I’ve got lots of good opinions and advice, but annoyingly enough, nobody ever interviews me about them. Fortunately, being a resourceful homeschool mom, I’ve got it covered. I just make up my own interviews.
Here’s what I would say if somebody interviewed me:
Q: What do you enjoy about homeschooling?
A: That we get to live life together most of the time.
Q: What is a difficult aspect of homeschooling?
A: That we live life together most of the time.
Q: That’s basically the same answer.
A: Funny how that works.
Q: Come on, give me something better than that.
A: Okay, fine. You know how everybody—kids especially—have little habits and quirks that can be annoying? We live with those quirks and habits every single day. Shouting occurs, maybe frequently. Maybe even me. Darn it, I’ve been after the kids to put their shoes away, find socks, and not lose pencils for 10 years.
On the other hand, I like how we spend most of our time with one another. It forges a family identity and teaches them how to respect other people’s spaces. We can fit in life skills like laundry, cooking, and changing lightbulbs by just incorporating them into the daily school plans.
Q: What do you miss about your early years of homeschooling?
A: I miss how easy it was to cover everything they needed to know. I had a lot more leeway to be creative, too. I could decide to draw instead of write, or make up an adding game instead of assign a page in the math book.
Q: What do you like about your current stage?
A: The older three kids are very independent workers. They check the planner and do the work mostly on their own. I’m there to nudge them to get to work, and also to take them to outside activities. I’m teaching Ranger to do assignments on his own as well.
Q: Don’t you miss sitting down with each one to “do school”?
A: Darren does that in the evenings for selected subjects. And me? I spent years sitting down with kids and doing school. I’m all full up, thanks.
Q: How is handwriting going this year?
A: You know I have very bad experiences teaching handwriting. Why even bring it up?
Q: But this is your last kid to teach handwriting. I thought maybe…
A: As it happens, yes, Ranger is my last kid to teach to write. He follows my instructions and forms his letters with the correct strokes. He hardly ever whines, much less argues or melts down like a little organic nuclear reactor. I have earned every easy, rewarding moment of handwriting with this child.
Q: What’s your biggest change this year?
A: Watching Bookgirl do high school. She’s putting in some serious time in Biology, Spanish, and Geometry. You know, like a real grown-up teenager. I still remember teaching her the order of the rainbow colors. Well, I went over them with her. Ms Frizzle and the Magic School Bus laid down the foundation of her early science knowledge.
Q: What is your advice for those starting homeschooling?
A: Be flexible, understand how each child thinks, don’t try to do it all on your own. And as much as possible, enjoy the process. I haven’t always made the best of it, but I do try to learn from the bad times and savor the good times. For homeschoolers, school isn’t just education—it’s the life we spend with our children.
Q: Well, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
A: Thank you for the excellent questions. It’s like they were tailored to me.
Q: Join us next time as Sara opens up about her family’s Chronic Pencil Loss Syndrome. Until then, learn from the bad and savor the good!
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; second courtesy of Sara Jones.