This post is written by Chesco Mom contributor, Michele Paiva.
Getting to know Michele- I’m a writer by trade and one would think that blogging or just discussing would be easy; but I’ve struggled with this. Not because I don’t know what to say but because I don’t know where to start; writers block I suppose. One thing I guess I want to get across is that I am all for tolerance of all religions, politics, etc; I firmly feel we all are very much in the same boat and have similar goals – just different paths and ideas on how to get there. With that, I want you to know a little about me. I am a typical stay at home mom where I cook and clean and actually have days where getting the mail is the highlight of excitement of my day; though when it is junk or bills, the anti-climatic effect is akin to the day after Christmas! Anyway, I was raised in a Jewish and Catholic home and we raise our children the same. So we have EVERY holiday you can think of! Which is great but from September through January it is one large party!
So, I’m babbling because I’m not here to discuss religion or parties but I guess I’m thinking how I have to clean the house as school is done. Yep, school is completed for the day and we had a little too much fun and it shows….I’m an author, syndicated writer, syndicated radio host, national coop founder for youth, and…. I homeschool. Yep. I homeschool. Before you gasp and assume I must be running around barefoot with a Little House on the Prairie dress; trust me, I’m not! I’m not a cougar either, so don’t get that visual. Just a regular ol‘ mom who realized that the school system has flaws like anything else (private, public, charter, online; we tried it all) and I just happened to have a kid who was twice-exceptional and needed to take matters into my own hands. Luck had it that I already was a national legal advocate in federally funded programs at one time (a fancy way to say I stuck up for students in schools and help the parents) and so, I was fairly confident in approaching educators before hand. I also know that one must always have tact and respect for ALL even if they are not your cup of tea so to say, and I did extend that. I also wrote a book for parents that outlines this and, how to choose your battles as sometimes you get caught in the emotion of the turmoil and lose sight of the child focus. Anyway, so here I am, now a mom to teens and I work from home, homeschool and started an online coop. Is it easy? Heck no! But it is incredibly rewarding to take your child’s education into your own hands. No one knows your child like you. Not one teacher or professional is also going to invest emotionally and physically into your child the way you do. I know homeschooling is not for everyone but wow, if you have it in your head you should do it. To be honest, I wanted to since my kids were very, very little; I didn’t think I could do it though. I was SO wrong. Not only did I do it but I’ve helped my kids develop skills that they have won national speech and debate awards, have started a chemistry club through the American Chemistry Society and have done just SO much. It’s great to be able to hear your child say “Hey I think I like Archaeology” and then helping them develop their own curriculum with online programming, DVD’s from the library, library books and even purchased used text books and books. We did just this not long ago. My daughter and son took it a step further and learned how to design Greek urns; unlike a school setting, they were able to take advantage of the early September sun and mild weather, sit by the pool at the table under the umbrella and spend about three straight hours designing and painting their tile that they had made the day before and dried. No stop in creativity, no switching to another class, just the flow of learning in fresh air. Now on the flip side, I’ll be honest. We set up a small chemistry lab in the kitchen. I’m blessed to have a long country kitchen and thank goodness I had a penchant for old tables a couple of years ago so we had one of them in the garage. Well, for fun we did a very elementary “lava lamp” project after their regular chemistry class as they wanted to continue (it is fun to learn when there is freedom in learning!) and when their dad came home they said “Hey let’s show dad the lava lamps!” and with that my 17 year old decided to throw two, not one, anti acid in the mix and with a resounding boom, went the red food dye lava lamp onto my white ceiling. Well, I wanted a kitchen make over anyway 🙂 So yes, there are downsides but they are not all like explosions. But the positives far outweigh.
If anyone would like to ask a question please do here…. I’ll answer whatever I can! Remember, you are already homeschooling your child, just you don’t realize it all the time!…and yes, my kids are socialized. Socialized means they know how to act in society. They behave better than most kids in public or private that is for sure and I’d trust my children (ok barring the lava lamp) to be constructive members of society. They are also “social” meaning they have friends; friends of all ages – from homeschool to kids who are in brick schools, charter, etc. There are so many reasons to homeschool and for the most part, that is my little morphing free-flow thought of the day!
You can learn more about Michele by visiting her website: www.michele-paiva.com
You can email Michele at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The opinions expressed in this post are that of the contributor/author. The editors at CCM appreciate that everyone has has different opinions on education and we encourage our contributors and readers to discuss this topic in a respectful matter. Please leave a comment below or email Michele directly. Thank You!