Being a homeschool mom takes a certain amount of diplomacy.
Although we unquestionably have it easier now in the 21st century than the homeschool pioneers of a few decades ago, there are times we still get bombarded with the same sorts of questions over. and. over. again.
Whether we’re at the store, the dentist, a party, or with extended family, it’s inevitable that there will be curious people who want to know more about what we do, and who have never really looked beyond the traditional school model.
I get it. Truly, I do.
Nevertheless, it can be tiresome to hear the same myth-based queries over and over again. Being as passionate about homeschool advocacy as I am, I always attempt to answer in as polite and thorough a manner as possible because, you never know, I just *might* influence someone else to homeschool, but I’d be fibbing if I said there were never times I was tempted to answer with a bit of snark.
Hey, I’m only human.
So…today I decided to have a bit of fun with this post and write a list of:
10 Homeschooling Questions I Hear All the Time and How I *Wish* I Could Answer Them
1. How will your kids learn to get along in the real world?
The last time I checked, they are in the real world, unless you don’t count the bank, the park, the store, our neighborhood, the restaurant, or the doctor’s office as the real world.
One thing I don’t consider to be an accurate model of the real world is children being confined to a building every single day that attempts to simulate the real world through power points, textbooks, and age-segregated classrooms.
Wait – that sounds a lot like a school, doesn’t it?
2. How will your kids learn to deal with people they don’t agree with?
You think our kids always agree with us? Bwahahaha!
You think they always agree with their siblings, or neighbor children, or kids at church, or our relatives? How sweet!
But no. Just no.
3. How do you know your kids are smart enough?
Smart enough for what? To be independent thinkers, or to have the talent of parroting back information? There’s a huge difference between school smart and homeschool smart.
4. What about socialization?
Let’s think about this. School students are repeatedly told by their teachers that they’re not there to socialize. Right? Right??
And to be honest, I don’t really consider a bunch of students being forced to be together every single day an adequate model of what it means to be socialized.
Lastly, socialization is for dogs, not children, and the last time I checked, my kids aren’t dogs. So there’s always that.
5. How will your kids do well on standardized tests if you don’t do test prep with them?
Considering that standardized tests don’t accomplish anything other than stressing out students, parents, and teachers alike, honestly, I don’t care how they do.
6. You don’t use textbooks?! But is the library enough?
Sigh. It saddens me to even have to answer this question.
First of all, while textbooks cover very shallow portions of very broad subjects, libraries offer children and adults alike the opportunity to delve even more deeply in a vast array of topics- many not even offered in school.
Secondly, I’d wager that a good many textbook publishers and authors get a large percentage of their information from books like those you’d find at the local library. They just water it down and make it as boring as possible. When you have to fit a ton of information into an allotted space, there’s just no room to make it, you know, interesting.
7. Aren’t you afraid your kids will miss out?
On what? Lice? Bullying? Illnesses? God-awful early mornings? Walking to and from school in freezing rain and snow? Hours and hours of homework each day? Peer pressure?
Just so they have a chance to go to prom? Thanks, but I’ll pass.
8. If you don’t teach your teens to wake up early, what will they do when they get a job?
Well, I think it must be said that not all jobs start early in the morning. Plus, there’s this nifty little invention that is built right into their phones called an alarm clock.
Problem solved. 🙂
9. Can your kids read?
No. I’ve found that keeping them illiterate makes them easier to control. Smh.
10. How will your kids learn to stand in a line?
Oddly enough, even though my kids are homeschooled, they do occasionally leave the house, and they’re often faced with the very educational opportunity of standing in line at stores, carnivals, buffets, face painting stands, and even at Sunday School.
As hard of a lesson as it is to teach, I think we’ve got “Standing in a Line” covered.
While I would never dream of answering people with these impish comebacks, I have to admit that it was a bit therapeutic for me. After all, we homeschool moms have to let off steam sometimes, too.
Now it’s your turn. What are some questions you’ve been asked, and how did you secretly *want* to answer them? Leave a comment. I promise I won’t tell. 🙂