Sunday, August 23, 2009

They Don't Look Like Home-schoolers...

Come on, admit it. You've either heard this statement before or maybe even said it. I've heard it plenty and before we started down this home school road, I know I said it, too.

So, on the eve of back to school Monday, even for those of us doing it in pj's, I thought I'd tackle this one. The other day, our newspaper had a story on the front page about a group of home-schoolers who were ice-skating and the first sentence was...."they don't look like home-schoolers...they look like regular kids." I'm usually pretty good at ignoring comments such as these because I've been known to say some stupid things myself. I still can't believe an editor let this pass but then, you should see this newspaper.

I totally get those who are not into home-schooling their children. To be cliche...where would we be if we were all the same??? My girls went to public school through 4th and 6th grade and while I would have loved to home-school sooner, I wouldn't trade those years for anything. But back then, we lived in a nearly perfect neighborhood that was a part of a community straight out of The Truman Show, with the local school a short walk down the sidewalk...and what a school it was!

Things change and we are no longer fortunate enough to have wonderful public schools. The private schools are pricey, to say the least, with the cost of tuition between $15,000-$20,000/year before the added cost of uniforms, fees and school "fundraisers". Sorry, but I hope to put my girls through college someday and will need money to do so.

I don't mean to make home-schooling sound like the path of last resort because it is far from that. In fact, there are some who say we are not technically home schooling because my girls do most of their work through a virtual online school with regular teachers. And if you think they are not challenged, think again. How many students are prepared for regular calls every week or 2 from their teacher, discussing their class, any issues or questions and then getting a pop quiz over the phone. I know that would have TOTALLY freaked me out when I was a kid. But since they attend school at home, then yes, we home-school...happily for all.

But this is not about why we home school or how supportive (or not) the local home school groups are of us. That would take another FIVE posts, at least. This is about the comment we get on so many occasions about my girls not "looking" like home-schoolers. Sometimes I laugh it off...most of the time I laugh it off. But there are times I want to say " And you don't look like an idiot either but I didn't say that so..." Seriously!

My girls don't particularly like this comment. They wonder why people expect them to look weird. Not weird, I say... They simply expect you to be in long dresses or skirts, with hair to your ankles, no make-up, no jewelry, no style...and walking in a family with 12 kids. I'm not saying this is weird but it is the stereotype...unfortunately. There are so many people who choose to educate at home through one method or another or for one reason or another. That's okay...and how they look is not the issue. I wish people would be supportive of choices that are different than theirs, that's all.

Jordie in her "normal" clothes from Aeropostal, getting school supplies ready for tomorrow, in her messy bedroom. hahaha

And the whole "socialization" issue...please! I can only speak for my girls but this is the LAST concern I have for them. They are active members of our community and are well-socialized. They also willing and able to carry on conversations with kids their own age as well as adults of any age. Did I mention that they look pretty "normal". I hesitate to say that because normal today is sometimes, well...scary! But normal they are.

Taylor in her "normal" clothes from Old Navy, making dinner for her family. Home EC is really great at home! :0)

And while my girls do have their moments...many of them...overall, we agree that life is good. I'm one of the lucky ones girls actually like their mom. I know that could change tomorrow. Heck, it could change in 10 minutes! But for now...we get along. I honestly don't know what next year holds. We want the best for our girls and if it is best for them to attend a regular school next year, they will. But for now, this is best for us. That's okay, right? It should be...

School starts tomorrow. My home-schoolers will look much different than their friends for one main reason...they'll be in their pajamas. But they'll be laughing and learning...until they go off to their after school activities like "normal" kids:-)

And one of my favorite quotes on education...
“You can be well educated in the world’s eyes and still be a sorry person. You can graduate with degrees and have no character. Character defines who you are.” ~Bob Tebow

And that, folks, is all she wrote! (I like that quote, too:-)


  1. I love it!!! They are so cute! Since this is our first year homeschooling I've just began to receive the whole "socialization" question - it makes me defensive - yucko - I have to come up with a good answer for this. My kids are at church 3 times a week, plus take swim class, gymnastics and my son is in flag football 2 times a week with our local school. Their social calendar exhausts me!!!

    I have to ask since you mentioned you have a teacher with your homeschooling - are you using the k12 curriculum? We are enrolled with the Ohio Virtual Academy using K12 and we have a teacher assigned to us too - it's public school at home - love it! Just wondering!

    Have an EXCELLENT first day of school!

  2. Amen my friend! I too get so tired of all of the many stereotypes people feel the need to perpetuate!

    Although I would agree, they don't look like 'home schoolers'...they look like beautiful, bright and well educated girls who happen to have a wonderful mother who is doing what is best for them now!

    God bless you and I hope you and the girls have a wonderful school your pajamas!

  3. i say do whatever works for you and yours - esp if you get to be in PJ's :D

    ignore the ignorant ;)

  4. I don't understand why anybody would ask that anyway???

    Do you pay for this virtual schooling? I heard about it on the radio, but I have never known anyone to do it.

  5. Way to go girl!!

    I love it that people are impowered to do what they feel is best for their own children, not just following the pack!

    Diversity in all areas including education, should be actively encouraged and supported.

    One of my friends homeschools and does a totally terrific job. Her kids are doing great.


  6. It's so true! Like, at the very beginning of mean girls! It always makes me laugh! Your girls are gorgeous! I plan to homeschool my daughter, and our next baby when the time comes, infact, I cant wait! It's either that or the christian school down the road. But like you, I would rather save that money for college! :)

  7. Wow, Suzanne! You inspire me to home-school my son (and future children)!

  8. Great post. I would home school if I could, but I can't because I have to work. My son probably wouldn't listen to me anyway. But I think both home school and public school has it's perks. Either way one choose is their preference and who is anyone to judge. Certainly not me.

  9. I loved to read this post - I have struggled with the idea of homeschooling . . . I just don't think I am strict enough to do it! I have so many friends who homeschool and you are SO RIGHT - the kids are beyond normal!!

  10. Very well said! My kids keep asking me to home-school. Our neighbour home-schools, and their days are tough...sometimes school goes into the evenings.

    Have a great start to the school year!!


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