You could be a homeschooler since you don’t care for your school system. You could be a homeschooler because its a good fit for your family and you like to travel the world. You could be a homeschooler because you spent so much time volunteering at school, you should’ve been an employee (and taking a much needed cocktail to PTA meetings was frowned upon.) As someone who is a homeschooler hoping to expose my children to the world they live in, I have often felt as though I have been pigeonholed as some narrow minded, extreme right wing, homophobic, religious bigot. I have to say, this really does not sit well. We have many reasons to homeschool, starting with these…
• Alarms: Hate them. Nothing sets my teeth on edge as much as an alarm. I am still up early because I love the quiet, but mostly because I love watching the minivans fly by my house in the morning filled with screaming moms and crying kids. (I stand voyeur like at my window sipping my hot coffee in my pj’s while my cherubs are asleep in their beds – it never gets old) Imagine never setting an alarm unless you have a plane to catch, which in turn brings me to …
• Travel: We can go whenever we want. You know those fabulous off season rates? We would like to thank you for them. Someone told me the other day that their kids love the atmosphere of being in Disney when its busy, seriously? What kid wants to stand in line for hours at a time? Field trips are never on a tight schedule, and never start at 8 am. If we get there and it’s lame, we go to lunch. When we go to lunch, I can even have a glass of wine (’nuff said).
• PJs! My kids get to do their work in their pj’s rather than worry about the latest fashion. Back to school shopping consists of a day buying pj’s – yes, pj’s. They sit (or lay) with the class pet on their laps.
• The work they hand in, is really their work. It would be pretty pointless to do it for them and then grade myself. Used to love those over the top projects that came in at school all powerpointed by an eight-year-old! (btw, we do not have homework unless someone has really annoyed me and I do.not.pack.lunches – jealous much?)
• I encourage discussion of the world. We study countries, people, religion and of course, food … always the food. Sometimes we even get to go to the country – awesome-ness on the field trip scale!
• Elections. Last time around we attended a political debate and let our oldest hear both sides to make an educated decision on how she felt. Yes, how she felt. (it was a foreign concept too many, and for the record, she loved neither candidates)
• I encourage full immersion when it comes to studies. Children should be taught about Mexico on Cinco de Mayo, you should do so in a Mexican restaurant with a margarita in hand. Also, running a vacuum or wiping down a bathroom will get you an A in PE.
• We never expect our kids to just fit in. As my oldest, Wiki stated in her blog about going with the crowd – why would you want to fit in when you were born to stand out? They are free to be their exceptional selves. And they really are exceptional (its not the margarita talking)
The World is our classroom – and we embrace it!
(P.S. Yes, somedays cocktail hour arrives a little earlier than others, and my mom friends don’t judge.)