Here's my blog from patch.com...
“Have you joined PTA?” Driving down the road with my son next to me, I just giggle. “I am the PTA!” I home school my son and we have been doing so successfully for 6 years now. Yes, this has been and continues to be a great time investment, but I feel strongly about doing this. I don’t have any issues with the children who go to public schools; the majority of our karate dojo is public schooled kids. For our family, home schooling works well, we really wouldn’t do things differently.
Our journey started half-way through my son’s pre-K year. We lived at that; time in a rural, ethnically challenged area. Even though I was the only parent at the school on this Feb. day, my child didn’t get called on to answer a question and yes, he raised his hand just like all the other children did, in fact his was up first. Then I get told that it wasn’t racism that prevented the teacher from calling on my child. Well, that wasn’t even my concern, but since it was mentioned, maybe is should be. I pulled him from the private pre-K that he was attending that day. Sure that I could do as good if not better a job of educating him I went to work on what we would do for school the next week. I found some awesome websites to print worksheets from to finish the pre-K year and then found a curriculum that I could use for Kindergarten. I got my husband to agree that I could try this for one year and we would re-evaluate his progress at the end of the year.
As you can see, he did just fine at the end of one year, we tested him (California Achievement Test or CAT) and found that he was ready for Second grade (yes, he was able to skip first). We put him in Second grade and my husband became a supporter of home schooling from that time on. Since that time, I’ve made it part of the school year to do a CAT test just to make sure that he is at grade level or higher. We have never had any problems with his scores.
I know that home schooling isn’t for everyone but what I am passionate about is that parents get and remain connected to their child’s or children’s schools. Teachers can’t do everything alone for the students in their classrooms they rely on parental involvement. Make sure that your child is doing the homework and understands what is being taught. The saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is an accurate one and part of your child’s village is the teacher or teachers. Parents need to understand what is expected of the child and work with the teacher to get the child to that place. Teachers don’t just mean the school teachers either. If your child is active in an after school activity such as a sport or a music lesson, then those teacher’s are also part of your child’s village. What the private music teacher, karate sensei and soccer coach expect are all part of the package.
I love home schooling because it allows us the freedom to use my music tours as a part of school for him. Whenever I go out of town on a tour, we make it a point to include family time at an Indian burial ground, or Children’s Museum or something like that. I learned as a young girl that field trips of this type provide more information than reading it in a text book. As a girl, my parents went on many trips with my father’s life insurance business. Often my sister and I would accompany them. We learned first hand about places in our country and other countries. Not just the amusement parks, but the history of a place. We were able to ask questions that of tour guides that you can’t ask a book. I will always be grateful for that and want to provide the same type of learning for my own child. This is why I home school and why I can say, “I am the PTA”Follow me on patch here: http://southcobb.patch.com/users/toni-mcguire/blog_posts