My son Miles goes to Ms. Cohen's Homeschool Classroom and he is in his 4th year now. We ended up there because I was generally opposed to sending Miles to 'regular' school, and he also had incongruencies in his social & academic abilities. Although I felt it was possible for me to teach him myself, I also knew that I would not have been able to provide the well rounded education & social experience I feel is important. In addition, I also have a few responsibilities of my own ;) and while my schedule is flexible, I do still have a business to run!
There are so many things I love about the Homeschool Classroom - academically, each child learns based on what they know (i.e. my son reads beautifully but struggles with math, so his work is assigned according to his ability), in addition to having the benefit of a multi-age classroom (older children learn mastery by helping younger children). Larger projects cover areas of geography, science, etc... and are done as a group with each child working at their own level (the one room schoolhouse style). The social structure of the school is ideal - absolutely no one is left behind, excluded, or disrespected. I am always amazed to see 11 year-old boys taking the time to make sure little ones are included in games & activities - because it's how things are done at the Homeschool Classroom - everyone behaves this way.
The Homeschool Classroom isn't a school - it is a Homeschool Classroom not a private school, not a play group, but a classroom where kids learn, which was exactly what I was looking for. I am still able to teach my son a lot of things on my own (based on my academic background) and keep him enrolled in as many extra-curricular activities I think he can handle to keep his social network as wide as possible, but I have the Homeschool Classroom to make sure he is learning what he needs to while also being part of a school community.
I was also concerned that his education not be too far removed from 'reality' (i.e. socially isolated or exclusive) as it is one of the greatest benefits public school has to offer. Rebecca's dedication to ethnic diversity has always been one of the strongest points for me personally, both her personal life & family history show a real dedication to being ethnically & culturally inclusive. Unlike academic environments that strive to be exclusive, the Homeschool Classroom works to be a diverse, open community in a respectful, intimate environment.
The physical setting for the Homeschool Classroom works for me too - I wanted to avoid the 'regular school environment' as well as the 'privileged' or 'exclusive' school, and the actual school ground does just that. I love the games the children invent while playing outside & the unremarkable school building - it is far enough removed from traditional school to warrant the title of Homeschool Classroom.
I know I've gone on, but the last thing that I need to mention is that the tuition schedule & flexibility of the Homeschool Classroom has made it possible to give our son the education we had hoped to provide. Private schools require a school-year financial commitment, I don't know how she can do it, but Rebecca remains flexible. If you only want to send your child a few half days, it's okay. Three days a week? No problem. Two full days? Sure. Honestly, we send our son as much as we can afford to, and we can increase or change his schedule as needed - this is a blessing both financially & otherwise. Each child is unique with unique educational needs, and the Homeschool Classroom is exactly what we needed.
- Liz Ungar, Homeschool Classroom Parent