Wednesday, October 14, 2015

So often asked "WHY"? Here is one piece of the puzzle.

When a family chooses to remove their children from public school and begins to homeschool them, so many people are curious as to why one would choose that.  I know some homeschool parents see it as degrading that someone would question their parenting, I just see it as general curiosity.  Even though it is becoming much more common in our society for families to homeschool, it is still not the social norm.  There are many factors that played a role in us pulling our children out.  Ultimately, we just want what is best for them, as I would hope all parents can say.

Last week I came across this article, The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland, which was very thought provoking, and says so many things about public schools so well; things that I was having trouble articulating myself.  I feel that "the system" of American public education has placed too much pressure on our children at a young age.  I look at my own childhood for reference.  I graduated top of my class with a 4.0 GPA, took AP classes and have never had trouble functioning in this world.  I was not forced to learn so many sight words per quarter, expected to take AR test, homework beginning in Kindergarten or benchmark testing when I first began school.  I remember playing in Kindergarten, I remember centers, I remember having fun!  My older two children attended Kindergarten in public school.  They did not experience the same joy that I remember.  My middle son would come home stressed from school, with dread of having to do homework, he was 5 years old!!

When I reflect at what the article says about the system that Finland has in place, the fact that these children are more than making up for what they did not do in Kindergarten, I am pushed to believe that the United States has it all wrong.  Just because this is what our system has in place does not make it the best system to be using.  We need to stop placing societal pressures on our children at such a young age and allow them to explore and learn on their own.  Do we want to create robots that are able to function without joy or passion, or raise a generation of adults that are free thinkers and innovators, excited about what they have come up with?

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