Every time I tell someone that I homeschool, it's like and have a third eye growing out of my head. Sometimes I get the response of "That's awesome." But most of the time I get "That's so hard." I even got, "My girlfriend tried that and she gave up after 6 months.”
Homeschooling has become more fashionable now-a-days, especially with the government mandated curriculum. But over all, it's pretty rare to meet a homeschooling family compared to the total population.
I usually get one of these three questions while talking about my experience.
“How long do you plan on doing it?”
“Does your child get any social interaction?” or my personal favorite:
“What do you do all day?”
HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN ON DOING IT?
I think this question is rather funny because do people usually stop teaching their kid when they reach a certain age? I have actually seen the opposite. Most people want to take their kids out of school for Middle School and High School, because of bullying and stressful schedules.
I usually respond to this question by saying, “I would like to go all the way up to high school.”
But as my husband suggested, I should say something ambiguous like: “The year of the dragon.” That will really throw people. Haha. Then if they ask a follow up question. Then I can answer, “Yeah, the year of the dragon, according to the ancient peoples, is the ideal age that children no longer need their parent’s guidance and direction.”
DOES YOUR CHILD GET ANY SOCIAL INTERACTION?
It makes me sound like I have my children in a bomb shelter, or a compound. Of course we have social interaction. Everywhere we go, we see people at the store, at church, at family’s houses.
We try to do a field trip everyday- whether it be to the library, the park, the children's museum or just the grocery store.
I think it’s important to get my kids to interact with all types of people- not just peers. We practice speaking respectfully to adults out in public. (sometimes we don’t have success, sometimes we do…) We practice meeting new friends at the park and playing kindly. We practice being patient while we are doing “boring” things like going to the post office or the bank.
I think it’s important to talk through our day and what we are doing. I am constantly talking about making choices. I talk through what we are doing to do that day and I say, “If we behave well, we will earn TV time” or some other reward. Then I say, “If we don’t behave well, we will have to clean our room,” or some other consequence.
Practicing good social skills anywhere is important no matter where you go.
WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?
I always laugh when I get this question. I also laugh when people say, “My kid had two snow days in a row, I was about to go insane.” Because being with my kids all the time is my life. I NEVER get a break from them, except for very rare occasions.
We honestly make the whole day a learning experience. From cleaning up the breakfast dishes, playing nicely, reading books in the car or audiobooks, taking daily field trips, having rest time, watching educational TV, playing in the backyard, cooking with dad when he gets home, dancing to music, making a fort in the living room, building with blocks or doing crafts… there is so many things to do when you are creative with your time and home.
I believe that my child learns the most through play. We do a lot of building games, playdough, coloring, crafts, board games and other hands-on activities. I do take the time to do worksheets and do our “lessons,” but the time that we spend outdoors and creating new things is the most “learning” that they get. We also read over 10 books a day (which is over 30 mins of reading). This is great quality time for me and the kids. We check out over 60 books a week from the library and we read every single book (sometimes, twice.)
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