Every once in a while someone finds this site through an interesting search term.
Usually I don’t give them much thought, until I happened on this one. Warning: This post written with lots of
First, let me say that I am happy you are concerned about your friend’s choice of education for her children.
It appears that you are a good friend to her, however I see two possible scenarios here:
1. Your friend is quite intelligent, but you feel that her possible choice to homeschool her kids is stupid and rather than tell her so, you are searching for others who may help you justify your standing.
2. Your friend is really not the brightest candle in the box, and you fear for her children because of her extreme lack of common sense and knowledge on any subject.
Since your friend has expressed the desire to homeschool, I am going to assume that she is probably more typical of homeschoolers that I know.
She is most likely well read, enjoys being with her kids, and she has probably spent an inordinate amount of time on the internet researching her options.
This leads me to believe that she is friend #1, and you really do believe her idea of homeschooling her kids is stupid.
All right. Let’s talk about that. It’s okay, just put your feet up and lean back on the couch now. Your judgments will stay put, so you may as well just go with this for a while.
Or click away. It’s your choice.
Let’s talk about your friend. Does she just go along with the crowd much of the time? Maybe it’s time that she didn’t.
Does your friend truly enjoy being with her kids, and seeing them light up when they learn something new? Oh that every child would have even one teacher who cared so much about her. Homeschooled kids are unique in that their teachers have a lifelong, vested interest in them. (Tweet that)
Making the choice for home education is never done lightly, and is (almost) never done by what you would call “stupid” people.
1. Homeschooling takes time. Hours and hours of the months, weeks, nights and days. It sucks up your personal time, your work out time, and your hobby time.
2. Homeschooling takes patience. Most of us don’t have much when we first begin. Patience is like a muscle. It get sore sometimes, especially when we first begin using it. With training, it gets stronger, bigger, and easier to use.
3. Homeschooling takes creativity. We don’t have the school district budgets (most of us– some, who are part of school-based programs DO– but most of us don’t) so we have to make our dollars work for us in the best ways we can. This may mean buying used curriculum, seeking out free resources online (of which there are many now!), or it may mean leaning heavily on the library and creating our own lesson plans. No matter what, this creativity takes… time. Yes, back to #1 again.
4. Homeschooling requires presence. Ours. It means being face to face with my kids, every single day. Ongoing interaction, continuing conversations, projects, lessons, and reading aloud. Our presence is what facilitates the learning. Learning will happen no matter what, because kids can’t help but learn, but we facilitate it into bites and pieces that make up an education.
5. Homeschooling parents must be savvy. We need to know and understand our rights and responsibilities under our state’s educational codes. We must know when to stand our ground and when to fight for our rights, if need be.
6. Homeschooling parents must be willing to outsource certain subjects if need be. We aren’t Lone Rangers, determined to do this thing all by ourselves! I don’t know a foreign language, therefore I don’t feel comfortable teaching one; I will outsource this to a tutor or co-op class when the time comes. Same thing with Chemistry and any math beyond Algebra.
As for your “stupid friend”…
I have a lot more respect for her right now than I do for you. At least my friends talked to me about it when they wanted to know more about why I was considering homeschooling.