I was looking through the library shelves for books about owls when the librarian from across the room asked me when the public schools were done for the year. I nicely reminded her that we homeschool and then told her the date since my husband is a public school teacher.
It was then that the onslaught of questions about our choice to home educate began. It started out mildly enough because she “used to be against homeschooling, but these days (she) would probably consider it.” However, it didn’t take long for her questions and tone to show her disapproval of our family’s choice.
We live in an area that is pretty homeschool friendly, so this interrogation totally caught me off guard. There is a large community of homeschoolers and it’s mostly accepted as a reasonable educational choice for families. We still get asked questions about homeschooling on occasion, but it’s usually with genuine curiosity about how it works for our family.
I was so thankful my back was to her so she couldn’t see my face if she happened to glance over as she was returning books to their proper places on the shelves. I’m sure a whole gamut of emotions were playing out. Shock. Amusement. Frustration.
After I checked out my books and was driving home, I started thinking of all the questions about homeschooling that have left me scratching my head over the past nine years. I promise to do my best to keep my snark level to a minimum, but no guarantees.
Copyright: michaeljung / 123RF Stock Photo
Head-Scratching Questions About Homeschooling
What about socialization?
You knew this question had to make the list, right? As large as the homeschooling movement has become in the U.S., I honestly don’t know why this is a relevant question anymore. The majority of early Americans were taught at home and our country grew and thrived. Perhaps it’s time to get back to those roots, eh?
How do your kids make friends?
Just like every other person in the world. They meet someone, introduce themselves, and get to know each other. Okay, sometimes they start to play before exchanging names, little heathens.
What about bullies?
What about them? I’m still not sure how to answer this one. In a home where parents have taken an active interest in their children, they will be preparing them for life. Bullies and all.
Aren’t you scared you’ll mess up your kids lives?
Is there any parent who doesn’t have that concern cross their minds at some point regardless of school choice?
Oh, the schools are bad where you live?
No. I love being able to give that answer because it’s usually followed by a very confused face. Those people usually think the only logical reason for homeschooling is because of a failing school system.
Our oldest son attended one of the best elementary schools in our area through first grade. We chose to homeschool for several different reasons, but none of them had to do with a “bad” school. In fact, the two teachers that our son did have were a good match for him. I realize that we were blessed in this because so many other families have not had this experience.
Why aren’t you in school?
Why is it your business? ‘Nuff said.
How will your children learn how to play games/stand in line/etc.?
If all we did was keep our children at home and never even let them interact with their siblings, then maybe I could understand this question more. We go to church, participate in a homeschool co-op, sing in the children’s choir, take karate classes, and more. We know how to do these things and do them well. Well, maybe we could work on standing in a straight line versus a zigzag.
Don’t you get tired of being with your kids?
Here’s the thing, they are my children. They are my responsibility. If I send my children to public school just to have a break from them, then perhaps I need to reevaluate things. Parenting is an incredibly hard job. Do I wish for quiet some days? You betcha, I’m an introvert who has five children. Does the clash of personalities sometimes overwhelm me? Yes, yes, yes. But these are my people. If I’m tired of being with them, then it means something needs to change. That something is usually me. Maybe I need to add some new parenting strategies to my toolbox. Maybe I just need a nap and a root beer.
Why don’t you go to real school?
For the love, please don’t ask my children this question. Homeschooling is not inferior or less than public school. We are not “playing” school at home. We take our children’s education seriously. We believe that all parents are responsible for their children’s education regardless of the location it is received. Does our homeschool look different than public school? Yes, and that’s one reason we love it.
And this last question, it truly does stump us sometimes…
What grade are you in?
If you want to make my children think hard, ask them this question. We have plenty of activities that requireus to identify our children with a specific grade level, but because it’s not an every day topic it can take them a minute to come up with an answer.
What questions about homeschooling have you been asked that has left you scratching your head? If you don’t homeschool, is there a question about homeschooling that you have? I’d be happy to answer it. If it’s asked nicely. 😉
This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s Questions I Am Asked About Homeschooling link-up.