Childrearing

Back To School Week: Why I’ve Wanted To Homeschool Since Birth

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homeschoolPrior to having a family, Bethany Gonzalez Moreno had always planned to homeschool her children. The B. EcoChic founder felt that she was not properly challenged in her own scholastic career, which included both private and public schools. Her husband had a similar experience. Since welcoming their daughter, now 20 months, Bethany feels even more assured in her decision.

The mother of one tells Mommyish that the local schools in her community are supposed to have a pretty good reputation. But that she and her husband explicitly want their daughter to learn at her own pace, not according to computerized exam quotas.

“Like all public schools, they have to prepare kids to do well on standardized tests,” she says. “And even a teacher in a school with an A rating may not be able to differentiate instruction for each individual student. That’s just the reality of teaching many kids at once.” Bethany acknowledges that her daughter may move quickly through some subjects and need additional help in others. “Either way, we think learning is more enjoyable when you aren’t held behind or forced to move ahead before you’re ready.”

She particularly finds the socialization of the classroom to be troubling, as well as the homogenous treatment that all children receive in a conventional academic setting. The mother finds the idea of keeping a large number of children, all born in the same year, together for 13 years as “not natural” or “normal.” She describes the practice as a “relatively new phenomena in the history of the human race.”

“I believe it is responsible for many of the issues we’re dealing with with kids,” Bethany elaborates when considering traditional classrooms. “Children have always spent time with members of all ages from their tribe or village. They looked up to and emulated children a few years older, and learned how to nurture the younger children. They could carry on a conversation with an adult or an elder. Today’s children spend all day long with 29 of their age peers in a room. They may have nothing in common except the year they were born and they will develop many of their social skills by socializing with other immature children. The only adult in the room, the teacher, has nowhere near the social influence peers do. I want my daughter to be able to relate well to people of all ages, and school isn’t a good place to practice.”

Although she has considered the private schools nearby, she finds the tuition costs to be out of sync with their family’s priorities. She and her husband would rather use that same money for a family trip to Europe or to other historical spots around the United States, a decision she hopes that her daughter will be grateful for.

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