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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Why Do Families Homeschool?

schoolOn a bad day, I wonder that myself. It would be so much easier to plunk them down on the school’s doorstep and entreat, “Do something with them.” Unfortunately, I think that my kids may be lost forever—educationally, emotionally, spiritually, or socially if that were to occur.

Don’t get me wrong. These are not hothouse flowers. My teens are streetwise survivors from Russia, having been on the streets and then in the orphanage system. We’re talking survival of the fittest. They could make it in school. Yet, the last thing they need is another institutional setting that caters to the masses, while individuals may slip through the cracks. Or, team up with the wrong peer group….

Why do families homeschool?hs1

In our case, it had to do with the fact that they didn’t speak English, and I spoke enough Russian to rapidly lay a new foundation of all of the missing parts of their primary educations. We couldn’t wait until they spoke English well enough to begin. We couldn’t assume that they had gotten any of this lower-level education in Russia, where some had been running the streets when they were already into their double-digit years.

School? What school? They resided in an orphanage “internat”—a boarding school you could say, where the education was generally not on par with any local Russian public schools. Our oldest daughter was almost 11 and in the second grade.

Sigh. We had a lot to overcome.

homeschoolPlus, we live in two cities, spending half a week in each place, more or less. We felt that the concept of homeschooling would glue us together as a family. Some days, I instead felt unglued from spending almost 24/7 with them.

Other families homeschool because they have a genius child… or a special needs child. This could require creating lessons more challenging in nature, or more simplified.

Many of us enjoyed the idea of exposing our children to artistic endeavors, more museums, different foreign languages, high-tech applications or community service. Some took off on sailboats around the world, worked part-time in family businesses, or fit school around a serious sports training schedule. Numbers more were closer to average, run-of-the-mill families, anxious to impart their morals or values or educational approaches to their children.

As though lying, cheating, and stealing never happens in homeschool.Main_pic

Where was my pencil again?  Swiped.  I marked my writing tools with a drop of nailpolish, but often, the pens and pencils showed up at one of the kid’s places, nervous bite marks up and down the shank, the eraser scraped down to nothing.

What could we say except we tried our best? If anyone was anxious to see them succeed, it was us, their family. We had a vested interest, after all: we didn’t want them living with us when they were 40….

Sweet, self-sufficient, God-loving, people-helping, productive and honorable members of society was the direction in which we were pointing them. Millionaire leaders of industry was way down the line on the ladder of priorities.

83058fab72901c1fdc4c5e859ca6f1a8Could they do just as well in another educational setting? Entirely possible. Probably unlikely.

Would it be better for them to be accountable and responsible to other adults, outside of their own family? At times, yes, and we regularly provide them with those scenarios to get them out of the comfort zone.

Pushing, pulling, stretching and grasping, homeschool can be quite the workout.

For the student, as well.

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