"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Homeschool (But It's Not What You Think).....

I don't wear denim jumpers. (Although there have been some unfortunate denim overalls in my past)

We are NOTHING like ANY of the people who "represent" homeschoolers on Wife Swap.

My kids are not wild, unsocialized, unable to tolerate the real world, or excessively introverted.

I need to knock the ugly off sometimes I wear makeup.

I am not interested in isolating or brainwashing my boys.

Generally, people find us normal (most of the time) and are SHOCKED when I tell them we homeschool. Why is that?? Are homeschoolers really that weird?

My favorite reaction to the fact that we homeschool is this; some dear person will spend the better part of 10 minutes conversing with one of my kids. Dear person will then declare how pleasant the conversation was, how articulate my son is, how respectful and engaged he seemed in the conversation. The topic will fall to where the kids go to school. I announce that they are homeschooled. After a slightly shocked look flits across dear person's face, he/she will exclaim, "but, what about SOCIALIZATION??!" Ha ha. That's a good one. Because you know, only a peer group can socialize a child, right?? What am I, an alien? (if you know me in real life, don't answer that.......)

There are good homeschooled kids. There are bad ones. Same goes for public school kids, private school kids, and all of the parents that "go" with these kids.

I don't think that homeschooling is the Holy Grail, I just think that it works for my kids, for our family, and it's been a good experience for us. I think that if our life situation had been different, and my kids would have had to attend a traditional school, they would still very much be wonderful people. I realize that homeschooling isn't for everyone, nor should it be.

I am not offended or defensive when people are genuinely curious about the ins and outs of homeschooling. It seems understandable to me that people want to know how it works; if I'm accountable to someone, how I know what to teach. etc. I am also comfortable with the fact that not everyone agrees with homeschooling, and that some people think it is somehow putting my kids at a disadvantage. I disagree, but I have made these decisions for myself, and I don't feel insecure or threatened when others express their opinions.

I don't secretly look down on people who have kids in public school. My best friend has always had her kids in public school, and I have constantly admired how involved she is with her kids' education, and how much she is a part of what goes on, every day, in the details of their lives. I also love that she has encouraged me over the years about homeschooling, even though it's not her thing.

I don't educate my kids perfectly. I DO, however, care about their education, and I care about their development as human beings, who will one day live on their own in the world.

What I hope for the most is that my boys have discovered how to learn, how to love truth, how to seek answers. That it's OK if the conclusion they come to isn't the one listed in the "this is why such-and-such happened" section in the book.  Or the one that *I* have come to. Or the one that all their friends have come to. I truly wish for them to be both critical thinkers, and humble. To me that means realizing they don't have all the answers, but NEITHER does everyone else.

I homeschool my kids. But it's not what you think.


  1. LOOOVED this and I SOOOO agree!!! We don't "look" like homeschoolers either, I think we are very similar :) What an encouragement, thank you, great post! -Heather Yost

  2. Excellent! I'm linking this! Great post.

  3. Thank you SO much for the feedback you guys! I always feel like I've put myself "out there" when I post a non-food blog. It is VERY nice, and encouraging to know people "get" what I'm trying to say. :)

  4. I'm a product of being a life long home schooled kid! I even transfered it to college, since I only take online classes! People always saw it is so hard to stay on top of assignments in online classes, and I always tell them: "I was home schooled so I am used to taking care of assignments on my own and working ahead!"

  5. Brooke, I LOVE that!!!! I think that's people's worry- that the boys won't be able to manage in a regular school setting..... but I am thinking (and hoping) that their experience will be like yours!

  6. Great blog1 I've now experienced all three of the education choices. Loving how each child needs something different. Loving how we seek that as parents. Loving how we have an educational choice. Family in Holland think we are crazy. Their government would never allow a child to be taught at home.

  7. So true Jen ..... I so agree about having a choice. We are truly fortunate.

  8. Hi, I am one of your newest fans from Bloggy Moms!




  9. Coming over from the no rules linky now with one rule party.

    LOVE your header picture. Here on the Frozen Tundra, that you may know as Wisconsin, we are still weeks away from beach days. And by beach, here we are referring to a lakeshore and NOT an ocean - - - oceans are purdy sparse in these here parts.

  10. Also stopping by from the Wit linky party. Great blog you have here! I admire your willingness to teach your children at home. I'm pretty sure I am one of those parents who would not like her children very much if I spent that much time with them. I love 'em, but I enjoy the quiet time at home while they are at school. :D

  11. Keetha- we took that photo when we were on vacation in Florida! Isn't it pretty?

    Jen, I hear ya! I am glad that we all get to choose what works for us and for out kids! :)

  12. What do you mean it's not the Holy Grail??? I was misinformed! Seriously though, I am all about brainwashing my kids. ALL ABOUT IT.


  13. Anna, you know the more I think about it ........ me too. Critical thinking is so overrated. I mean how else would half the talk shows in America survive.... ????

    Bwahahaha!!!!! ;)

    Your blog is awesome!!

  14. LOVE IT! We home school as well. 3d year into our two girls home school adventure. I love that our girls are outgoing, social, well rounded and nice to top it off if you can only imagine. :) When people find out they are home schooled I just check one off on the "victory" side of not being a weird, typical or whatever everyone else thinks about having your kids home to learn. It works for our firefighter family and has made us closer. Love your blog! Mind if I add it to my links of good reading? :)

  15. Christy- please do!! My husband does shift work as well, and that's one of the reasons homeschooling works so well for us! :)

  16. I am glad I found this article! Thanks for posting! I have a hard time not being defensive when I get that certain "look" when I say I am going to home school my daughter. It seems so natural to me to do this. I have been teaching her since birth, and I think I have done an okay job. ;) I am always getting compliments on how smart my daughter is, and we haven't even begun schooling yet. I love how you verbalize how I have been feeling, but couldn't get it to come out right. Thanks for this, and I look forward to reading more of your posts. Also,do you have any recommendations for curriculum? ~Amber L.

  17. Amber I am so glad this struck a cord with you!! I have used Sonlight for many years, and I LOVE it!! They have a great website- you should check it out!! :)

  18. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm in my second month of homeschooling & I can't believe what a blessing it is:)~Jenn