Over the last several months there have been many changes in the life of the Riemer Family. Not only have we moved to the farm and taken on the daily activities that go along with that, but Jen has also taken on a new role as very part time librarian at Albertson Memorial Library in Albany WI. The most dramatic life change, however, is our decision to home school the girls.
After much research and conversation, as well as many conversations with friends and other home schooling families we have decided that the best education for our children will be right here at the farm. Oh, I know many of you are asking: What about socialization? How will you know what they have learned? Do you really think you can do it all day? These are the top questions that have been posed to us about our decision and from what I can tell from our reading are very common questions. These are concerns that I initially had as well and want to briefly address the ever popular "socialization" question.
Socialization: What does this word mean anyway? Most people are really asking "Wont the girls be too isolated and how will they learn to get along with others"? Well, they are extremely well adjusted so far and they have essentially been home schooled from birth. I have come to agree with most home school families and believe that homeschooling is a big advantage when it comes to socialization and here's why.
- The girls will have many opportunities to interact with other children. On the agenda for this fall: swim lessons, piano lessons from grandma (Elli), Gymnastics (Kalena), Sunday School and countless activities with the strong home school groups in our area. Soon to come 4H...Bryce is going to have to take the lead on this one. The great thing is we can take part in these activities without having the huge after school rush, eating in the car and exasperation that they are taking over our schedule. They are just part of the rhythm of home schooling and we can go deeper with each activity like coming home and doing a reading lesson on Olympic swimmers for example.
- They are not limited to spending time with children their own age. They learn to get along with others older and younger and of different backgrounds than themselves. It is hard to find role models in a room full of 6 year old children, but when spending time with older children they can learn how to act, create and explore with confidence. We have the opportunity to expose them to cultural events in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon if we so choose.
- They can take part in real life opportunities around the house and community. Home schoolers have a better sense of "real life" than other children. They understand better what it takes to take care of a home, balance a checkbook, work with a plumber, shop for groceries, problem solve and fix things when they break. They can learn to deal with real life situations in a safe and supportive environment surrounded by extended family.
- Although we are a long way off, colleges and employers are increasingly impressed by home schooled kids who have proven to be strong people who can take responsibility, cooperate with others, take initiative and lead and participate in team projects.