Short Term Homeschooling

Although this article isn’t really about short term homeschooling (it’s really an article about how homeschoolers aren’t all fundie Christians living in the woods), one of the comments brought up an interesting perspective about short-term homeschooling.

Short term homeschooling is actually a whole different ball game than homeschooling for the long term.

Two things that come to mind immediately about short term homeschooling:

1) Parents pretty much have to follow the school curriculum. Or at least, it has to be the goal to “catch up” or keep up with it. Because that child is going to go back to school, he has to be able to slide right back in with the system. This, in my opinion, changes everything. Parents don’t have the luxury to let kids learn at their own pace, in their own way, or to deschool. In fact, it’s important that parents stay in “school mode” so that the transition back into school is a smooth one. And it shows how important it is to use our own life goals and purpose to make decisions on how to homeschool – not what we think we’re supposed to be doing.

2) Support and social contact might be an issue. The short-term homeschooler doesn’t have the time to slowly come to know the homeschoolers in their local support group. And, the old friends from school are busy with school. It’s very similar to the no-man’s social land of moving to a city a few hours a way – just for a year. How invested should we get in the new place? How do we keep the old friendships we had?

Last year at our local conference, I attended a long-time homeschool dad’s talk about “shifting gears” into a new concept of education. One of the things he said was that it doesn’t matter why we are homeschooling now, how we got there, or what we think the next year will bring, we should just plan on homeschooling for the duration. Because if we don’t, we’ll never shift into the new perspective of education that’s needed to excel at educating at home. And if we make that shift, it’s very difficult to go back.

I can only imagine what all the complexities are, but it’s interesting to think about how this can change the entire focus on how, why and what in educating without sending kids to school.

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