Many of you may not know that we homeschool! We've all heard the "You Might Be a Redneck" jokes.. but what about the homeschoolers? I swear that I am going to transfer over to using the term "Home Educator" because it just sounds more classy. Is "schooler" even a word? I remember when I used to see "homeschoolers" out and about in public. It was before I had my own kids, and way before I had even considered teaching my own children. I must admit, that I had some pretty negative feelings about these strange and backwards group of people. And then I become one of them.
I swear that we really aren't that different from others. And I'm sure that is how many "Home Educators" feel. But is it just dumb luck that my kids seem to do some really strange things that make us seem even stranger because we also home school?
YOU MIGHT BE A HOMESCHOOLER IF:
- Your kids' clothes don't match. Or don't fit. Or are way out of style. This isn't how I would prefer to dress my kids. But if you see my 3-year-old wearing a pair of 18-month camo sweat pants underneath a size 6 Buzz Lightyear t-shirt and a pair of black leather cowboy boots with no socks on the wrong feet -- Please don't attribute it to us being home educated. It simply means that he was so proud of himself for getting his own clothes on, that I couldn't bear to break his heart by telling him the basic rules of fashion.
- Your kids' clothes are missing. If you happen to drive down the sleepy little country road going past our house and see my toddlers playing in the yard -- sans clothing-- please don't think it is because we homeschool. Naked boys are part of the game. I have found that it helps to potty train by letting them run free in the yard during the daytime. And the mailman has gotten used to catching a little one whizzing behind a tree or bush. Besides, the mailman is our cousin (please no backwoods cousin jokes...)
- Your kids are always with you. It's not that they don't have friends. I don't overregulate my children's interaction with other people or mandate that they spend all their free time with "mama." I'm just really that cool. I treat my kids like people, meet their needs, and give them fun ways to play. I'm raising adults, not children. Who wouldn't want to hang out with me?
- You are never home. I always wondered how homeschoolers ever learned anything. They were never home. And now that I homeschool I find that the term "home" is really a faux pas. We also are never home. Learning takes place at the library, the gym, the park, the car, while we are doing community service, the nursing home, visiting relatives, taking care of animals, doing chores, banking, shopping, etc. Maybe that is why my daughter knows more about interest-free checking than any other 12-year old. She will be better prepared for life in a way that public schools don't always teach (I say this with the knowledge that homeschooling is not always the better choice, and that there are some pretty rockin' schools out there.. so take what I say with a grain of salt!) So don't think because we aren't home, we aren't learnin!
So let's get over the stereotypes of homeschooling. Home Learning. Whatever.