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What Did You See When You Imagined a Homeschooling Family?

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What Did You See When You Imagined

a Homeschooling Family?

By Linda Dobson

homeschoolingSome years ago, I worked with Barnes & Noble University to provide an online course about homeschooling. It was amazing how many families were thinking about homeschooling and signed up. Often we were joined by a good handful of practicing homeschooling parents who were looking to learn something new, to share, and/or to be re-inspired about their homeschooling efforts.

Recently I ran across a few of the class members’ answers to a question from the first lesson: Before this lesson, what did you see when you imagined a homeschooling family? How has that picture changed?

In the hope that these answers might help still other families thinking about homeschooling, I share some of them with you today.

Before this lesson, what did you see when you imagined a homeschooling family? How has that picture changed?

Since I knew that I wanted to homeschool years ago, I’ve been reading as much as I can get my hands on and talking to as many people as I can about it. I can’t believe in my little world how many homeschoolers I’ve met! I thought a lot of homeschoolers would be people just like me, but I’ve since learned there are so many different types of people that do it and for just as many different reasons. Knowing there are so many people doing it successfully gives me hope and strength for myself.

Before this lesson, I figured a homeschooling family was very organized and structured, having lesson plans filled out and everything set and ready to go ahead of time. No children complaining or not wanting to do their work. The picture has changed because I now realize why my son resisted school and we often resorted to tears as I tried to get him to do his “work” and he refused. I realize it can be much more relaxed.

I imagined a lot more academic time, but we’ve been casual from the start. A good thing we’re seeing with this relaxed approach is that my son’s obsessive drawing (hours at a time, hundreds of sheets of paper a week) has slowed down. Now he’s drawing less, asking for his learning videos (on policemen for our police topic), asking for music and commenting on what we’re doing – a BIGGIE for an autistic child – lots more. What a great thing a little destressed, deschooling is!

Before I started learning about homeschooling, I always pictured a traditional school at home method. I didn’t realize that so many homeschoolers employ much more flexible and relaxed methods and schedules.

Even though I’ve seen all types of homeschooling families, I could never see ours as anything other than a school at home. I was comfortable with it, but my sons aren’t and haven’t been for a while. I now see that I have to do what is best for my sons and step out of my own comfort zone so they can be who God intended them to be.

I’ve become more relaxed in our learning process, more motherly and less teacherly.

Before this lesson and the article I read in Mothering about homeschooling I pictured homeschoolers sitting at a table with books, and the occasional field trip thrown in. I had seen a woman obviously giving a math lesson at the grocery store. The kids had a pencil and piece of paper (one for all three), the mom gave a math problem based on some grocery items, and the 3 kids figured it out together. They were all obviously having fun, and the mom got some shopping done. I was fascinated, and even a little envious! Now I realize with what I’ve learned from this lesson is homeschooling is what you make it, and it’s endless and seems so wonderful!

See also “The Best Thing about Home Is That It Isn’t a School at All

Before this lesson I imagined a calm orderly classroom with participating children and kids that get everything I’m telling them. Now I realize life isn’t that way. Some days we learn a lot and others I just go with hurricane Matthew and Patrick.

Having homeschooled for almost five years, I already have a high regard for homeschooling families. I think it’s more “do-able” now than ever. I think much of the stigma is quickly fading with our public schools becoming more unsafe, and now there are so many more choices and information about homeschooling.


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4 Responses to “What Did You See When You Imagined a Homeschooling Family?”

  1. I think it’s so hard for people to break away from the school model because there’s not a lot of examples of kids who have learned untraditionally – even in a homeschooling environment- although I think that’s gradually changing. It’s hard to understand something you haven’t seen before. I think courses like this one and books about relaxed learning are so important in getting that message out there.

    • You’re right, of course, about entering a way a life that, at the starting gate, is totally alien! I keep saying that when I have a spare moment (ha!), I should look into presenting that course again. Do you think there would be interest in such a thing? Thanks for reading & commenting!

  2. Loved reading these, Linda. Reminds me of myself 18 years ago. Now, we just go with the flow. Sometimes it’s uphill and a struggle, sometimes it’s down and easy, and sometimes there are rapids. But it’s always an adventure!

    • Thanks, Carol! It was fun to go through and remember what folks had to say. And that’s the important thing, isn’t it – that it’s always an adventure?! Time sure does fly, Carol!

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