Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homeschooling: My side of the story.

Everybody has something they are afraid of. Kurt is afraid of debt. Chantel is afraid of feet (which is NOT my fault). I am afraid of spiders, guest posting, and people breaking into my apartment and peeing in my trash can.

My mother was afraid of homeschooling.

I was in third grade when we moved into a terrible school system. After exhausting every available option, mom realized that homeschooling was the only thing that made sense for our family.

And so she started teaching all four of us at home.

And then a few years later, when she had another baby? He joined in as well.

That's right. 5 kids, all home, all the time.

And It.Was.Awesome.

Back in the 90's, homeschooling was not exactly popular. Especially not with my grandmother.

Everybody worried constantly about, well, the same things that they worry about today:

"How will your children socialize?"

"How are you qualified to teach?"

"What about standardized testing?"

"Will they ever get into college?"

"Will they ever shower??" <---that one was mostly aimed at me.

"Will they end up living in a cave, afraid of human contact, only going out at night to drink the blood of stray bats?"

(....let's not talk about this one)

This was back before the internet. Before The Pioneer Woman. Before educational tools and curriculum were available at the click of your mouse.

Sometimes it was a struggle to get us to focus. Sometimes she would cry in frustration, and give up for the day. Or the week. Or even the month.

And yet, we turned out just fine.

More than fine. I'd say we turned out awesome.

When we weren't learning, we were helping each other learn. And when we weren't fighting, we were becoming best friends.

We are still best friends.

I'd say I turned out pretty normal (stop laughing).

Most people would never guess that I didn't spend my pre-adolescence dressing like a felony and picking on my classmates (or maybe hiding in the bathroom, praying the mean girls didn't find me).

I think it helps that I started showering regularly.

Most of us went to college. Most of us are married. All of us have good jobs. None of us have kids yet, but since we are all younger than 26, I'd say that's pretty normal.

Despite my Grandmother's dire predictions, all of us are happy.


I guess the moral of this story is, not all homeschooled kids are weird.

Or maybe, if it's right for your family, go for it.


This post was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Loralee, who recently decided to homeschool her son.



Clarissa Emily said...

I agree! Although I don't homeschool ( oldest is only 6), I think if it's right you should do it. I come from a family of 7, all of us married with kids, and more than half of us homeschool. My oldest sister has 8 and homeschooled all of them, and they're pretty cool kids! :)

Melissa said...

You guys are normal and the rest of your family are bat shit crazy (Referencing the visual aid from the other day)...coincidence, I think not. Jus' sayin'.

Shell said...

God bless your mom. I don't think I could homeschool my bunch.

Not against homeschooling in general, just specifically not for it in my own home.

Because I think I'd lose my mind.

Unknown said...

My Mom homeschooled my two youngest sisters. Everyone gave her a hard time too. I was just kind of jealous that I didn't get to stay home and be schooled too. But I was already in college and married by the time they came around.

Anonymous said...

I realize it's slightly off topic but why are you afraid of guest blogging? Are you afraid to do it or to have somebody else do it on your blog?

Out of everything you discussed, this stood out the most. That and how lovely you look in your wedding gown ;)

Sara Strand said...

If you happen to like being with your kids 24/7 go for it. I? Would kill them. I love my kids to bits and love trying to rap to 50 cent with them and sing horrible Ke&ha songs with them but seriously? Either I would accidentally kill them, take out the garbage and never come back or try stabbing myself with safety scissors. The public schools may be shit but by god- it's free daycare and mommy needs a break.

Even if that break includes reading dirty books and eating chocolate in bed.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Like Sara, probably the family would not survive the experience, but if the situation warranted it, I'd suck it up and deal. Fortunately, despite certain issues, our public school is decent & with parental involvement it can be pretty damn good. So I'm getting over my fear of speaking to people in person and trying to get involved.

Sandra said...

Your mother is a rockstar. I have four kids and I don't care if they are hiding out in the bathroom to avoid the mean girls, they are not, I repeat NOT coming home before the bell rings! And an hour bus ride following their hours in school would be preferable, thank you very much.
Did I mention your mother is a rockstar? She is!

Keli said...

aww. love your little drawings. and I commend your mom. that must have been tough!

AiringMyLaundry said...

Great post! I could never homeschool but I think it's great when people can.

And I'm afraid of spiders too. And feet.

Alexandra said...

I hope Loralee sees this.

And now I"m getting goosebumps b/c maybe we were meant to meet.

Very weird.

I homeschool, you know.
Or maybe you didn't know...

Corinne said...

haha this was so cute! One of my best friends growing up was home-schooled but I agree - I think it would be a TON easier homeschooling your child now than it was 10-15 years ago!

your wedding pictures are beyond adorable, btw.

Kristi Flanagan said...

