Yes, you. I really want to know. I’m new at this. We officially start homeschooling tomorrow. I am wondering if I’ve prepared my child for the world’s inquiries about our new journey. I myself have begun to adjust to…
- The questions. You’re homeschooling? Do you have to get special books from the school for that?
- The reactions. “Wow, you’re brave. Are you going to homeschool [insert Firefly’s best friend’s name] too?” I guess since he’s over here playing all the time it’s assumed I’ll purchase curriculum, plan lessons and make workboxes for him, too.
- The assumptions. From people who don’t know we’ve decided to homeschool. “So, are you looking forward/glad/relieved that school is starting and having Firefly gone all day?” Even if I were sending my 6 year old to public school all day, I wouldn’t be “glad” to have him gone for 7 hours a day, 5 days per week. All of us moms need a break, I so get that, but I would miss him, be sad that he was growing up, proud that he had reached the milestone, excited about what he would learn, reflective of how our family life is changing. But not glad that he would be gone all day.
As to why we’ve decided to homeschool, I’ve taken to giving a very brief statement, when asked. That’s all most people really want to know anyway. Even other homeschoolers. That’s fine. My decision to homeschool in no way means that this is the superior method to educating children. A family’s decision to send their kids to public or private school, or their choice of a Charlotte Mason homeschooling method vs. Unschooling are all good choices, too. We all do what’s best for our own families. I’m hoping I’ve made the best decision for mine. But if I haven’t, we’ll try something different.
I must say, I’ve gotten a lot of supportive responses from many, many people in my life. More than I could’ve imagined. And I am so grateful for that. This is the biggest parenting decision I’ve ever made, aside from becoming a parent. I’ve mulled the idea over for years, and finally plunged in to this new and different way of life. I really hold dear those friends and family who did not look at me as if I’d said we were joining a commune or something. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not that we wouldn’t forge ahead any way with this decision, because it feels right. It’s just so nice to know that people are happy for us, encouraging us.
But, I wonder about Firefly. He’s six. He never contemplated homeschooling until The Husband and I sprung it on him about six weeks ago. And should I be preparing him for what people will soon begin to say?
“Did you find out who your first grade teacher is going to be? Are you excited about going back to school next month?”
I know he can answer, “My mom.” and “We’ve already started school.” But what about the unanticipated reactions he will surely encounter? The judgements, the strange questions, the inaccurate assumptions?
I haven’t even encountered any issues about the fact that we are secular homeschoolers but I’m sure I will. And so will he.
Do you prepare your young child for this? Or just roll with it as it comes? If you discuss this in advance with your kids, please share in the comments section. What have been the challenges your family has faced in this area? Perhaps we can get a discussion going about that and learn from each other.