As a homeschooler, I get asked a lot of questions about how the whole thing works. Folks tend to have an idea of what they think homeschooling is, and the reality, at least my reality, is far different. Here are some questions I get about homeschooling my kids, along with the truth:
1. “You must be REALLY organized!” Oh dear holy old cheezits, no. Unless I can count not having lost a child in Mount Washmore as being organized. (In fact, I think I will count it, as I need the reassurance to my ego.) Frankly, that’s about the only thing I can think of that I haven’t had to tear the house apart looking for. Hang on, where’s the baby?! Oh, right. Nap time. I’m still good on not having misplaced a child.
2. “Your kids must be so well behaved!” Uh…I have a nine year old son who decided that hiding his math book would mean not having to do math. Ever. And then it took him several days to find it again. He’s currently grounded until sometime after his 21st birthday for that stunt. And catching up on the math he should have been doing.
3. “You must be really patient!” I had someone tell me this once in front of my teen daughter. Her hysterical laughter caused a bit of a scene, and didn’t stop until I threatened her with the thought that she could wet her pants in the middle of the grocery store. Even then, she was still suppressing the giggles. Needless to say, patience is not one of my many virtues. I try, and I think I’ve gotten better with practice. Either that, or I’ve given up on many things, and just stick to my guns on the big stuff. You know, reading, math, writing, not drawing blood on a sibling…
4. “What about socialization?” Honestly, my kids have a better social life than I do. Granted, that’s not really saying much, but they have swimming lessons, skiing lessons, kids in the yard daily, field trips…Being grounded to the house and yard is their worst punishment, not their norm.
5. “Do you ever think about sending them to school?” Only about eleventy billion times a year. Dumping them on the front steps of the local public school for some poor, unsuspecting teacher to deal with is a fantasy on many days. Like, all this week, with the hidden math book fiasco. Any homeschooling parent that claims to NEVER have these thoughts is either a liar, or completely delusional.
6. “Why?” Ah, the real question. Some days, I suspect I’m a glutton for punishment. Other days, I’m protecting the teachers of the world from my kids. I suppose the real answer is that it just works for our family. The kids mostly enjoy being homeschooled, and I (mostly) enjoy homeschooling them. I say ‘mostly’ because, well, they’re kids. Given the choice between school work and doing whatever they want, chances are, school work isn’t going to win out. So, we have our struggles, just the same as we would with regular homework, but for the most part, they’re used to their routine, and things roll along fairly well. Also, for our family, the flexibility is a big part of things. My husband’s busiest season at work is during the Summer. This way, we c an flex our schedule differently than what’s normal for the public schools in our area, so that when he gets down time in the Fall/Winter, the kids can take time off their schooling to take a trip with him, be it over night or a series of day trips.
We didn’t start out to homeschool. But after we started, we discovered it works better for us than we ever would have imagined. So, while I may fantasize about handing them off to someone else to teach, I really can’t imagine not homeschooling my kids. We’re the Weird Homeschoolers, now. And it fits us perfectly.
Related post: Reasons to Homeschool