kid being homeschooled and LIKING it?  Why do people think that I should be shoving him off to public school just because he is a pre-teen?   If you ask me, middle school was pretty crummy in and of itself.  If I had known about homeschooling when I was a middle schooler, I would have begged my mom to homeschool me.  As for higher level classes..there are so many options out there-tutors, co-op classes, online's not rocket science.

I get the questions like "How long do you plan on doing this?"  "How do you teach him math?"  "Does he ever get to be with his friends?"  I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes at each one.

Truthfully, my son is not an excessively social person.  He has friends he loves.  He enjoys going to his Bible study group with his age group, he loves going to tae kwon do.  He has a great time at co-op and at other functions with the homeschool group.   He is my kid who goes into a room full of people confidently, speaks to anyone (adult or child) and initiates conversation.  But he is not obsessed with 'hanging out' with his friends, texting all day/night, etc.  He enjoys spending time with friends...but then he is happy to come home and hang out with his family.

Yes...I admit, that is not how most middle school aged kids act.  But if he's happy, who am I to say he's wrong?   Part of my whole reason for homeschooling was that I wanted my kids to be themselves.  Not to feel that ones' self worth lies in what party you get invited to or how many kids call you 'friend'.  Not to fall into the 'group think' trap of feeling like you have to be like 'this' or act like 'that' or have 'those' to be worthy of belonging to a group of friends.

I'm proud to have a son who doesn't NEED fifty friends to feel good about himself.  He realizes he is pretty awesome no matter what.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeannette - I dropped by from Kat's blog. This post is so similar to how I've been feeling about middle school (my oldest will be middle-school aged next year). We are leaving the choice of schooling up to the kids at the moment and they are all happy to be home. When I asked him how he felt about middle school, my oldest said some of it sounded kind of cool but not enough for him to want to actually GO to ms. hahaha. Continuing to have a close relationship with him is very important for me, and homeschooling is helping to facilatate that.