The Athens Banner-Herald posted A day in the life of a homeschooler.
The Ginnel and Johnson families were spotlighted in the article by Allie Jackson. This excerpt presented the more serene aspects of homeschooling.
Although it’s a Wednesday, the girls, ages 14 and 7, aren’t rushed to catch the bus or get to class before the bell rings. They aren’t arguing about who gets the bathroom first or worried about what outfit to wear. The morning feels calm.
Sydney and Molly, like thousands of other Georgia children, are home schooled.
Each morning they rise and spend the first hour of their day tending to the many animals the family owns on a 5-acre farm in Auburn. “I love being home schooled because it means I get to spend more time with the animals,” Sydney said as she softly strokes her 11-year-old Great Dane, one of multiple dogs on the property. “When I went to (public) school I barely ever got to spend time with them. Now, I see them first thing in the morning and then again after I’m done with my school work, and then I get to ride the horses.”
Ashlie Johnson explained some of her reasons to homeschool by “slowing down the pace” and keeping her family grounded.
Johnson has four children spanning first through seventh grades. She said she doesn’t fault the public school system. Keeping her children home was more about the desire to know them better.
“When my boys did go to (public) school we got up earlier for them to leave and be gone for seven or eight hours,” she said. “Then they would come home and have hours of homework and I can’t even imagine what it would be like if they had played a sport back then.”
Johnson also feels that home schooling gives her children more discipline than a public school atmosphere.
“It seems ironic, but it makes them more independent,” Johnson said. “What I mean by that is … the kids who are home schooled get more sleep and learn more home responsibilities, such as home chores, doing dishes or helping with younger siblings. If they are in school all day, they just don’t have the time or energy. When kids are in home school, all of those things get taken care of.”
The National Jewish Study on home educated teens agrees with those benefits. More here. Both families also discussed the home-based social benefits. School socialization does seems to be highly over-rated.
The co-leader of an Athens area homeschool group also pointed out thoughts on homeschooled kids socializing in their communities.
“My personal opinion is that it is a myth that the best way to socialize children is to put them in groups of children the same age for long periods of time. This seems artificial compared to real life,” Bruce said. “For that reason … the socializing opportunities for home schooled children are higher in quality and as frequent.”
Many home schooling parents use field trips, co-op classes, park days, sports, church and other activities as a way to socialize their children.
“There is much more flexibility to make time for these opportunities,” Bruce said. “Since their schedule is not determined by an outside source (such as) public or private school.”
Homeschooling parents tend to agree with that perspective. Wanting their children to be well-rounded and engaged in communal activities is certainly not deterred by a homeschooled life. The focus on days in the life of these Georgians was a worthwhile read.