Today was the last day of 2nd quarter. That means that this school year is halfway done. I cannot really believe it, because it has went by so fast. We had our Christmas party starting at noon. It was a good time of food and gifts. I got some really cool gifts from my students. I am truly thankful!!! Many of my students really liked the gift that I gave them: a cookie cutter and sugar cookie mix. A parent even called me tonight and said how much they appreciated it! They thought it was such a cool idea! That was just really the icing on the cake today.
Today was also bittersweet because one of my students won't be coming back after Christmas break. Her and her older sister (7th grade) are going to be homeschooled by their mom starting in January. This girl was a new student at our school this year. I think she was doing very well in my class, both academically and socially. I know that many of the students in my class are going to miss her. Another girl even started crying today when she had to say good-bye. I know that this girl isn't leaving because of anything that I've done (or haven't done), but it's still hard. I still feel like I've failed in some way (even though the decision was made more for the older sister). I really wonder how the mom is going to do at homeschooling.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about homeschooling. While I think some people do a great job at it and it greatly helps their children, others I don't think have the necessary experience for it. I know what it's like to teach students day after day. I went to college for 4 years to prepare for this job and I still don't know everything. There are still some days that I'm still figuring out how to teach different concepts. I just worry that some parents choose homeschooling without thinking about if they are prepared for the academic part of it. If someone has very little to no knowledge of what to teach or how to teach, how can they do an acceptable job.
Now don't get me wrong, I think some children can thrive in homeschooling situations. I've known people that were homeschooled and they've done very well. I also currently know some people. On the other hand, I also know of some situations in which the child has not done well, or really struggled when they've entered a traditional school. I just feel like a lot has to be thought about when thinking about homeschooling...just loving your child a lot and being a good Christian does not necessarily mean that you are going to be great at homeschooling. I think if you reduce the qualifications for good teaching to these things, you lose the respect for the teacher.
As a teacher, I think that would greatly hurt our society, and would lead to more and more teachers truly not caring about what they do.
P.S.-I don't mean to offend anyone or their decisions. I'm merely stating my opinion from a teacher's perspective.