Bohemian Homeschoolers: The Blog

A supportive and encouraging network of homeschooling parents

Criticism

on August 30, 2012

“When the atmosphere encourages learning, the learning is inevitable.”
― Elizabeth Foss

Our decision to homeschool was met with many different reactions.  Our friends who homeschooled were elated and very supportive, our friends who didn’t were extremely skeptical, and most of our family down right disapproved.
Many of the people who didn’t agree or understand our decision had questions like; “What about friends?”, “What about extra curricular activities?”, “What about prom?”, “What about college?”.  All of which we had, what we thought, rather simple answers and solutions to.
Still, since the announcement of our decision was made while our oldest was still very young, no one concerned themselves too much with the matter.  That is until, 5 years later, when we started our son in his first year of homeschool.  This was when something new reared it’s ugly head…criticism.
Now, all of a sudden, everyone was a child psychologist.  Telling us our children were unsocialized an really needed to be around other children more.  Also, we came to find out that we knew far more certified educators than we realized.  These criticisms usually encircled my oldest’s reading ability.  His cousin was the main comparison.  This was something that never made sense me, because my nephew is more than two years older than my son.  I didn’t pay much mind though.  I knew that if he was given the time and the encouragement, it would come.  I didn’t force him to read everyday, but he did.  He had a passion for learning to read.  A desire to be in that “club” of readers.
I tell people jokingly, that Isaiah taught himself to read.  I say it jokingly, but it’s pretty much true.  He worked at it daily.  He would read movie and video game titles, street signs, anything familiar.  After that, he exploded, reading whole comic books in a matter of days, reading the nightly bedtime story to his little sister and brother, reading subtitles in foreign films.  Heck, I have to watch him, cause he will read my Facebook feed over my shoulder.  Some of that stuff is not for kids!  😉
Today, my children tested for their online charter school.  They both yielded very high scores.  And my Isaiah, who everyone thought was so behind.  Who everyone thought needed more “conventional” teaching.  And who is going into the second grade this year, showed that he is not only proficient in reading, but that he is in fact reading on a near fourth grade level.  The same level as the cousin he was continuously compared to.  Of course I am beyond proud, and it is a real “in your face” to my personal critics.  But mostly, I’m just thrilled to know, that I really am doing it.  I really am “teaching” my children.  I use that term loosely, because truthfully I mostly just step out of the way and provide an atmosphere of encouragement and learning.

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