Hello! I am a Homeschool Parent.
A simple phrase right? This method of introducing oneself is probably this most simplistic way that anyone can use to introduce themselves. This includes to strangers, friends, acquaintances or family members. Simple phrases such as:
“Hello, my name is ___and I am an engineer”
“Hello, my name is___and I am a firefighter”
are used daily to indicate or symbolize the line of work or association someone belongs to. The excitement, praise and curiosity of the words “firefighter, or engineer etc.” brings follow up reactions such as; “oh wow! thank you for your service, that is so awesome!” (and deservedly so). Yet, when I introduce myself (or represent myself) with the same simple phrase.
“Hello, my name is Chris, and I am a homeschool parent” to friends, family or strangers, the reaction is so much different
The Judgmental look
“oh…”, “oh wow…” Same words but with a much more disapproving tone. You see, I’ve realized something from the time I been homeschooling my kids. It’s different, its roughly less than 3% of the US school age population. Saying that you homeschool your kids is equivalent to saying that you still use a floppy disks 💾 (no offense to anyone who still uses it, I loved it as a kid). So I can definitely understand why people would be confused, shocked or curious.
The followed up questions are almost always followed in the same flow each time. What made you do it? Aren’t you afraid that your kids will be antisocial? What about the long term effects? What about standardized testing? How will they get into college? Etc. etc. I hope that I am not speaking for ALL homeschool parents when I say this, but, we’ve done our research everyone, we know all the ins and outs, all the risks and rewards, all the pros and cons (although very little con’s in my case) 😑. It wasn’t a decision that we took on without thinking, without researching. We know socialization is going to be an obstacle that we are going to have to get through, however, there is tons of socialization activities that are available now a day for them. In our case, the homeschool support groups in our areas weren’t meeting what we were looking for so we deciding on staring one of our own. By doing this, we introduce our kids to various life skills like, leadership, communication, public speaking, organization and creative thinking without intentionally meaning to.
You’re not a teacher look.
This one is probably the most interesting one of all. Are you a certified teacher? I been asked time and time again. My responses are always the same. “No, but I am also not a chef, yet, I can cook a mean grilled cheese sandwich! Lol” 🍞I wrote a story while back about school teachers and how much I respect them now that I am a homeschool parent (read it here). Teachers are great at teaching kids, they have a passion for their students and want them to succeed. I, also have a passion for my kids and I wanted to give them something out of the ordinary, which was one of the reason of why I decided on homeschooling in the first place. I find myself defending my position on this one a lot. 💪Just because you’ve been doing something the same way over, and over, doesn’t mean that is the best thing. But it does get to me from time to time. I sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing or if I am hurting them by doing this. But then I see 5-year-old surpassing and excelling at everything she does and that is well worth seeing first hand than receiving a report from a teacher. 😌
Homeschooling has been such a unique and wonderful experience for me so far. We are not weirdos or rebels looking to change or challenge our current systems. We are a group of individuals that decided (through their own personal reasons) that homeschooling was the best and most logical choice for them. We may not be the best teachers or can even be compared to regular teachers overall. But we don’t give up, we read, and read, and research and try different methods until our kids learn the material. There are a lot of frustrations, tears, arguments, and timeouts but the reward of seeing your child succeed with your own eyes outweighs all the con’s. My name is Chris and I am a homeschool parent. 👊