Thursday, March 28, 2013

Proud Mom - A Post about homeschooling your kids

It's been three years since I took my kids out of traditional school, and made the big decision to home school my children. A short story on how it all came about. It started when my oldest Son, Nicolaj entered junior high when I saw changes in his behavior going from a happy and outgoing nature to quiet and melancholic. His grades went from an overall B to D and F. Even in cooking class he would get an F. When I asked him about school he would never say anything. One day he came home with a three-day suspension notice from the principal. I was furious, and trying to get him to talk was a challenge. He told me that during class his bench partner was numerously kicking him under the table. He told his teacher, a view times, apparently he didn't care, and the kid next to him didn't stop either. Naturally, being frustrated by now, he kicked him back. The teacher saw it, and my son got suspended. Now, my kids know that fighting back is never the solution. I went to his school to find out what is going on with my son. I got no answers, and was sent home to wait a whole week for an appointment with his teachers. The first day he goes back  (after the suspension) , I got a phone call from the school nurse. One of his peers swang the door in his face, bruised his lip and chipped his front tooth. Immediately I went to school, demanding to speak to the principal, only to be reverted to the vice principals office, and there for the first time I found out that he was bullied the whole time, they knew about it all along, and did not do anything about it. I knew now why my son was miserable all the time. My child's safety was now compromised, and I knew I had to make a decision quick. I'm going back a moment to where I stated that his grades were also declining. I didn't just sit back then. At the time, I saw an infomercial on TV about the K12 International Home school program. I was fascinated with how well organized and curriculum rich the program is, and how it reminded me of my own schooling in Germany. Every subject is divided into their own respective field, not to mention there is art class, music, and world language. In short, I fell in love with the k12 program, but I was skeptical. It is a bit scary to think that if you don’t send your kids to a classroom, their won't be anyone telling your kid all about what's available in the world. It's scary to think it's your responsibility now. But the truth is, it's not that big of a responsibility. The school offers a great support system of wonderful teachers who teach your child virtually.

My first priority is that my children are safe. I extracted Nicolaj from traditional school. From that point on I had to take charge of their education, and make learning a lifestyle, and not just a chore. 
I kept my Nico home with me throughout his middle school years, and he did great. He started to be his old happy self again, and his grades were getting better. Now in High school, he wanted to give traditional school another try, mostly for social reasons. He is averaging an A now, he has friends and has big goals for himself. 
I liked the home school program so much, in fact I extracted both of my daughters the following year. 
Yesterday, my second oldest, Nastassja (13), got for the 3rd time in a row the Dean's Honor List Award in the mail. Nastassja has ambitious plans about her future. They are not much different from my own dreams I had when I was a child. She has a great love for the arts, and is usually my first critic when I'm contemplating on new designs. 
That award is truly hers. She structures her day that declares openly to what is most important to her, which is: reading, writing, art, togetherness, the outdoors and prioritizes those things. TV and video games are not addicting anymore. We keep them at a minimum level.
I always tell my kids, that the key is to actively design the life that they want. There are no limits.
I think after all we made a positive change in our life, and my kids feel inspired instead of feeling criticized.

Here are a few tips on homeschooling: 

This may be a time of great transition for your young person—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It can be a challenging age, but your child needs your affection, communication, and understanding even more than ever.
If you’re homeschooling, especially the middle school years can be some of the most challenging. 
Your child is maturing, growing, and changing, so be willing to be flexible in all areas of your relationship. Not permissive, flexible. Look for ways to praise, guide and validate your children as they mature. Look for areas where they can have control.

Remember that you are modeling for your children not only how to grow, change, learn, make, and do, but how to build a support system for yourself. That support system includes your environment, your habits, your routines, and your relationships.

If your children grow up in a family that loves books and reading that loves the outdoors, that values making and creating, those things will shape their day, their week, and their life.

Your values determine how you live your everyday life. You set the example with the choices you make in your daily life. 
A child who is allowed to dig his hands into learning knows that his ideas are valued — not only valued, but absolutely essential. There will be no learning until he/she grabs hold and sees what can be done with this chunk of life in front of him/her.

 By showing them the skills and tools of learning, then dictating how to use them, and   mentoring them so they can take over immediately and start apprenticing as makers, doers, creators, explorers, and thinkers.

Show them how to actively design their life that they want, and that everything is possible.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a reply here on this blog space.

xo, Diana

1 comment:

  1. Elisabeth EMarch 28, 2013