Homeschooling and Math…

I received this comment and question:

I would love to tell you that your class knocked it out of the park.  My son was engaged and excited each Monday night for his Latin class.  He loved when you called out his name and answered his questions.  Please consider doing this type of class again.  It’s our 2nd year homeschooling and your Visual Latin classes have been the bright star in our lesson plan.  My son is in 7th grade and we’re being encouraged to reenroll him back into an expensive gifted school, any words of wisdom you can give us would be appreciated.  Dad doesn’t want him to lose ground in math, but I feel we’ve gained so much more.  I will ask my son to email you as well, but Merry Christmas to you and your family for all the good you done!

Here is my reply:

I am so glad you enjoyed the Harry Potter class.  That one was fun to research and teach.  I really enjoyed it on my end as well.

I am also happy that you are enjoying Visual Latin.  

I am not happy that you asked for homeschooling advice.  🙂

Just kidding.  Kind of.  It really is a tough question. 

My wife and I homeschool our children for one major reason.  For so many years, I was a teacher.  As a result, we could not afford to place our children in private schools.  I refuse to place them in public schools for many reasons.  

I agree with your husband.  Math does seem to be the first animal sacrificed on the homeschool altar.  I am lousy at math.  My kids are lousy at math.  And, I have met many homeschool kids who are lousy at math.  It probably does not have to be this way, but it seems common.  

On the other hand, I agree with you.  You do gain so much more in homeschooling.  Personally, I would never give up the freedom of homeschooling.  My son is interested in filmmaking.  On several occasions, he has been able to work with local filmmakers simply because he is homeschooled.  He has been able to drop everything and go work on movie sets only because he is not trapped by the classroom.  My girls have been able to develop several skills they would have missed had they been stuck in a classroom.  And, because they are not stuck in a classroom, I will be moving my family overseas for three months in order to study Greek intensively.  None of this would be possible with classroom schedules in the way.  

Then, of course, for better or worse, we do get to spend an inordinate amount of time with our children.   I would not want to loose that.  

One more thing about the classroom….  I have been in the classroom for almost 20 years.  I am not fully convinced that much education takes place in there.  Lots of management, lots of arguing, lots of bathroom breaks, but, not a lot of education.  That’s my opinion, of course.  

I worry, too, that my children are getting a lousy math education.  But, then again, the famous real estate investor, John Schaub, has become very successful with, as he says, “an eighth-grade math education and good people skills”.  Meanwhile, thousands of students who are “good at math” are going into a lifetime of debt for a college education.  Mathematically, that makes no sense at all to me.  My wife and I spend more time talking to our kids about financial math (math they will use daily for the rest of  their lives) than algebraic math.  They can always pick algebra up later if they need it.  I doubt they ever will.

I apologize for rambling.  I hope this helps.

Have a happy Tuesday!