I answer some of the more common questions I get about homeschooling. And offer some snarky answers too.
1. Is that even legal? Yes, homeschooling is legal in every state. But Big Brother keeps a closer eye on homeschoolers in states like ND, PA, NY, RI and MA. Each state has its own regulations about home education. Be sure to check your state’s laws so you know what may be required of you. A good place to research your state laws is at HSLDA’s website.
2. Why don’t you want them to have friends? Homeschoolers don’t need friends! Actually, I love that my kids have friends, and am very thankful they do!
3. Do you get to stay in your pajamas all day? Of course! Mom doesn’t like to get dressed much either. No way, not in this house! I like everyone dressed before they eat breakfast. PJ days DO happen, but usually only if one or more of us isn’t feeling well.
4. When are you going to quit controlling them? When they learn how to pick the locks. We don’t control our kids. We do have some control over their environment, but that’s no different than any parent in any household. The kids don’t run the house.
5. Where do you get your books? Books? We don’t need no stinking books! Don’t you have to read to use books? We get our books from a variety of sources such as the public library, Heritage History, Hearts at Home, and Amazon’s Kindle Store.
6. Does someone tell you what you have to teach? Everyone has their own opinion about what kids should be taught. It comes down to the 3R’s: Riflery, Resistance, and Recon. Oh wait, those are the wrong R’s. The State of WA has a list of 11 required subject areas we are supposed to cover over the course of a school year, but the details are up to us.
7. How can you teach your kids when you’re not a certified teacher? The majority of what teachers get from college (I’m told by several teacher friends) is how to manage a classroom, lay out lesson plans, and deal with all of the state testing requirements, or benchmarks. In my 13+ years as a home educator, I have discovered that nearly anything can be taught if you have a teacher’s manual, and for those things which require more expertise, I’m not above outsourcing to a co-op class, grandparent, or tutor.
8. Do you have to follow the public school calendar? The kids punch a timeclock each school day. Not in WA. We are required 180 days per calendar year but we determine when those days are. It’s a good thing too, because we take 3 one-month breaks to give us a good breather and come back refreshed.
9. How can you stand being with your kids ALL the time?! I can’t! Somebody save me! And that is sort of true. Sometimes they get on my nerves. Sometimes I need a break. People do that to us, especially those who know how to best push our buttons. They also enjoy their time with me and I with them. We’re a family. It’s just what we do. I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.
10. Who will teach them calculus?! Oh no!! They have to do math??!! (My uncle actually asked me this question, when my oldest 2 students were 5 & 7. Needless to say, I hadn’t thought that far ahead quite yet. My response: The community college. And you know what? My then 5-year old is turning 18 this week and has almost completed her AA degree at the community college! No worries there.
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