what schooling option is best for your family. (You can also see our bullet point list of notes that we compiled years ago.) Starting us off are Kevin & Maria Weaver, representing the home school perspective.
1. Tell us about your family. We are a family of 6. Our sons are 10 years old (5th grade) and 4 years old (pre-K). Our daughters are 8 years old (3rd grade) and 6 years old (K-5). Dad is a 6th-grade public school teacher. Mom used to be an occupational therapist in the public schools, and now a stay-at-home mom (a.k.a. homeschooler and janitor and cafeteria worker).
2. Why have you chosen the schooling option you did? We homeschool because we want the opportunity to teach our children with a God-centered education while building a deeper relationship with them. It also provides us an opportunity to meet the individual learning styles of each child. An unexpected plus has also been the benefit we've experienced from the conversation we've had. Dialogue is huge for language, self-expression, and so many endless areas of learning. In a typical classroom, dialogue is limited.
3. What do you like most about the option you chose? We like being an integral part of directing our children's spiritual and academic growth. We feel like this developmental time in the lives of our children is so key to who they become. Our desire is for our children to be a light in this world, bringing glory to God and honoring Him. We want them to willingly be counter to our culture and keep their eyes raised to eternal rewards. We have a great opportunity to build their confidence in their beliefs, abilities, gifts, and knowledge. We also like that focused instruction is maximized and we can have little wasted time. Due to milieu in school, focused teaching time can be hampered. We also value the "class size" of homeschooling as well as the opportunity to work more on areas of weakness and not belabor areas that come easily to them. With one-on-one instruction, we feel confident about their level of learning and can trust they aren't falling through the cracks in certain areas. We also like the freedom to make learning more fun, spontaneous and experiential; this includes nature walks, going to the polls to vote, or learning fractions through a recipe while cooking in the kitchen.
4. What do you wish was different? What do you feel like your children may miss out on? Our children don't get a sense of classroom/school community. A co-op can give a small but limited experience of this. They also miss out on the chance to have to cooperate with classroom routine/structure and come under authority of someone who isn't their mom. Group dynamics also aren't as developed due to the lack of exposure to peers.
If you have thoughts or questions about these, please leave a comment. If it's specifically directed to the Weavers, we'll make sure they get you an answer.
Be sure to come back tomorrow to read the rest of the interview.