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Journal Journal: Home Schooling ...To be or not? 18

The questions of "home school" have always been in the back of my mind. Last year, after having moved to Washington, my daughter had ventured out into our newfound neighborhood and set off to find herself playmates. Of course, not needing any luck with her anxious outgoing personality (frightening for me at times - she not knowing a stranger; she's quite a social butterfly), she succeeds with a hand full that rank at about her age, pleasant, well mannered children, I might add. Being a mother and having the concerns of the well being and safety of where my child is, who's she playing with, where the child she's befriended with, lives, yaddy-yaddy (the whole ball of wax that a concerned parent worries about), of course, I'm wanting to meet the parents and *try* to get a feel for their home life (possibility of drugs, etc.) and of course, to know who our neighbors are.

There's one particular little girl that has always stuck in mind since we've moved here. We'll say her name is "Missy" (not wanting to reveal her true identity). "Missy" seems to be well mannered, soft spoken, and a tad bit on the shy side, which is typical for some children (certainly no concerns there). Before getting the chance to venture out to meet her parents, her mother came to our door to introduce herself/her daughter, and after a few minutes into the conversation, of course one of the more obvious questions I had, is what school does "Missy" attend, what grade is she in, who her teacher is, etc. Out came the topic of "Home School" and how she wouldn't enroll her children into any kind of public schools because she didn't want her children to be around "the other" (her using her fingers to quote herself) type of kids. Her main reason, she said, was her own distaste for objectionable language and issues her daughter was being exposed to among her peers. I'm assuming she caught herself in what she was saying by the scoured look on my face and quickly moved the conversation on to trying to convince me of how much of a better education they are getting because they aren't thrown into a class room with "X" amount of other children. They get the "one on one" learning experience (I certainly can appreciate that one). At this rate, I'm still peeved at her comment and biting my tongue, debating within myself to ask her "just exactly" what she meant about "the other" children, but I didn't. At the same time and more importantly, I'm wondering and questioning "Missy's" social skills later on in life.

Last year, when my daughter started in her new school with only a mere 4 months left in the school year, they found that she was far behind in her reading level. With extra reading curriculums, her teachers, the wonderful staff and volunteers at her school and of course, her "Daddy" and myself, as of the end of this year, she's officially at the reading level that is required of her to continue to the 3rd grade. Not only is my daughter advancing, but her teacher is moving right along with the rest of the class to teach them 3rd and 4th grade as well. When her teacher advised me of her intentions, you can imagine how ecstatic I was. She's going that actual EXTRA mile and truly cares about each and every child in her class and feels that the consistency of them having the same teacher the following year makes a great difference. I couldn't have agreed with her more, on a number of different levels. I think that our society (nation wide) should seriously look into the true meaning of "continuing education".

I have my own opinions at the moment about "home schooling". Some are more positive than others. I'm looking for feedback, opinions and/or even personal experiences on the subject.

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