Sunday, February 28, 2016

Questions about Homeschooling

I get all kinds of questions about homeschooling.  Some are genuine, and I don't mind to answer questions for people who are just curious, or who are interested in homeschooling their own kids.  It's being able to distinguish when they're asking because they are misinformed and think homeschooling is a bad choice that I must be able to curb that snarky remark running through my mind in order to politely change the direction of the conversation.

Why do you do it?
We homeschool because it's the best decision for our family right now.  It's not just about one thing in particular, but it works for us right now.  This answer is truth, even for those that don't like our decision.

Is it legal?
In all 50 states.

Do you need a degree or anything?
The actual requirements vary by state.  My state requires you have at least a high school diploma or GED.  I might not have a teaching certificate, but between us, my husband and I have four degrees and two professional licenses.  I think we can handle third grade math.

What about high school?
We'll tackle that when we get there.  The truth is, there are a lot of options out there for homeschooling high school, if we go that route.  Right now, it's one year at a time.

Well have you thought about private school?
Yes.  It's not the right choice for us.

What about college?
Well, we're still working on that third grade math, but when we get to high school age, then we'll begin looking into colleges.  Seriously though, it's not an issue.  I was a homeschool graduate and had no issues getting into college in state or out of state.  My professors had positive comments about their homeschooled students.  I don't worry about it.

It must be hard to teach different ages.  How does that work?
One day at a time!  

Here is what works for us right now.  I work with each of the boys individually doing their grade/skill level subjects--math and language arts (reading/phonics, spelling, etc.) in the morning.  After lunch we do other subjects together.  Art, Music, Bible, Literature, Science and Social Studies are all subjects that can be taught to different ages, with different expectations for each child.

I don't know what curriculum to use!  What do you use?
Well, I can tell you what curriculum I am using, but I can't tell you, is if that curriculum is right for you.  I don't even know if it will be right for us next year.  Curriculum choices should be based on your educational philosophy, your teaching preferences, and your child's learning style.  I have noticed that as my children have grown and matured, and our family dynamic has changed, our homeschooling style has evolved.  The type of curriculum I like to use is slowly evolving with that.

I don't have the patience to homeschool.  How do you do it?
I really hope when people are asking me this, they're not envisioning my little cherubs sitting quietly around the kitchen table, with workbooks opened and pencils poised, as they listen intently to my every word.  Cause it's not always rainbows and sunshine up in here.  Some days are great.  Some days are crazy.

How do you sit at home all day?  I would go crazy!
Well.  I'm too busy to feel like I just sit around doing nothing.  Being home more means more dishes, more cooking, more messes.  My house was a lot cleaner when I worked full time and the kids went to a babysitter, that's for sure.  Then there's church, co-op, field trips, nature study walks, running errands, doctor's appointments, sports, and everything else that gets us out of the house.  There are some weeks we have to just say no to the abundance of homeschool opportunities out there, so that we can actually stay home and homeschool!

Well . . . what about, you know . . . Socialization?
What about it?

Seriously, it's hard to believe that with homeschooling becoming more mainstream, that people ask this . . . and they're serious about it.  Sometimes they ask directly, and I think that's more of a way to make conversation, because they don't know anything about homeschooling and they're just grasping for something they've heard about before.  Other times, they think I'm crazy or homeschooling is "bad" and they make indirect comments, like the ones about staying home all the time.  I think we can all agree that socialization is not just about being around same-age peers all day for 180 days a year.  My kids get to be around other kids their age when they participate in co-op, in church activities, in homeschool classes (yes, the community is catching on and there are art classes, gymnastics classes and more dedicated to just homeschoolers), in sports, at birthday parties, or on field trips and play dates.  They've learned what behaviors are appropriate in public and in group settings, and how to take instruction from different teachers and coaches.  They are around people all day every day--friends, neighbors, family, other homeschoolers, strangers.  They know how to read body language and tone of voice and take cues from people around them.  The opportunities to learn social rules and mores are not confined to a traditional classroom.

What kind of questions are you asked as a homeschooler?  Do you find people are just asking to make conversation, or that they're actually curious about how homeschooling works?

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1 comment:

  1. This is so funny! I get asked the most insane questions sometimes! The most popular is the S word...socialization!!