Saturday, July 26, 2008

Homeschooling Questions

I want to play too.

1. What was your motivation for homeschooling? Was it based on religious reasons? Was is it based on curriculum - did you want more freedom in choosing what your children were being taught? Was it based on socializing - wanting to have more control in the people with whom your children came into contact with? Was it based on logistics - the nearest school being 20 miles away? What made you finally decide to go this route?
Health problems, unfortunately. A kid with gastro issues and on stool softeners was no fit for all day kindergarten and her gastro specialist told us not to send her. "Not send her to school?" We were flabbergasted. How exactly do you accomplish that? Well we googled. Found homeschooling. Happily ever after. Health problems much better now, thanks. Still homeschooling anyway.

2. Don't hate me for asking this. How to you handle socialization? What steps do you take to make sure your children are around other children and adults? Are you active in a home school group? Do you spend a lot of time at church activities? Maybe you utilize the local Y for activities and they meet friends there?
"We're not here for socializing, people." Didn't your teachers say that too?

But seriously, we don't sweat it. I have one shy one and one outgoing one. They'd be the same if public schooled. They both play naturally with other kids in our lives and the ones randomly encountered on playgrounds and such. My mother and sister work for our local mental health system and recently took the kids to a company picnic where they "did well" and "acted very socially appropriate." Which was said to reassure me and with love, but also sort of implies that all counselors had their eye on the homeschooled kids for any 'outside the cookie-cutter' behavior. I guess mine are good cookies.

3. Do you use the public school system for any part of your child's routine? Some children here come to the school for band or chorus, or maybe for science class. Do you send your child to the public school to take advantage of any of their programs?
They went to a preschool program for awhile (a family program that we went to too). But other than that not so far. We are actually assessing the desire to homeschool on a yearly basis so I can't say they won't be entirely in public school a few years from now.

4. Do your children begin and end school at the same time each day? Do they have a strict schedule, at least as far as waking up and reporting to the school area of your home? If not, when/how will you transition your children into following a more rigid schedule - awaking at the same time each day so that they can follow a routine outside of the home like for college and work?
Not a strict schedule really, but we do follow a pretty similar routine time-wise each day. But that was just how it evolved. One of the best parts of homeschooling is when I hear the kids waiting for the bus at 7am when it is still dark and snowing, and my kids are still snuggled in bed. Not to brag, but that rocks. Certainly, public school moms totally have me beat when it comes to free time. So give me my small joys.

Not all jobs have a routine that follows a school day. I see the lack of ability to adapt to a new situation/environment as more of a problem than not being in the 'habit' of waking up at 6am every day. No job has you sitting in a room filled with people your same age being told what to learn and how to act, even how to think. Public schooled kids sometimes have a hard time dealing with the sudden freedom once away from the scheduled environment of modern childhood. Every kid's path to adulthood isn't necessarily without having to suck it up and do stuff they're not used to. Learning to create new, beneficial habits is part of that transition from dependent kid to independent adult, and no mat
ter how you are educated you need to learn how to do that to be happy and successful.

5. How many spelling bees has your child won? Oh, I'm kidding. We all know most of the recent national spelling bee winners have been home schooled children. I just wanted to throw a little funny in there?
:) Spelling = Lots of reading  + Spell check. It's not the sort of contest we are into. 

6. Do you have a sense of humor? It's probably a little late for me to ask that but...
Oh heck yeah. For me and mine life is about fun. Humor oils our machine.

7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?
I LOOOOVE curriculum. I love to learn too and it gets a little 'but I HAVE to have this, in the name of the kids' education', that old song.  I need. to. stop. buying. curriculum.  Online shopping is evil and fun. The absolute best. Our local second hand bookstore is pretty neat too, esp. since it seems to be well stocked by homeschooling families by the looks of the books I find there. :)

8. Do you have any worries at all about teaching your teenagers the higher level math and sciences? I, for one, could not teach chemistry to my children but I could probably teach them calculus. Is this a concern for you?
Nope. I am learning along with them. Filling in the gaps from my public education :) Besides, mine are still little. There are some pretty awesome online classes, outside tutors, outside classes if I am not up to snuff. It isn't about hiding them away for us. It is about finding what is best for their current needs.

9. What bothers you the most about the reputation home schoolers have? What things do you hate to hear people say about you for your choice? I really hope you don't say that it's my previous post.
I hate all kinds of judgement, in every aspect of life. It is so unnecessary and fear based. Why can't we all just get along? Don't we all love our kids? Don't we all hate to pay taxes? Don't we all hate shopping at Wal-mart on a Saturday afternoon and it feels like the aisles are closing in on you and you just want to scream and run out of the store leaving your cart... oh wait. Maybe that is just me.

10. Be honest, do you, at least in your mind sometimes, judge those of us who choose public school? Do you ever think we are making a bad choice for our children? Are you vocal about that disapproval?
I honestly don't think most people even know about homeschooling except in an extreme, religious stereotype sense. I certainly didn't, until I had to learn. If I am feeling attacked by a vocal public school mom, I might get snarky back using some of the perks that come with homeschooling as fuel. But that is just because I am witty and sharp tongued and it is not unlike an old west drawing of pistols kind of fun, and in the end people enjoy poking at each other. But in full disclosure my best friends outside of the family are public school teachers.

11. Is "home school" one word or two? I've seen it both ways. With spellcheck, it shows it as ONE word when used as a verb, but two words when used otherwise. Please enlighten me.
Homeschoolers tend to use the one word version. Non-homeschoolers tend to use it as two words. My spell check hates the combined version. It soothes my inner rebel. 


HW said...

Mommy lion -
Thanks so much for playing.
I have enjoyed all the responses. Medical reasons? I never thought of that one. See? I learned something new from this.
Your response to #9 sums up my feelings so well.
I appreciate your answers and insight.

Mommylion said...

Thanks for asking the questions. It is fun to meet other curious people.