We homeschooled our girls for ~ 20 months about 4 years ago and they have been back in a private school for about two and half years now. Homeschooling was more “efficient” for us in terms of their academic and Chinese instruction/learning, freeing up more time for extracurricular activities and more Chinese, but their new private school certainly make up much of it in terms of their art/music program and the built-in socialization interactions. My 12 year old “Charlotte” greatly enjoy her group guitar lessons and art class at school (she loves to draw), which took extra effort for us the parents to get into our homeschool program.
Though there are many ways for homeschoolers to build-in some friendly “competition” with other students in terms of the various aspects of their education, I do like the built-in version with regular schooling. It sure saves me lots of time and serves as good additional motivator for my daughters.
With regular schooling, I have to say that we get a kick out of talking to “Charlotte” about her clubs, tennis meets, extracurricular activities, and interaction with school/class mates and friends, with all their teenage drama, friendship trouble and make-ups, boys, school dance, the eye rolls (!), and no, no boyfriends for them till….college (so says my better half). After major adjustment during her first year in their new private school, it seems all the drama these days are with the other kids, at least that’s what she has led us to believe , LOL. And we get to enjoy listening to tales of growing pains – daily, and mostly in Chinese of course (I work with her on that). Now, we could probably pull some of these off, if we had continued to homeschool, but it would have taken much work on my part.
We are so glad that my girls are growing not just academically, but also emotionally, maturing into the great women they will one day become. They will need the resilience, perseverance, and emotional intelligence to thrive in their brave new world, to adapt to, bend, or break whatever bamboo and glass ceilings that will surely try to come their way.
Granted, homeschooling provides a different experience but can be similarly enriching. It just takes more time than I am able to devote these days. I do say, however, that homeschooling never left us. Their regular schooling is simply part of their education, as education is so much more than schooling. And we do the rest at or through home! (This calls for a story on the side. On getting a phone text notice of school snow day, I told the girls, “There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that, there is no school. The good news is, there is homeschool!” They went ballistic and said that it should the other way around! LOL)
Finally, here is “Charlotte”, with her art-work in progress.