If you ask me to share my greatest life accomplishment, I would say, without hesitation – teaching my children to read. I was blessed to be able to stay home and “do school” with my kids during the early years and beyond.
We ended up homeschooling for 13 years, though that wasn’t our original intent. We began our trial run while living in California to avoid sending our oldest to a kindergarten class of 35 students. We thought, “Surely we can’t mess him up too badly in kindergarten.” That year was a success so we decided to continue, taking it one year at a time. It was a great learning adventure for our family.
Disclaimer: I don’t believe homeschooling is for every family. A key to successful learning in any setting is parental involvement. You can be just as involved with your child learning to read if they go to school outside the home. Homeschooling worked for us, but it wasn’t easy. They saw all of me – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Many days I just wanted to be Mom, not teacher as well. Overall I’m quite sure I ended up learning more than they did. I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.
There is no easy answer for schooling your children as every option comes with challenges. Home, public, and private schools are all as successful as you are involved. Problems can be worked through in all school settings. Your role is to be a champion for your children – wherever they sit to do schoolwork.
So teach your children to read, wherever they do school, and read to and with them whenever you can. Make it fun, using character voices and reading with animation. Make it a priority and you’ll be glad you did.
And…don’t compare or judge others – just worry about what’s right for your family.
3 John 4 (NIV)
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.