I always assumed I would homeschool my children. I was raised that-a-way, myself, and did fairly well with it. Now, I'm confronted with my 3-year old, chomping at the bit to learn....all kinds of things....and I feel, basically, cornered.
On the one hand, I have my ideals for educating my child: 1. One-on-one is a very high quality experience for young children, rather than a classroom setting. I have seen it be the most effective way to acquire a skill. 2. I want to be in control of both her time-management (no standing in lines, having to sit still and wait for her turn, detracting from the actual learning process), and the content of her curriculum (Christ-centered, if you will). 3. I know no one else on earth cares as much as I do (no employed teacher, certainly) what her reaction and success rate are to the information she's processing. i.e., I don't want to rush her into a skill-set if she's not developmentally ready, and I want to see how well she processes certain styles of teaching (verbal, visual, tactile, etc.) and have the freedom to adjust my teaching style to suit her needs. All these things I have learned as a one-on-one teacher over the last 15 years.
On the other hand, those 15 years of experience in teaching a subject having given me a rut (negative slant) or a root (positive slant) in both the method I use to teach, and the subject I teach. I am very familiar with my material (Suzuki piano), and very, very familiar with the process I use to teach the material. I have this awesome tool I use to create this awesome result in my students. I do it quite well, if I do say so myself. Well, to expound, what this has done for me is made me VERY reluctant to dive into say, mathematics, geometry, phonics, spelling, and art....VERY unfamiliar subjects to me, with basically ZERO method....on my own child! I mean, basically, I've never seen someone teach a 3-year old to read. Do you think I was watching when my Mom taught my siblings to read???? NO! I was reading myself through 6th grade!
So, on the one hand, I have this very high standard for education, making me reluctant to provide my daughter with anything less....and on the other hand, I see how much effort and time a professional educator puts into his/her teaching method/materials, and I'm left feeling VERY under-qualified to just dive into teaching my child to read. I KNOW that there are professionals out there with skills WAY beyond what I can drum up from my own memories....and I don't want to cheat Violet out of the "Suzuki Equivelant" of Kindergarten. I remember stumbling along as a brand-new piano teacher, before I had my Suzuki training, and how awkward it was to "learn" to "teach" with my only resource being my 4 year old memories of my own teachers. I don't want to do that to Violet. See??
So, here I sit. Wishing, basically, that my mom would just move up here, and homeschool Violet! After all, she has had 30 years to try and adjust and prove her methods on all manner of different skill sets, from mathematics to spelling to drama and political science. Dangit! Why should I have to go back to school and study (of ALL things) elementary education when my Mom has been doing nothing BUT elementary education for 20 years?!?!! Come on, Mom! you can't retire yet!! You're a GOLD MINE!
Yes, so......where that has put me is in a whole new place of respect for people who go to school to study "how to teach a 4 year olds phonics." In other words......School. I'm seriously thinking about sending Violet to a school of some sort. Hmmmm.....