Your Family's Incredible Lifestyle Begins HERE – With Homeschooling
Sunday April 5th 2020

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Are You Practically Homeschooling Already?

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Last night I read a comment in response to a blog article about a pretty poor math “report card” for a school district located where I lived when my first child was a newborn. The response, from a father, stated that his child learns math at home. In fact, the father does so much at home he considers himself “homeschooling” while using the school system for “day care.”

This set my mind wandering in the direction to ask – are you practically homeschooling already? If you haven’t considered the idea from this angle, then this post is for you.

Are you discussing current events? Reading bedtime stories? Taking hikes and riding bikes?

Are you discussing current events? Reading bedtime stories? Taking hikes and riding bikes?

Parents at the Helm are involved and invested in their children’s lives, so they know what’s going on – or not going on – in the kiddos’ learning experiences. If they discover something is lacking, Parents at the Helm address the issue. If they find no satisfaction dealing with school personnel, or don’t want to deal with school personnel, you usually find them taking matters into their own hands.

Even if right now you’re thinking that you wouldn’t care to homeschool, assess your family’s situation to see just how much time and attention you’re currently devoting to your child’s learning experience. Add up the time you are answering questions about topics or assignments your child doesn’t understand. Are you on stand-by or do you actively help while your child tackles homework? Count that time. If you’re aware of deficiencies in the school, like the one mentioned at the beginning of this article, or deficiencies with the teacher(s), or challenges your child has in particular subject matter, are you – like the father mentioned earlier – making a conscious effort to incorporate non-sit down, non-book driven, informal lessons to help your child understand and grow and make new connections? Add this time to your list, as well.

Is your child involved in a variety of social activities, such as scout meetings, sporting classes, training and events, music lessons, art classes, volunteer experiences, or something else?

Are you discussing current events? Reading bedtime stories? Including your child in conversations with your neighbors? Watching and discussing movies? Taking hikes and riding bikes? Visiting museums, historical sites, and nature centers while on vacation – or in your home town? You’ve got it – count all this time, too.

Odds are you’ve got a good collection of hours each week when you’re paying attention to and spending time on 1) remediating school and/or 2) offering learning opportunities outside the boundaries of the school institution.

Are there a “magic” number of hours after which you can say you’re putting in as much time as a parent who is “officially” homeschooling? The answer is no, because in so many cases learning is so completely woven into the fabric of life these homeschoolers would be hard pressed to respond to a question of how many hours they homeschool. They realize that that the world is their children’s classroom, living is learning, and it’s all one beautiful whole cloth.

My hope is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised and, perhaps, amazed, at how much time you are already investing in your child’s education, and how you’re already weaving learning into family living.

Are you practically homeschooling already? Only you can be the judge of that, but I’ll bet you’re a heck of a lot closer than you think! If you’re answer is yes (or even maybe!), think about how little it would take to change from “practically” to doing so. When you replace the idea of homeschooling is “school at home” with homeschooling as a very natural blend of living and learning with the entirety of your surroundings as your classroom, it can really be that easy.

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3 Responses to “Are You Practically Homeschooling Already?”

  1. Agnes says:

    "When you replace the idea of homeschooling is “school at home” with homeschooling as a very natural blend of living and learning with the entirety of your surroundings as your classroom, it can really be that easy."

    Nice article – we have certainly been doing what you describe for years. Learning is part of our lifestyle and books, trips, theatre and music are things we do with our kids all the time (Plus pick up the slack where school does not provide what is needed ).

    This said, the step to actual homeschooling was not an easy one precisely because of the "daycare" aspect of school. For working parents, it is one thing to enrich and provide more educational opportunities in the afternoon and on weekends – it is quite a different thing having a kid at home full time and finding a way to work around one's job.

    Which is the reason why I am only homeschooling my older one – with the younger, immature one, it would at present not be possible to combine work and homeschool.

    As much as I love your articles – don't make it sound too simple. Not everybody is a stay at home parent.

    Agnes

  2. Agnes,

    How WONDERFUL of you to write…I really appreciate your thoughts, especially since you've so wonderfully articulated the heart of one of the great challenges of our society.

    I don't know if you've read where I've alluded to the face that I am back to homeschool advocacy after being away for several years. I apologize if I made it sound too simple but, frankly, I've gotten tired of reading how "difficult" and fraught with challenges it is. I wish I had a magic wand and could change our culture to be more supportive of those who would prefer to stay home. That's one reason why I am working so hard right now. I figure I don't know how much time I've got left here, and life for families isn't what it should be…what it COULD be.

    'Nuf of my story. I will keep your comments in mind in the future but, by the same token, I won't be making it sound like brain surgery, either. 🙂

    I'd love to hear more from you, Agnes, when you have the time…may the learning road rise up to meet you and yours! Grandma Linda

  3. Donna says:

    Agnes,
    I am a single, working parent, and I homeschool. It can be done. I would much rather have my children in a more wholesome environment than public schools. There are stay at home mothers who would like my babysitting dollars, and I've found the mothers of very young children love having my 10 year old daughter there as a "mother's helper". How many kids are available during work hours?

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