Sunday, March 13, 2011

A few of my "favorite" questions and statments

We have been homeschooling now for 2 1/2 years. I can't call myself a rookie anymore, but I certainly do not feel experienced! Homeschooling is an ever-changing, ever-evolving kind of thing. New challenges and new joys abound.

Often when I meet someone new or when I run into someone I haven't seen in a while, the topic comes up. Usually because I have kids in tow in the middle of what is termed a "school day." Kiddo has become very good at responding to the inquiries of why he isn't in school with a simple "I am homeschooled." The inquiries that follow, however, are always directed at me.

These are some of the more common questions I am asked. I try to answer without being offensive. Homeschooling is our choice. I respect that it is not for everyone.

"Isn't that a lot of work?" Well, yes and no. Yes, educating my children is a lot of work. But it is also a lot of play. I don't have to work on homework with them when they come home from school, completely exhausted, with no desire to do anything. I work with them when they are at their prime. I also get to see them learn. I get to witness the ah-ha moments. And I know when they are struggling and we need to take it slower or take a break from something all together. I am only teaching 2 kids. I don't have a classroom of 25. Yes, it is work, but it is a very different kind of work.

"How long will you homeschool?" I don't know of too many homeschoolers who can answer this one. My usual response is "As long as it works for us." The last time I was asked this question, just last week, the follow-up was, "Even through high school?" Well, yes, if it is still working for us, we will. There are so many resources out there these days for homeschoolers. I don't have to know everything to educate my child. There are co-ops, virtual classes and schools, comprehensive curricula, and tutors available should we need them. Honestly? I rarely look that far ahead. It is working for us now, and that is what matters.

"My kids would drive me nuts!" I totally understand that. Homeschooling is not for everyone. Honestly, there are days when my kids drive me nuts, too. There aren't many of them, though, and it is usually me, not them. I love hanging out with my kids. I love hearing their ideas and their stories and their discoveries. The good days outweigh the bad moments for me. But I TOTALLY understand that it wouldn't work for some people. Good thing it doesn't have to.

"Are there other homeschoolers to get together with?" Um, yes. Loads of them. Especially since we live in a major metropolitan area. Homeschooling gets a reputation, mainly among non-homeschoolers, for being isolating. I disagree. If anything, I feel more connected to my community now than I ever did before. I know far more of what is available out there than I did before I started homeschooling, and we take advantage of more.

There are also non-homeschoolers to get together with. We see our public school friends when they are off from school, after school, and on weekends. What's more, my kids interact with people of all ages. As this question was being asked of me this week, Kiddo was following my sister around while she worked. He was respectful, didn't get in the way, and was learning the whole time. There were not two people in the room who are the same age, either. 6 people, 6 different ages. That is the real world. I don't worry about whether or not my children are learning how to behave with other people. I know they are. I witness it every day.

If you are a homeschooler, you have likely heard all of these questions. Do you have standard answers? Are there others you find yourself answering repeatedly?

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

Usually when someone asks me how long I will do this, I tell them "I take it a year at a time."

I have a new one for you. Since my oldest started college last fall, I have had at least two people ask me, "She's in college now? Are you still homeschooling her?" I try to limit myself to "No" so that I don't burst out laughing. :o)

Peace and Laughter,