A friend wanted some typical questions and our answers to things we get asked about homeschooling, enjoy.
Are you insane? No, are you?
You must have sooooo much patience (well, that’s really not a question) Umm….yeah, not.
How do you school so many kids?
When did 4 become so many?? Well, I have this great quote that James always says ‘in structure there is freedom.’ By structuring our day a certain way we know that we can get any sit down type school done before noon and then have time for field trips, doing our own thing, etc. People need to realize that life is school, learning happens everywhere all the time and it doesn’t take 8 hours to teach core subjects or otherwise.
Aren’t you afraid you are missing something to teach them or that they will turn out stupid?
No. I have a curriculum and about 20 other things we use, not to mention rabbit trails we take on a daily basis. Today we might be learning about Vikings, density of gold, fractions and making yarn bowls (and that’s the stuff that’s not in the curriculum.) I have children who aspire to be pilots, dancers and marine biologists. Ask my 7 y/o anything about cetaceans – oh you don’t know what that word means? Maybe you weren’t taught it in school, but I bet if you can read and it was an interest for you, you could learn about it.
People think all learning is taught in a brick and mortar school, but really we are learning all the time. Did a school teach your child how to walk? No, you probably held his hand and guided him to a table where he could cruise along. Did a school teach your child language? No, he probably learned by imitating you, listening to you, opening his mouth and making noises. See? In a homeschool situation I can guide my children to the fount of learning, I can find out what interests them and give them more information about those things. I can help them when they get stuck on a problem, I can make the things they hate to learn fun, so they like it. I can spark an interest, light a fire in their souls and fill them with not just knowledge, but the love of gaining knowledge.
But, don’t you go crazy being around your kids all day?
OK, I admit, I used to think homeschooling was for everyone, but I have seen people who are driven crazy by their kids. So, in short, no I am not personally driven crazy by being home 24/7 with my kids. But, I need to point out that those who know me would say I’m never home anyway. I find it invigorating to get outside, drive to festivals, go to library shows, volunteer, see theater shows, hike, play, etc. We are usually on the go every afternoon with co-ops, girl scouts, dance, park day, volunteering, civil air patrol, field trips, library shows, etc. That’s just what floats our boat. I think that even those who say their kids drive them crazy could stay home with them if they weren’t at home the whole day. Take a break! Read a book out loud, take a hike, play at the park, dance with scarves, sing out loud, go hop on the bus, find out what floats your boat.
I also have ‘me’ time. I don’t need much, a few hours a month at our homeschool group teacher night outs, a few hours a month at Bible study, weekly park days and I’m good to go.
What is one piece of advice you have for those thinking of homeschooling?
Get in a good homeschool support group. I can not emphasize this enough. I have seen so many people burn out on home teaching because they did not have a group, a life line, a support system. This is hard stuff, teaching your kids at home. If you are not surrounded by people with a common goal who can help you attain it, you will most likely burn out. It’s tough, but having a support system with people who are: full of information, wise in years of home teaching, give good advice, and can help you walk the path of homeschooling; will be a help you can never put a price on.