Yeah, so I was a little out of it for my last blog post, and forgot to give it a title. That's what happens to me late at night :). I know, you're all thinking it wasn't even that late. My brain usually starts to shut down at about 7pm, and after that... it can get scary. After 10pm is even worse!!! But, get me to do something in the morning and I'm good. I guess that's from my Mom waking us up and making us work hard at our school work every day when we were kids.
Speaking of school. I've had a few discussions with people this week about homeschooling. Maybe it's the time of year. You know, that first week back at school means it's pretty much the topic of choice for conversation. I was very blessed to be home schooled as a child. I was blessed to have parents that realized they could give me a far better education than the public school system could.
My Mom is not a teacher, and neither is my Dad, but they are smart. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to home school a child! It just takes willingness and time. It always amazes me how a parent can put their five-year old child on the bus and ship them off somewhere to spend the majority of their day with a complete stranger! And now we have full day JK for four-year olds! That is so young for a child to be away from his/her parents for such a long time!
I attribute most of my success as an adult to the fact that my Mom home schooled me. I went on to post-secondary education and earned a Bachelor of Sacred Music Degree. I graduated with top honours and won the academic award for the highest GPA in my third year. Besides my degree, I also have an ARCT in piano performance and Grade 9 singing from the Royal Conservatory of Music. And to think I did all that and I technically don't even have a grade 12 diploma (at least not from a "real" school)!
Since I graduated I've never been without a job. I taught music lessons while I was in college, and after I graduated I was asked to join the music faculty of the college I attended. I also taught Kindergarten in a private school. When I moved back to North Bay, I got a job right away as a singing/piano teacher in a music studio. This year I became the owner of my own Academy of Music. I currently employ one other piano teacher, and will be adding a guitar teacher, a vocal teacher, and another piano teacher in the near future. I also teach for the applied music program at Nipissing University.
I own my own house. I own my own car. I can cook (I just usually choose not to :P), clean, and cut my grass. I am a terrible gardener and seamstress. I guess my Mom didn't force me to do those things enough. As far as society's standards go, I would say I'm pretty successful. And I was home schooled!
Oh, but I thought home schooled children were supposed to be sheltered, backwards, and socially unable to function in the "real world." REALLY? I guess I missed that memo. I know I'm not the only success story of a home schooled child. My brother is a fully licensed diesel mechanic. He has a good job, is married, and has the cutest little boy :). My sister is happily married, and has a beautiful baby boy. She too, has always had a job when she needed one, and has never struggled to make it in the "real world." I'm sure many adults who were home schooled as children could tell their own success stories too.
Homeschooling allowed me many opportunities I never would have had if I had gone to public school. It gave me time to pursue music. It allowed us to take trips. It allowed us to spend more time outdoors. We got to make maple syrup every year. We often finished our work before lunch, so the rest of the day we could to fun stuff. We were able to work at jobs that other kids couldn't because they were in school. Because we could work at our own pace, I was even able to finish all my high school work a year early. We even got to do fun science experiments like dissecting chickens.
I had friends and neither my brother, sister, or I "suffered" from lack of social interaction. We had church, youth group, and at least once a week we did activities with the other home schooled children in our town. We also often came to North Bay and participated in activities with the home school group there. I think we probably had more social interaction than a lot of kids who go to public school. The difference being that we were interacting with people of all ages, not just our peers in our class, so our social skills were much broader.
I'm very thankful that my parents made the decision to home school me. Being at home with my family every day never bothered me. I'm a very independent learner and home schooling suited me perfectly. Although, I was glad to go away from home when I was 17 to college. I still can't believe my Mom and Dad actually let me leave home at 17 and basically live on my own! But, they knew they had given me the tools and the skills I would need to live. They taught me to be responsible, kind, honest, and hard working, so really I guess they didn't have to worry about me being okay when I left (I'm sure they did worry a bit though, just like every parent does).
So, if anyone ever tells you that home schooled kids never turn out good, that they are going to miss out on so much of life, or that it's not good for your child's social development to keep him/her at home, I can tell you from first hand experience that that is simply not true!