Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Recently (and not so recently and in the future, I'm sure) I have been asked several (thousand, it seems) times , "How long are you going to homeschool?" The question is sometimes asked with genuine curiosity, other times with malice and doubt, but most of the times with an incredulous tone that smacks of "I can't believe you're doing this!". So, I am taking this post to address that question (because most of the time when I'm asked this question I don't give a legit answer). :-)
Ok, out with the bad side of me first, typically when I'm asked this question I want to answer with something like...1.) I don't know, really, but probably until they break their shackles and escape. or 2.) As long as they like staying home with me and watching the soaps.
I *don't* give these answers, I *do* mentally roll my eyes and huff.
When a family chooses to homeschool, for some reason, people assume liberties they might not otherwise take, or that I wouldn't take. I don't walk up to my church friends, acquaintances, etc and say, "Just exactly how long ARE you going to let your kid go to Public School?"
The age old comments are things like, "I would kill my kids if we had to spend every day with them." "How do you get them to listen to you?" "You're lucky you have this opportunity." "I'm not smart enough." "My children and I clash too much to homeschool." "Don't you worry about socialization?" "What about prom (sports, clubs, school bus, classroom, etc)" Most people are asking because they are ready to *pounce* on our ultra conservative decisions and out of the main stream life style and aren't really looking for my (or anyone else's) feelings/opinions or thoughts. In the first three or so years, I struggled to defend our position. Now, I just let them ramble and talk, it's much less stressful and somewhat amusing.
There is a certain person that I occasionally see that is bent on telling me what I need to do. I seriously doubt that she knows another homeschooling family as she was confused at the word "curriculum". I don't even know this person's name. This past week we had another run in with Lady-Knows-It-All. :-) We just let her talk. Perhaps she felt better after instructing me?
Ok, so anyway, I sincerely don't know how long we're going to homeschool....that's the answer! I didn't know when I started 8 1/2 years ago, and I don't know today. I take it year by year. If you asked my children this question they would be quick to tell you they are going to homeschool all the way through high school. No doubt about it. But I don't know the future anymore than the next person. Quite honestly, when we first started I couldn't imagine, from the farthermost stretch of my imagination, that we would still be on this road as Sweet Son is finishing his 8th grade year. I was told I could never make it, that my kids would be backward and unsocialized, wouldn't be prepared for the "real world" and that I would "soon tire" and be ready to send my kids off to school for the day. I, being very young, and looking up to the older people had serious seeds of doubt in my mind. But I was driven by a desire that came from our faith, and my knowing there had to be a better way than to hand my young children over to the State for most of their waking hours. Many folks don't agree with that, but that's the fabulous thing about the United States, we have freedom of choice in so many ways. We aren't bound to one idea.
Oh, and as for my kids being "unsocialized"....that's a hoot. That's all I'm going to say about that. :-)
So, here's to the parents I know that lovingly, willingly, and whole -heartedly give their minutes, hours, days, months and years to schooling their children at home, in the community, and in environments that encourage faith, family, accountability and a love for learning. For those who plan every unit study, lead fieldtrips, girl scout troops, drive to team meets, spend hours pouring over curriculum choices, plan thousands of crafts, volunteer to teach, work in your community and surround their children, daily, with the love of family....all for the conviction and not the cash. THAT's Home (car, hotel, dr.'s office, grocery store, church, outdoor, museum, community, and just about anywhere you can imagine!) Schooling!
- ▼ 2010 (10)