When people find out we home school our older daughter, I get some version of the following:
“Oh.” “Oh?” or “Oh!”
Then there’s The Pause. It’s not so long as to be terribly uncomfortable, but I can tell the person is regrouping; trying to mesh this new information with what they think about homeschool and what they know about me. Believe it or not, I interact with people through situations where the conversation doesn’t revolve around kids. Amazing, I know!
“Really?” they say. “I could ****NEVER**** do that,” they say. “I have no patience! I have no skills! I need time to myself! My kids need to be in school to be socialized with other kids!” They say, “I’m not capable! I have twelve kids! I have one arm! My eye twitches, for crying-out-loud!” Well, maybe not the last two, but you get where I’m going with this, right…?
Why Do I Homeschool?
Sometimes I even get: “So, why do you home school? What do you do? How do you do it?” And I think they mean both psychologically and technically.
This is when people probably decide that I am actually crazy; not just because I homeschool my kids, but because I really do get excited about it. Enthusiastic even. And soap-boxy. And if you listen long enough I’ll try to convince you that you, too, should homeschool your twelve kids even though you have only one arm and a twitchy eye. I’m downright evangelical when it comes to spreading the Homeschool Word.
“If you listen long enough I’ll try to convince you that you, too, should homeschool your twelve kids even though you have only one arm and a twitchy eye.”
When people ask me questions about homeschooling, I’d like to think it’s because I’m such a great role model and so inspirational (heh). Seriously, though, what I think really goes on is people are thinking some combination of the following: homeschooling your kids is, for some, the Great Unknown and out of the norm, so they’re genuinely curious. They were probably brought up in the system and that’s what they know and it’s hard to think there’s any other way. They may feel something is fundamentally wrong with education as it is today and they want to hear about alternatives. (The problem isn’t with teachers, mind you. Their hands are tied.)
But, we feel our local schools and the state and local administrations that run them are bankrupt and in debt in more ways than monetarily. As for the actual learning environment – there are the bullies and the other social issues that kids even in Kindergarten have to deal with. We want our kids to learn in a safe environment. And we want them to love learning. And we’re not sure that what we’re given in public school is the answer.
Possible Reasons to Homeschool Your Kids
- To get a better quality education than the one you’re zoned for
- To spend more time studying personal religion
- To spend less time studying other’s personal religion
- To escape classroom bullying
- To better support a learning disability
- To better support a learning ability
- To spend more quality time as a family
- To help transition a child from a major life change
- To provide a safer learning environment
- To pursue a child’s athletic talents
- To better support a sensitive child
- To travel the country/world (roadschooling)
- About a hundred more…
Parents choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons: opposition to what the schools are teaching; opposition to what the schools are not teaching; learning style of the child(ren); political, religious, or cultural reasons. It’s as varied and personal as the number of people who do it. And taking your child’s education into your own hands is scary and exciting.
But, seriously… If *I* can do it, anyone can.
In the next article, I’ll tell how we started out and where we are now.
Looking for more topics about homeschooling, specifically in Huntsville & Madison County? See all the posts in the Homeschooling in Huntsville series HERE.
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Karen Gann had a marketing communications career in high tech before taking a sharp turn into stay-at-home-momdom and homeschooling. She grew up in the Tennesse Valley, lives in Huntsville, and is wife to the wittiest man alive, mother to two head-strong and independent girls (they're adorable, really), and human caregiver to the cats. Addictions include Facebook, Pinterest, NYC's Radio Lab, coffee, food, and politics (not necessarily in that order but sometimes all at the same time). She's also the marketing director for Pandia Press in her spare time.