1. What was your motivation for homeschooling? Was it based on religious reasons? Was is it based on curriculum - did you want more freedom in choosing what your children were being taught? Was it based on socializing - wanting to have more control in the people with whom your children came into contact with? Was it based on logistics - the nearest school being 20 miles away? What made you finally decide to go this route?
Partly that I had a bad time of it in school and didn't want that for my kids. Partly that school is expensive for a low income family and we were hovering above the poverty line when the time came to decide whether to sen my daughter or not. Partly that I didn't want school interupting our family life. Partly that I'm lazy. I mean, I would have had to walk my then 5 year old a good 500 feet to the bus stop! In the morning! And in the rain sometimes! Outrageous!
Nothing to do with socialization though. My children hang around with the kids that go to the small (and excellent) local school anyway and they're all good kids.
2. Don't hate me for asking this. How to you handle socialization? What steps do you take to make sure your children are around other children and adults? Are you active in a home school group? Do you spend a lot of time at church activities? Maybe you utilize the local Y for activities and they meet friends there?
Don't get involved with local homeschooling groups. My kids do meet kids through things like soccer and Girl Guides but mostly I just open the door, shove the kids out and they get swept up by the neighbourhood herd. Public school parents, contrary to popular belief, don't lock their kids in closets so when they go outside they simply get together with my kids and play. It's what kids do.
3. Do you use the public school system for any part of your child's routine? Some children here come to the school for band or chorus, or maybe for science class. Do you send your child to the public school to take advantage of any of their programs?
4. Do your children begin and end school at the same time each day?
Do they have a strict schedule, at least as far as waking up and reporting to the school area of your home?
If not, when/how will you transition your children into following a more rigid schedule - awaking at the same time each day so that they can follow a routine outside of the home like for college and work?
I imagine they'll just do it. That's how I transitioned from school hours to night shift hours to colicy baby hours. I just did it. People adapt quite quickly and generally don't need 13 years of conditioning to deal with schedule changes.
5. How many spelling bees has your child won? Oh, I'm kidding. We all know most of the recent national spelling bee winners have been home schooled children. I just wanted to throw a little funny in there?
Sore spot. My daughter hasn't got a hope in hell of being a Spelling Bee champion in the near future. Or even a competitor. Or even an audience member. Remember vowels? She doesn't!
6. Do you have a sense of humor? It's probably a little late for me to ask that but...
I have a fantastic sense of humour.
7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?
I generally buy the math curriculum. I bought my grammar curriculum and the ancient Greek stuff. I bought a lot of stuff I never used. I bought a lot of it new but a lot from used curriculum email lists. Some of it is free like the progymnasmata (yes, yes. there's a blog post coming up about that) page I'm working into my daughter's writing program and some of it is informal like science and history which are increasingly being handled with non-fiction read alouds and kitchen chemistry experiments. I'm am also naughty and sometimes violate copyright by downloading stuff.
8. Do you have any worries at all about teaching your teenagers the higher level math and sciences? I, for one, could not teach chemistry to my children but I could probably teach them calculus. Is this a concern for you?
Nope. I'll either learn it, find a mentor or most probably buy a self-directed curriculum that leaves me and my ignorance out of the picture.
9. What bothers you the most about the reputation home schoolers have? What things do you hate to hear people say about you for your choice? I really hope you don't say that it's my previous post.
Your previous post.
That we're isolated religious nutjobs. Really, that's all. I chalk it up to selection bias. People notice the isolated religious nutjobs and so remember them. The nice family, the one with the Thomas the Tank Engine obsessed boy, the girl absorbed with her nintendo DS, the mom fumbling for her car keys and the dad making fart jokes? They get assigned 'normal' and nobody realizes they just passed a homeschooling family. We don't make it into the mental record.
10. Be honest, do you, at least in your mind sometimes, judge those of us who choose public school? Do you ever think we are making a bad choice for our children? Are you vocal about that disapproval?
Yes and no. Sometimes I get bitchy and rant but I'm generally not vocal about it. Besides, once the fever has passed I look at the school families around me and see it's been a fine choice for them. The trap is always taking something that works for you and generalizing it to the whole population and then judging people on that. Not good.
Of course I do think there are HUGE problems with the system that is public schooling and school in general but I read teacher and school parent blogs and I know that isn't simply a homeschooler thing.
11. Is "home school" one word or two? I've seen it both ways. With spellcheck, it shows it as ONE word when used as a verb, but two words when used otherwise. Please enlighten me.
I was hoping you'd know. I prefer one word myself and if the Oxford Dictionary declared it two words tommorrow I'd still write it as one.
HT to Doc.