Thursday, January 8, 2009

Homeschooled Public Schooler

My son Ryan resides somewhere between the world of homeschooling and public schooling. For lack of a better word, I guess he could be called a HPS. A Homeschooled Public Schooler. Many homeschooling parents usually would not consider enrolling their child in a public school. They have taken their child out of school to keep them away from some of the perceived evils that school may bring- language, guns, boring subject matter, insensitive teachers, inflexible learning environment etc- and have little positive to say about public schools.

I myself am aware of the drawbacks of public school yet feel that public schools can play an important part in the education of my child. For that reason, my son attends his local middle school for math and science and homeschools the rest of his day. Originally, I took Ryan out of school after determining that his 4th grade teacher was not meeting his needs. Then, after homeschooling Ryan for two years, I decided that I was not able to teach at the level of math Ryan was working at and investigated the options available as a homeschooler. Because Ryan is social and enjoys being with others, I decided an online course would not work and the math courses available in my area were costly and far away. That is where my decision to send my son back to public school part time came in.

After meeting with the principal and school counselor of our local middle school, Ryan's schedule was determined and he became the first part time public school student in our district. I must say, everyone I have come into contact with at the school has been fantastic and supportive and warm. Ryan's experience in the classroom has been wonderful as well. He comes home from school at 11am each morning telling me about the neat lab experiments he has done in science or what he is working on in math. He has met many new friends and feels more in tune with our local community than he did when he was only homeschooling.

Blending public school and homeschooling allows Ryan to have the best of both worlds. He gets to learn important life skills such as math yet still have time to read a novel of his choice at home. In school, he spends time with people other than his parents that offer up new and exciting things to learn and is in an environment that has expectations to be met while fostering independence. At home, he has the freedom to explore additional things that interest him- drawing, guitar, archery, writing, history, nature studies and more. He also has time to travel to museums and visit with other homeschooled friends. As he moves through the grades blending homeschool and school in this way, I see him finding freedom in his learning yet prepared for wherever life takes him.

2 comments:

Idzie said...

I'm personally a big fan of unschooling, and I think it's great if kids can decide to take some classes in their local school if they so wish. Sadly, where I live the school board is not in the least bit accommodating...

I Hope... said...

I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for making a world within a world.