My sons first year of public school is coming to a close next month. I have to admit I was nervous about having someone else take responsibility for what he was learning and experiencing, and very honestly considered homeschooling. But in reflection, this has been a great experience for both of us.
I have always tried to make every day a learning experience in our house. We have rules and structure, but we learn, explore, and have fun as well! Starting the day the kid comes home from the hospital, we are having conversations and discussions. We talk about what we are doing and why we are doing it. I really feel that this has made a difference in how my children observe and learn. My son loves to identify foods by the 3 most important food groups... 1. Healthy enough to eat every day 2. Healthy enough to eat once in a while 3. Only good to eat once in a VERY great while. He watched me make compost for the first time, and proceeded to explain to ME why we were doing it and how it worked!
I have made it a point to ask him every day after school to tell me what he learned that day. This gives me a chance to learn what is being discussed in the classroom, clarify any questions or misunderstandings, and most importantly... Offer a different perspective. When we leave all the lessons to the government to organize, we don't always like the end result. I don't have all the answers, but I am teaching my son to think and discuss, and to seek out alternative options and knowledge, so that at least he has the tools to find those answers for himself.
Children's minds are like sponges, especially in the pre-school years. If we give them these tools early in life, we give them the building blocks for a successful future. With all the bad stuff out there, which they are going to have to face eventually, I want to give my kids a real chance. Knowledge is that chance.