Why do people feel like they have to give a homeschool mom a hard time about teaching the kids at home? Why the insinuations that if my kids aren't learning in a classroom they will have "splinter skills*" as they're called in the educational jargon of the universities? I get so many sidelong glances, so many questions about socialization, such dubious looks about my ability to successfully cover all the needful subjects.
I feel like making a T-shirt that says, "I have an EDUCATION DEGREE!!!" Granted, it's a music education degree but I still had to take the ed classes. I've done a LOT of research on early childhood development, I have read in-depth books on how children learn, how language is acquired, how best to teach reading and math.
I'm not saying I'm perfect, but as an educated adult who successfully conquered college calculus, it's a pretty safe bet I can teach addition and subtraction. Having worked with special education teachers on how to best research and teach remedial reading, I think I can muddle through conveying phonics to my five-year-old.
One of the greatest delights in teaching is how much I myself love to learn. It's no matter that I disliked math in school, for example. I just fell in love with it later. Now as an adult I have as much fun as my kids discovering that numbers have each a personality all their own, that zeroes can be funny or that sneaky old nines slip in where they aren't wanted in equations. I can see ahead to algebra, not as a confusing drudge of complicated ideas, but as a world of magic where numbers dance with one another. Calculus to me creates the beautiful curves on bridges or explains the perfect symmetry of a drop of water. Why should I not teach math to my children?
I think I'm feeling tired and defensive today after having to explain our homeschooling to our social worker, having to explain our adoption to other homeschool moms, to explain our ultra-laid-back-because-I-had-the-flu schedule to my Hubby this afternoon and all of the imaginary nay-sayers I hear in my thoughts who probably aren't real anyway.
So anyway, rant over.
*Splinter skills, in a nutshell, are when a child learns a concept, such as reading, but does not learn the entire skill set involved in reading, such as phonics, letter sounds (phonemic awareness), grammar or spelling.