"Why aren't you in school?"
"You done with school for the day?"
"Did you get out early today?"
All of the questions whenever people see my kids during school hours. Which is understandable because kids are supposed to be in school, Monday-Friday 8:30-3:30ish. So, it is odd when you see a kid during those hours not in their natural habitat. I used to ask this question all the time. Before I was really introduced to the homeschool life.
A few years ago I had a surge of homeschool families in my chiropractic office. This was new territory for me. I was super unfamiliar with homeschool and what I did know wasn't super positive. People had pulled their kids out of school because they were bullied or there was maybe some type of incident at school. I had never known anyone to homeschool from the start or just up and pull their kids without having a legitimate reason.
I asked soooo many questions to the kids and the parents. I wanted to know it all....
Why did you choose to homeschool?
How long have you done it?
How many hours a day do you do school?
How do you teach multiple children?
Will you ever send them to public school?
Do you have a homeschool group you hang out with?
Were you homeschooled?
These people had to have felt like I was a detective and I was interrogating them for their personal choices. I was not judging them, I simply wanted to know what made them tick.
Here we are now, homeschooling. Guess what, I am now the one answering all of the questions. It seemed at first I needed to defend my reasoning at why we chose this path. I don't defend it anymore, because there is nothing to defend. We chose to homeschool our children. That should be enough of an explanation really. We like homeschooling. Are there challenges? Absolutely.
I am no longer just mom. So, not only do I have to remind everyone to do their share of the chores, get everyone ready for whatever function they may have, get them ready for their day, get all of the mom things done that we all do, but now I am also in the teacher role. This is sometimes great. I love snuggling when they are reading to me and I really like when they have a light bulb go off and start to understand something, it is rewarding. But sometimes it is difficult. It is hard because some days they don't want to sit and do school, some days I don't. Some days whatever they are learning is not as easy as other things and they struggle. I struggle. Sometimes I have a hard time communicating to them what they need to know in terms that make sense to them. I have found myself being way more serious than I normally am, which I am not fond of. I love being the fun, laughing mom but I have definitely had to become more strict because I have had to become more organized to make this work for my family.
I had one person comment that I must not think other people can teach my kids as well as I personally could. FAKE NEWS. My boys have had nothing but the best teachers. I honestly can't even think of a time I was worried or upset with any teacher they ever had, including preschool. This has nothing to do with my kids not getting a good education from other people.
Now some of the positives. I am so happy I get to spend as much time with my kids as I do. In fact, this summer they had a nanny and I missed them. They were out living their best lives, which I am super happy about, but they weren't around all the time and I sometimes felt as if I didn't even know what was going on because we all had separate schedules. Do we all sometimes need a break from each other? Absolutely, but I do feel fortunate that I am able to watch them learn and grow and just be with them. This is a temporary situation. And by that I mean, them living with us is temporary. We have them for 18 years and then they live their own lives, so I do think I am making the most of it.
I hear a lot of people say "I could never homeschool my kids." Well, I could not run a 5K right now but I know I could, if I truly needed to or wanted to. Homeschooling is different and it isn't for everyone. No one that homeschools is judging you for sending your kids to public school. So, it's nice when no one judges us for homeschooling. This is a personal decision. Somewhere along the way people stopped really caring about other peoples personal decisions and just figure that we should all do the same thing. We shouldn't. We should do what makes us happy and what works for us. Whatever that may be.
So, contrary to some peoples belief, homeschool kids aren't weird. Homeschool moms aren't weird either. It isn't weird to teach your kids, it isn't weird not to. The bottom line is we are all on this journey of life and we all choose our own path. That's cool. We choose. I hope if homeschool was an odd concept for you, I hope you choose to be more open minded.
I don't know how long we will do this. Maybe this is the last year, maybe it isn't. I know that this was a good decision for us at this point in our lives and I know that we will always make decisions that our best for our children.