Friday, June 13, 2008

Homeschool Thoughts--Stream of Consciousness

I'm thinking this will probably be a continuing topic for the next few blog posts because it seems like I've been hearing a lot of homeschooling questions lately. I'm not sure why so many now more than usual, maybe because schools are getting out. A lot of the preschool Moms have asked me a lot of questions recently as their kids are leaving the safety and love of St Edwards to head to various kindergartens. Each year some of those kids inevitably get pulled out to homeschool even when it was not in the family's plan because the public school situation ends up being "very different from St Edwards". One mother just asked me, "What do you do when they say they don't want to do their work?" I gave her my standard answer of it being no different than when kids say they don't want to eat their vegetables, or brush their teeth, or do their homework. Obviously it depends on the situation, but when homeschooling is your lifestyle, all of those things are parenting issues certainly not exclusive to homeschooling. Another common one that I heard recently is "I'm not organized, you have to be really organized to homeschool". I think it takes a lot more organization to get numerous kids off on time to different schools each day with the right clothes on, lunches made, homework completed and everything else that I may not even be aware of that comes with that lifestyle. It takes much less organization to tell my kids to meet me in the loft so we can read some more about the presidents or go get their math so we can lay on my bed and work on it. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be organized (and in some ways I might even be a little organized), but as much as I think it would be a good idea to have a meal plan and know that "it is Thursday so it is spaghetti day" that is just not the way I function. We might not want spaghetti just because it is Thursday and on the same token we may not want to do math just because it is 9:00. A popular comment is "I don't have the patience for homeschooling"...guess what...nobody does! As a young babysitter and eventually as a child care provider and preschool teacher, I was loaded with patience. Unfortunately I used it all up before I had my own kids. Now I'm not anymore patient than anyone else, but I do love my kids more than anyone else does and that goes a long way. A newspaper reporter just asked me "What if they want to go to high school like NORMAL kids?" A woman in the doctor's office just told Madi, "My cousin sends her kids to public school because there are no opportunities for homeschoolers". These particular comments are so out of touch with our life that it would take days to explain to others what homeschooling really looks like for us. While doing his math last night (on my bed) Jonathan did ask the dreaded, "When am I ever going to need to use this?" interestingly enough it was about finding the area of a shaded part of a larger figure. I told him you might need that a lot for laying carpeting or flooring or sod and even (as I looked down at the quilt Madi is working on that is laying on my floor) QUILTINQ! His math is getting harder everyday though and eventually he'll say that again about things that he might not ever need, so I'm asking for some suggestions for when the time comes..."It helps you to think" is only going to get me so far!

7 comments:

Tiffany said...

I used to be a math teacher and heard that question A LOT! In reality, depending on the job he grows up to have he probably won't ever use it. But, you never know. My standard answer was this, "You never know when you are going to get stopped by the Math Police. They may throw you up against the car and make you tell them how to do long division and you better be ready."

crispy said...

Good response about the organized thing. I always think it takes more time to: get the kids ready and out the door, travel time and homework time and the time to wait in pick up line at school. That all takes more time than our school day.

ann marie said...

I loved this post. Actually, when the girls don't feel like learning something I do the old "okay, don't learn it, I really don't care," and then I walk away. For some reason this works and they finish whatever it was. Hum, that's probably awful advice, and we are not the best and most organized homeschoolers out there, but we are pretty happy. One thing I have noticed about my kids is that because they interact with ALL age groups and are exposed to more than just the people in their own grades they can have a conversation with just about anyone. My daughter's best friend up until a month ago was our 70 year old neighbor (she passed away sadly). Okay, I am rambling, and I've lost my point. I just had to say I agreed with everything you said and loved this post. Did I already say that?

Melissa said...

Well said, J.!! Great post!

Steph Clunn, moderator said...

Loved this post Jules.
That comment of homeschoolers having no opportunities made me bristle! And it's hard to make me do that!
I always say when asked about college etc...is that most Ivy League schools actively seek homeschoolers as they are more mature, better educated, more well rounded and willing to serve community over self.
And this is the truth by the way, which helps. Lol

5Gustos said...

Interesting post. It's hard to always be SO scrutinized ALL the time. "Normal" kids don't have it this way! But people who really know our kids (neighbors, and family too when they care to admit it!) realize our kids are very well-rounded and quite social.

chewhi said...

there is an unusual scrutiny people think they have a right to when it's known you're a homeschool family... I try not, but it's why I still cringe when one of my kids misspell a word (and THAT particular deed happens a LOT, not our best subject) even after 8 years of homeschooling!