Sometimes I have to laugh at the questions and comments I hear when I share that we homeschool. Honestly, homeschool mamas are always answering questions rarely asked of traditional school moms. It can be comical, but when I get past my snark, I know they are not to be rude (normally) but because they are curious. These are a list of questions and comments heard just this month:
“Why do you homeschool?” It just fits our life. After we looked through all of the options, it is what resonated. I get hung up on the word “calling”. I don’t feel “called” to homeschool. Surely someone does but honestly, it just feels like what we chose to do.
“How do you do it?” It’s messy and imperfect.
“I could never homeschool.” Yes you could if you were supposed to and felt like it was best for your family.
“I just don’t have the patience.” Neither did I (do I?). My tolerance grew slowly and I have miles to go.
“My kid would never obey me.” Well, there’s plenty of time to work on that at home if you are supposed to be homeschooling. It’s all the typical obedience/parenting issues on steroids at times. It totally exposes their hearts (and mine). Seriously the first year was more about me getting in line than my kids.
“You must be super-mom”. Um no. I yell at my kids too and lose track of things, but sticking to my own schedule and guidelines feels much easier to me than balancing all assignments and projects for five kids at different schools with lots of teachers.
“Why did you leave public school?” We didn’t leave because of something we didn’t like. We chose to pursue something we already loved. Many of our best friends have kids in public school. It’s not out of fear or over-sheltering. There are fabulous families and teachers at our public school. I firmly believe no education system is perfect- not homeschooling, private schooling, Christian schooling or public schooling. This is just where we land for our family.
“How do you teach everybody?” Well, that looks different each year.
This is my 8th year homeschooling in some form or fashion, but it’s the first time having 5 kids rocking Kulp Academy. And this year is shaping up well but definitely requiring more than I’ve had to pour out before. I’ve never been a full-time working mom or even really a part time working mom, but I’ve learned to treat school hours like a job. It’s been best for everybody. But definitely an adjustment.
The hourly breakdown….
- 5 something wake up for coffee and Jesus
- 7 kids start waking, breakfast, and morning routine/chores
- 8:15/30 independent work starts for kids and I start with the youngest, moving up as I go, helping as needed. At best it feels like intentional one on one time. At worst, it can feel like an extended afterschool scattered, tortured homework session. Usually it falls somewhere in between.
- 10:30 Group Work
- 12:30 lunch
- 1:30 finish up whatever is left undone
- 2 quitting time. I’m done by this point, mentally and physically. We are almost always finished by this time but occasionally procrastinators have something left unfinished and will need to work on it later that evening.
The little kids are finished after we finish group work. They play a good part of the afternoon and that has been fantastic! It’s a full day but no homework!!!
“Don’t you get tired of your kids?” Yes, of course, I do sometimes, but I also love having them around.
“Don’t they fight all the time?” Not exactly. There’s definitely more time to fight but more time to learn to get along and play happily.
“But how do they have friends?” We see our friends most every day. We have great neighbors and several homeschooling families we roll with as well. I’m super grateful for that. Plus church and practices and extra-curricular activities. So far we’re good with it.
“Are you going to homeschool forever?” I don’t know. We always say we will not sacrifice our family on this altar of homeschooling, but for now, it works. Celia heads to high school next year and wants to stay home so we are working to figure that out. I love the flexibility homeschooling affords and absolutely love the feel for our family. We’ve been blessed with a fabulous homeschooling community so I’m hoping we keep it up for a long time.