I don’t talk much about homeschooling. In fact, many of you may not even know that my children have been homeschooled, in one way or another, for the past 13 years. In all honesty, I talked soooo much about homeschooling when I was new to it that I pretty much got all talked out. HOWEVER, due to recent laws passing in California, along with the increased popularity of homeschooling, I seem to get asked about homeschooling all the time now.
The attitude towards homeschooling has really changed in the last 10 years. It used to be something that only the extreme were drawn to, because it wasn’t socially acceptable to do, and you’d have to fight oppositions constantly. This meant you had to have a strong conviction that caused you to rebel against the system. But now days, I feel like it’s become almost hip.
There are an incredible amount of resources available. It seems like online programs, part time charter schools, conferences, and learning centers are popping up everywhere. And with resources like Pinterest as well, the possibilities feel endless. And when I mention homeschooling now days, most people just want to know more.
Now the most common fear that meets me when talking to someone about homeschooling is, “I wish I could homeschool, but I don’t think I could handle it.” This is a valid concern in some ways. Homeschooling is a commitment beyond regular school, but it’s also completely different than regular school. Many parents think they have to recreate the school atmosphere and curriculum in their home, and THAT is what feels so daunting. But recreating school is not how it is done.
The great thing about homeschooling is that you can cater it to the rhythm of your own family, and the unique personalities of each of your children.
My oldest daughter (K) was a free spirit and learned best by being left alone with high quality materials that she loved to explore. Sets of encyclopedias, piles of great literature, logic games, even math workbooks. She’d take them in random chunks and learn large amounts of knowledge all on her own. Now at the age of 15, she attends classes at the community college and is working towards a degree. Many homeschooling teens do this.
My next oldest (C) loves to do things in order from the text, and beginning to end. She does not want to think up her own lessons. She wants to do the work someone else lays out for her, and she won’t go to step B until step A is entirely complete. She wants to be a professional actress and attends an elective program that includes acting classes, as well as many of the other arts.
My oldest son (X) would do nothing but play video games all day if I let him, and he’s learned logic and coding because of that. He is extremely social and wants to be in programs and have friends to hang out with, and is willing to do the charter school work in order to have that. All his formal work is done because he wants something else. He’ll write an essay or do chores for computer time, and do his math in order to play football with his friends. However, he loves talking about business and money, reading graphic novels, and has a knack for writing and producing music that has always amazed me.
My littlest son (G) still sees learning as play. When everyone is doing work at the table he is “making numbers” on a piece of paper (these are really just swirls and lines), and he’ll “read” his books when everyone is reading.
As a homeschooling mom I’ve changed and grown. For the first 8 years or so, I was extremely involved with their schooling, and it was an actively present focus of mine. But when I decided I didn’t want to stay home any longer, I had to make some choices. I knew I didn’t want to put the kids in school, because I loved the freedom they had to learn their own way, and the community of homeschooling friends they’d developed. So I needed to think outside the box a bit.
I decided to put them in part time programs and hire a nanny who would facilitate their learning while I was at work. They have a teacher from the charter who oversees their lessons and assigns them work, and the nanny is there to make sure they do it, as well as help out if they get stuck. She also takes them to social gatherings, sports programs, and the library. This is unconventional in the homeschooling community, but it works for our family, which is why we homeschool in the first place.
We homeschool because it provides us with the flexibility to do things the way we want. It gives us permission to look around and observe what we feel is best for our kids in different stages of their life, and act on it. We don’t have to fight an administration, or convince anyone else. It gives us our power back. I don’t think we would have been able to adventure around so much if we hadn’t homeschooled, so I am grateful for that.I have flagged down more yellow school buses than I care to admit. #homeschooling Click To Tweet
I’m not saying it’s easy. I have flagged down more yellow school buses than I’d care to admit, hoping they’d take my kids to school with them and remove the burden of their education from my plate. But in the end, we always end up homeschooling because it’s right for our family.
Knowing that most people have no clue where to start when considering homeschooling, I’ve written a comprehensive E-Guide that covers:
Are Homeschooled Kids Weird?
Is Homeschooling Legal?
Emotional Obstacles of Homeschooling
The Guide, How to Homeschool For Normal People, is filled with links, resources, and honest thoughts about homeschooling. It’s not designed to preach or convince, but rather give the reader answers to common questions so they can decide if homeschooling is right for them, and how to do it if it is.
In the meantime, I’ll try to share more information about homeschooling here on Absolutely Tara, so you can start to understand what the homeschooling life looks like. And if you’re a homeschooler who wants to share a day in the life of their homeschooling house, or any other useful tips, feel free to contact me about doing a guest post. I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say.