Often I am asked the following questions about homeschooling or a particular thought crosses my mind. Sometimes people don’t ask questions but rather make statements. I will attempt to answer these questions/statements as best as I can. Hopefully you will see that I am not a supermom but just a regular mom who has her fears but is walking on a path laid out before me. You may think that I am confident, patient, and all around supermom however, this post will give you some insight into the real me.
Why are you homeschooling?
The answer to this question is very long but in short, I will say that my decision to homeschool was not an overnight decision. I spent countless hours researching and reading books about the subject from the time my oldest was three years old. When it came time for Kindergarten round up my son was five years old and I felt that our home would be the most nurturing environment for my boys. I was convinced of it then and I still am today.
How long do you plan to homeschool?
Ideally, I would like to homeschool until the boys graduate high school. However my husband and I have agreed to take it a year at a time. Currently my husband feels that after elementary he will reevaluate the plan. I can’t focus on the future too much because that takes my attention off right now.
Where do you get your curriculum?
Generally from curriculum publishers. Some things I buy on Amazon or used from other homeschool moms.
Are you accountable to anyone?
Yes and no. My state does not require that I report what I do with my kids to anyone but there are requirements which I do follow. I am accountable to God, my husband, myself and my children. Eventually, my children will leave my home and I want them to be blessings to whatever communities they enter. That means that I need to diligently teach them and prepare them for life outside my home. This is a big job and I take it seriously.
What do you do with your younger children while you teach the oldest?
Well, I have learning activities planned for all of my boys and the younger ones are free to go and play whenever they want. Additionally, I work with each child individually while the other two play together or separately.
How do you keep everything together?
Keeping my home organized helps and having a routine is a must. When I am feeling overwhelmed I take a break for a day or two and then we resume.
You must be very patient?
I wouldn’t consider myself a patient person, though I am growing in this area.
Do you feel that homeschool will will prepare your children for the real world?
Yes, I do feel that homeschool can and will prepare my children for the real world. First I have to say that no parent can ever fully prepare their children for every situation they will encounter after leaving home. The traditional school setting can’t do it either. However while under my tutelage I can train them to be men of integrity, work hard, ask questions about what they don’t understand, think before they speak and act and that is half the battle in the real world.
I am a product of traditional school and I learned a lot in school but have learned even more in real life long after I earned my diplomas. My boys’ life will be no different. For example, when I was in cosmetology school I learned how to cut hair on mannequins but applying the skill in real life is completely different. There were plenty of scenarios that played out in the salon that I was not technically taught in beauty school but I observed and next time a similar situation came around I knew what to do.
How do your children interact with other children?
They get along well with other children and adults. My children will assert themselves with others and are quite sociable.
Do you keep them at home all the time?
Of course not. We are very active. My children play sports, we attend park days with other children, we go on field trips and we are apart of several homeschool support groups, one of which has over 500 children that meet up weekly for our co-op. In addition, my children are friends with children that are not homeschooled as well. When they are invited to attend events more likely than not they will attend unless we had something else previously planned.
Are your children happy being homeschooled?
Depends on the day you ask. Sometimes my children are not happy but they would not be happy every day going to traditional school either. That’s the way life is. I liked going to school as a child but I did not like doing all the work required. My children would be no different. Personally, I don’t feel that my kids need to be happy all time. I doing them a disservice if I worry constantly about their happiness. The better lesson to teach them is that in life there will be things we have to do even if we don’t like them. The reality is once they are living on their own and are accountable to someone other than mom and dad, there will be many times they can not do what they want to.
When are you going back to work?
Well currently, I am employed by my family. Every day I get up and I work hard, in fact harder than I ever did at a “real job”. I do not receive a cash salary but the payout is worth every bit of my time. However, once my children are older, I plan to go back to school for my masters and then re-enter corporate America.. Lord willing, we will still be homeschooling but at that time my children will be more independent and can do the majority of their work independently.
You have a teaching degree why don’t you use it in a real school?
That was *my plan*, but apparently God had other plans because once I completed my alternative certification I could not find any teaching jobs. All the districts were suffering with budget cutbacks and were not hiring. This could be interpreted various ways however, I choose to interpret it to mean that I am on the path I was destined for all along.
What if something happened to your husband would you still homeschool?
Probably, but I can not say for sure. Prayerfully nothing will happen to him and we will live to see our children’s children’s children. But if I were able to I would continue homeschooling even if something were to happen to my husband.
If you move out of the country would you still homeschool?
Homeschooling is a journey filled with emotional highs and lows. There are several times a year that I get scared/panic and have to place a call to a homeschool buddy to help put things into perspective for me. There are even days when I have voiced out loud “I have to put these boys into school immediately”.
The truth is homeschooling is like swimming upstream, when all the fish around you are flowing happily with the current downstream. Its hard work, at times isolating and did I mention I’m not getting a salary.
There are some days that I get scared because I can not see the future and I don’t have the answers. I hear a little voice in my head that says “What are you doing?” On the other hand there are many, many days where I get affirmations that I am on the right path. Sending my children to school would be very easy. They would have their teachers and I would have less on my plate so to speak. But that is not the path that I have chosen. This may not be the path for you, in fact our lives and experiences are unique to us individually. Perhaps, if we encourage the people we meet traveling this highway of life, we would not focus so much on what makes us different, rather the qualities that make us all the same.
Hopefully, this brief post has shed a little light into my little corner of the world.