July 26, 2008

Homeschool Meets Public School

I have deep convictions about what I believe to be the best, most healthy way to raise children. But be assured, that's not a long list of do's and don'ts. I believe there are over-arching principles and lots of room underneath for variety of application. Those over-arching principles are love and respect of the individual and his/her inherent tendency toward learning and self-development. That's why I advocate letting your child follow his interests in a home environment, where hopefully love and respect reign.

So how does this relate to my title, "Homeschool Meets Public School"? Well, Melissa my 14-year-old will be the right age to start high school in the fall, and she wants to try public school. At first I hoped she would get interested in other things and see how scheduled schooling would cramp her style. But no, she's joined the flag corps and all this week she's been practicing with the band. School registration was yesterday and she's signed up. School starts mid August.

Several times this week I've been hanging out at the marching band practices--I guess I'm a flag mom now-- and I see how this is good for Melissa. She's loves structure and competition. She's drawn to uniforms and clear expectations. She is so unlike me! And I see how she's different from the other kids too. She doesn't whine and complain. She's not defensive and threatened by failure. She freely helps and praises the other girls. Everyone loves her, and why not? She's spreading the love and respect we all crave.

My big concern is that her freedom of heart will be crushed by those who themselves have been hurt by institutionalization. But my hope is that she will be a healer, one who is free to come home anytime she chooses.

5 comments:

Knittingmama said...

Your daughter may rise above the drudgery of institutionalization by being a beautiful ray of sunshine. She will probably be able to get her work done and help others without a problem. Teachers may wonder what planet she has fallen in from, but they will come to love her work ethic.

But, did it break your heart when she said she wanted to go to school? I have to say, I would miss my kids so much if they left me all day!

Best of luck to her and to you. You are all in my prayers.

Dawn said...

I admire you for trusting her and letting her follow her heart.

I believe that the foundations that's been laid through the years of homeschooling she's had will make her a superb student.

Jena said...

I hope you both are right! It's very hard for me to let her do this, but she's the type to do well in this sort of school setting, so we'll see. And like I said, if it doesn't work out, she has options. She can come home in an instant.

I'll keep you posted. :)

At A Hen's Pace said...

I just wrote about MY feelings letting my sophomore daughter go off to public school for the first time this fall too!

It is hard--but it seems like the right decision and timing for her and us. Sounds like you're doing the right thing too!

~Jeanne

thetysonfamily said...

Wow... what great observations/perspective. I LOVE reading your thoughts, Jena! :)

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