Thursday, August 18, 2011
Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew (Part 3)
Moving on with my homeschooling series....
We wish you knew that the media often portrays us only one way. When you see homeschoolers on television, they are usually "country" women who wear long, sweeping skirts, with long hair and no make-up. They have lots of children, raise animals, and pretty much are self-sufficient on their family farms. While that may be true for some of us, most of us do not fit into that mold. We are just regular people, who wear regular clothes, live regular lives, in regular homes, with regular kids. Are you noticing a theme here? Regular. Just like there are a wide variety of people in the public school system, there are a wide variety of people who homeshool. We are NOT all alike.
Being regular kids also means that our children have friends. My oldest daughter wanted to make sure that I included this one! They are NOT socially awkward hermits, who never leave the house, and get no social interaction. My girls are involved in so many activities, we need to stay home more! They are involved in dance, theatre, music lessons, homeschool co-op, church activities, and they perform community services. They have many, many different opportunities to be involved with other kids their own age. They do not need to attend "school" to interact with other children.
If you were to go on my oldest daughter's Facebook page, you would notice that she has almost 300 friends. Our family rule is that she is not allowed to accept anyone as a friend that she doesn't know in real life. Now....does THAT sound like someone who is socially awkward and friend-less? I think not.
My girls have many friends, and the majority of them are NOT homeschooled. They fit in with them just fine. They have the same interests as they do, and other than having a little more free time because they are not spending every waking minute doing homework after school, you could not tell them a part from their public school peers. They do not look any different from their public school friends.
My daughters also get along quite well with adults. They are polite and well-behaved, and they know how to conduct themselves in social settings. If you were to ask most people who know them well, they would tell you the same thing. I have to say that, because I am their Mother, but they don't. Ha!
We wish you knew that we think it is downright rude for you to ask our kids "questions" to make sure that they are REALLY learning something. Want an example of just how rude this is? Go here, to read about what happened to my bloggie friend's 4 year old daughter.
Now, after reading that, is that something you would want us to do to YOUR 4 year old? What about your child who struggles with Math? Do you want us asking them Math problems? Or, do you want us quizzing your child, who attends public school, to make sure they know all the important historical facts and dates? Yeah....didn't think so.
We wish you knew that, just like kids who attend "regular" school, our children all learn at their own pace. Just like there are children who struggle in public school, there are children who struggle in homeschool. Just because we are homeschooling them, does NOT mean that they are going to be super-smart, and graduate early. Some of them will, but most of them won't. Homeschooling does allow you the opportunity to work one-on-one with your child who is struggling....but they may still struggle. There are no guarantees that just because our children homeschool, that they will suddenly qualify for MENSA.
But....is there only one way to homeschool your kids?
That, my friends, is a topic for another time...