Monday, August 15, 2011
Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew
It seems to me, that there are many things that people who do not homeschool, just don't understand about homeschoolers. I want to start out by saying that I do NOT think that everyone should homeschool. It is truly not for everyone. But, it is right for our family. At this time. I do not know what the future holds for my family and I. None of us do. And, later on down the road, I may find that homeschooling just isn't the right "fit" for us anymore. I do not have a problem with public schools, or the people who attend them. I just wanted to make that clear before I go on.
I asked several of my fellow homeschooling Moms what they wish other people knew about homeschoolers, or homeschooling in general. This post and the next few will be all about that; what we wish you knew about us.
Please keep in mind, I can only speak for myself, and for those I personally associate with, on this subject. Sure, there are homeschoolers who may think differently, but this is about what the majority of us wish you knew. The media usually portrays us only one way. Most of us are completely opposite from those "radical homeschoolers" you see on t.v.
First, we wish you knew that just because we homeschool our kids, it does not mean we think that we are better than you, or that our kids are better than yours. We would hate for you to think we thought that! We realize that homeschooling is not for everyone, and we respect the decision that you have made not to homeschool your kids. Sure, we will tell you all about why we love homeschooling, and how you can homeschool too (if that is your desire), but we are not trying to make you feel bad about sending your kids to public school.
We wish that you would show us the same respect, and not question our decision to teach our kids at home. We only want the best for our kids, and we feel that homeschooling them is the right choice for our family. We do not think that just because we homeschool, our children are smarter than yours, or that they will grow up to be rocket scientists, or win The National Spelling Bee.... although, some of them do. *Smile*
We wish you knew, that when you see us at the "W" store, and it is in the middle of the day, it does not mean that we are "slackers" who don't care about our children's education, and spend all day shopping. There may be several reasons why we are there with our kids. Many times, when I am out with my kids during the day, I get "that look". Not only will people "look" at you, but they will even ask you or your kids, WHY they are not in school at that time. My girls will get asked if they have a day off, or did they only have to go to school for half of the day? It is usually said in a tone that implies they are skipping school, and should be ashamed of themselves.
Well....we homeschool. Some of us follow a strict schedule, just like the public schools do. Most of us though, do our own thing. Maybe it is not the most convenient time for us to do school during the day. There are no rules as to WHEN you do the schoolwork. Only that it gets done. If Daddy works at night, and only gets to see his family during the day, that family may adjust their schedule so that they can spend more time with dear old Dad, and do school while he is at work.
Also, it does not take us as long to do school at home as it does for your child to attend public school. It really isn't necessary to spend 8 hours a day doing "school". We are doing one-on-one work with our kids. Other than their brothers and sisters, they do not have to compete for our time. Therefore, they can get their work done in less time than it takes in public school, where there are 27 other kids who need help. We also do not have to take breaks, have recess, or "study hall". So.....we MAY be completely done with school by noon! It varies from family to family.
One of the other benefits of homeschooling, is that you are not controlled by the calendar as to what days you will take off. For example, my children go to school on most of the minor holidays that the public school takes off. We take off the days that WE want to.We don't have to take off for snow days, teacher-in-service days, or only go on half days for this or that. We do school when it is convenient for us, not when it is convenient for the community. We can start and stop school earlier or later in the year, or even do school all year (with breaks in between), if that is what we want to do. My girls do not do school all year, because many of their friends attend public school, and they want to have the summer off like they do.
When Hubs' family comes to visit us from Maine, we take that whole week of school off. We can do that, because we "go to school" on other days. We can go to museums or theme parks during the week, when it is less busy, because all of the other kids are in school. Works for me!
What else do we wish you knew? Stay tuned...