Awesome post - yes I am biased because I'm a homeschool mamma! It is so nice to read about it from your perspective! You are crazy (weird) but definitely a good kind of crazy. My little family is very similar.....we enjoy each other! I totally understand your mom's tears!!! LOL!

Sending hugs your way.

Punkin Seed Productions

Kristina P. said...

Popping over from The Empress! I NEVER read guest posts, but I love your style, and I agreed with everything you said.

And more power to anyone who has the patience to homeschool!

Macey said...

Visiting from the Empress's ARE ADORABLE!!!
Why does it look like you're pooping in a trick or treat bag in the header? Or is it just me...? That could be. lol :)

viewfromdownhere said...

God your mom must have the patience of a saint...not to say you guys were difficult, but just to homeschool 5 kiddos. Amazing. Me, there is a reason I didn't go into teaching unlike my's because I don't have the patience for it. Nope, no way. I would be institutionalized within a couple of months of doing it for sure...

Heather said...

I have debated homeschooling but the thought of it scares me. I know I have my own issues that could make it difficult to be successful.

One of the main things that keeps me from trying is how my family will react. UGH!

Stopping by from SITS

Anonymous said...

Interesting. My wife and I have been considering home schooling as well, but have been hesitant mostly because we don't want to raise bat kids. :-P Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

hi Helena, I found you today through Alexandra. I love your writing! I don't homeschool technically, but I do alot of enrichment things with my son at home outside of school. I appreciate the perspectives on homeschooling which I'd never known much about. My 72 year old second grade teacher, with whom I still stay in touch, is one of the most amazing, brilliant, compassionate and well traveled/well read people I know. She was homeschooled in China until she went to the US to get her masters in education at Columbia. No, homeschooled kids are not weird!

Kyle and Aly said...

I must say that hubby and I have been seriously thinking about homeschooling. So thank you TONS for the post. Oh, and thanks for actually reading and looking at my blog. No one really does anymore. :P I must be boring or something.

Erica said...

My mom totally home schooled me and my four brothers for 6 years!! Bless mothers for their dedication to their progeny.

Anonymous said...

lol No, we aren't all weird. I was homeschooled from 1st grade until I graduated high school.
I attended college for a few years until my husbands job had us moving every 5 seconds and almost no one can guess I was homeschooled.

I love your blog! New Follower stopping by from SITS

Sarah @HarriganHowdy said...

Oh, yes, I'm a product of the 90's homeschool movement as well. :) And, most of the time when people find out that I was homeschooled, they are shocked. And I am often confused by their response- - what?! did you think I'd have two heads? that I wouldn't be able to converse normally? that I would wear a jumper, and look like a dork? lol!

And the socialization question- ugh! I don't know about you, but my standard response is something to the effect that Homeschoolers have the OPPOSITE problem most of the time with getting their work done because of all the OPPORTUNITIES to socialize. :)

And, I too feel that my siblings and I grew up to be very well-rounded, awesome people who happen to love each other TONS! And, I want that for my kiddos. So, yay! That means I'm totally taking the plunge (next year-- woooo) to Homeschool my own kiddos. :)


Chantel said...

Why am I eating a bat?!?

I always laugh SO HARD when you do stick drawings of our family! Love the pic of dad too. Love it!

Being homeschooled was awesome! We all turned out fantastic (if I do say so myself)

I haven't really thought about it much lately, but yeah, that would have been hard. Mom sure is/was awesome.

Amber said...

I agree with chantel, when you draw us as children I laugh so hard! You do a really good job with it: )

Ps. Ordering me to stop growing, only made me grow more...

beka said...

Yeppers, I totally agree with you.
And yeah--me and my siblings are best of friends. That's what is so awesome. :) My mom and her two siblings (one on either side of her) are SOOO not friends. They tolerate each other. And I feel bad for them. All of them.
Siblings make some awesome co-learners!! This random older lady this summer told me that you learn more from your siblings than you actually do from your parents.
I won't tell my mother (she wasn't there)...
I agree with that lady.

KLZ said...

Over from Go Pop Go.

I've been debating researching this more and...things like this are good for me to read. Really.

Unknown said...

I'm here from Go Pop Go. And I'm so glad I clicked that link he put up on his post. I've been debating (with myself mostly) about bringing this subject up with my husband. I can only imagine how hard it would be to homeschool but AHHH! I react to this on a visceral level. I don't know why. My daughter is only 1 year old yet, so who knows? I might still change my mind. But until then, I will continue my research on it. Thanks for this post, you just made my day!

And just so you know, I'm going to be following you now, muahaha!

Guinevere said...

Dude, seriously. I was homeschooled too. It's neat to run into someone else who was homeschooled in the '90s (also due to a terrible school system).

It's nice, I always have a ready-made excuse when I do something socially awkward. "What do you want from me? I was HOMESCHOOLED!"

Nikki said...

I love your blog! I love that you were homeschooled! I'm homeschooling my kids :)

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