Sunday, July 27, 2008

Making the Rounds...

This is making many of the blogs that I read. I'm Just Sayin' asked some questions of homeschoolers, and I decided to answer, too.

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?

We finished our public school career at the end of the second grade. We homeschool Thomas to meet his emotional and educational needs.

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?

Starting at the bottom:
No local YMCA, otherwise we would be there.
We are Christians, but we do not go to church. (And I usually do not blog about religion as I feel it is a private thing.)
We are members of a homeschool group -- rather, were. I will not be renewing this year. The homeschool group only does their weekly co-op, and that's just not for us. They're very restrictive, IMHO, that the mother must stay and teach or help, and there's no say in the classes. Nope, too much like public school.
Socialization around adults: Thomas goes with us everywhere, sees us with friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. He was the only child member of our local train club, which sadly recently closed down. He was in the thick of things when my Dad had his heart attack, at the hospital daily for two weeks straight, then again at another hospital and VA until my dad passed away. He was not afraid to ask doctors or nurses questions, even though he's shy.
Socialization with children: Ceramics class, used to be in Cub Scouts until he aged out, and he hangs out at a local after-school hangout that is run by all the churches in our town. He plays with all the neighborhood kids, which vary widely in age. He has friends from public school that he still sees on occasion. We are friends with one homeschool family that we get together with every other month or so. Thomas is going to a week-long summer camp next week. Gulp, that's coming up fast!
I'd say the only difference between Thomas and a public-school kiddo is that he isn't around kids during school hours. Instead, he gets to be around two puppies and two cats and his mom. Dad visits on the lunch hour.
I do worry about socialization. There, I think I'm the only homeschooler that has ever admitted that. HOWEVER, I would worry if he were back in public school. Every parent wants their child to have a good friend, or a couple of good friends. Right now Thomas has "friends" but his GOOD friend moved away.

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?

No, and no thank you. In our state, we are allowed -- I think it's $60 for curriculum. I have never, and will never, apply for the money.

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?

No strict schedule. We usually wake up when we wake up. I do like school started by
9, and our day IS school not other stuff. We are done when we've finished that day's work.

I am not worried about following a routine for college and work at all. You do what you have to do -- go to bed, set an alarm -- piece of cake. We do that from time to time, say on vacation or when visiting an ill loved one. It works.

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?

My child can't spell. There, I said it. He knows it, too. He isn't bad, he always hits his grade level on standardized tests, but he's no spelling bee competitor. Now if they had a science bee, he'd be up there.

6. Do you have a sense of humor? It's probably a little late for me to ask that but...

Yes, I have a sense of humor. It doesn't show through in my writing, but I have a wicked sense of humor.

7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?

Everywhere. Reading blogs, keeping current on the Rainbow Resource catalog, reading homeschool boards, talking with fellow homeschoolers. I create my own on occasion.

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?

Chemistry? Oh, yeah, I worry about that. But Thomas is lucky, he has a dad who is really good in science. However, no, I do not worry about teaching upper level courses. If I can't teach something, and Bob can't, we'll get a tutor or do an online class or something.

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.

That we're all the same: Denim-jumper wearing fundamentalist Christians. We're as diverse as public school families. Many of us are very open minded about life and people.

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?

No, I do not judge those who choose public school. Ever. I did it! What I do judge is PUBLIC SCHOOL itself, and I throw comments about teachers around, which I shouldn't because I know there are some great teachers out there. There are some awful teachers, too -- been there, done that. There are many good things about public schools, but there are a lot of problems, too.

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 always write it as one word.

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