I love meeting people in the homeschool community. There are many of us in different stages of homeschooling, in different states and in different countries, in different financial situations and different family dynamics. We each make up our own unique homeschool! I love that we don’t all look the same. I was honored to swap interviews with Rebecca, a homeschool graduate, over at How Do I Homeschool. You can check out mine here.
Did you choose to homeschool as a reaction to the school system, and if so, why was that?
I know a lot of moms say, ‘Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Some kids are more suited to school,’ but I can’t see that being the case unless there’s something very wrong with the family or mother. I think the school model is weak and we’ve forgotten that schools weren’t originally created to be education machines (John Dewey said this). Instead, they were created to be socialization machines (with a specific sort of socialization that the creators had in mind.)
Did you find you get the ‘socialization question’ a lot and if so, how do you handle it? What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
Yes, I do. I know a lot of homeschool moms get offended by this question, but when people ask me about this, I try to remember that that’s what they’ve been taught. They’ve been taught that schools provide most of the socialization for children and that parents aren’t all that good at socializing their kids, despite the definition of the word.
Also, when I answer this question, I try to weed out the angle people are coming from. If they’re attacking you for homeschooling, often nothing you say will convince them, but your gentle responses to their answers can reach them. They can come away thinking, ‘She’s been homeschooled, and she’s not so bad. In fact, she was pretty nice…almost socialized you might say…’
If someone asks me this question, I tell them why I’m not worried about homeschool socialization (that is, because it’s a myth) and that homeschooling actually provides a better opportunity to socialize your children!
Do you use technology a lot in your homeschool, and why do you/do you not choose to use it?
I think we need to be careful about technology in our homeschools. Too often I see kids glued to screens. They seem to be downright addicted. I can’t say how many times I’ve seen a child crying because they’ve been forced to stop using their mobile/iPhone/laptop or whatever other device they were using.
In particular, I think technology overuse can cause addiction, time wasting and can provide a huge doorway to temptation.
With that said, I think technology is the way of the future and I don’t think my kids will love the fact that I’ve brought them up completely computer illiterate if we ignore technology entirely in our homeschool.
In short, I think we can fall off the horse both ways here.
What’s the best advice you ever received about homeschooling?
You don’t have to replicate school in your homeschool. In fact, it can look very different to school. For instance, you can choose to homeschool for only a few hours a day instead of many. And you can choose to do a four-day homeschool week.
How would you encourage a homeschool mom who’s feeling dejected and a little overwhelmed with her homeschool?
I try to remind them of the reasons they’re homeschooling and what they’re trying to gain from their homeschool (and how worth it they’ll think everything is when all their homeschoolers graduate)!
If all else fails, I offer to babysit so they can get some rest and some time to themselves. I’ve found that, even if this offer isn’t taken up, it’s appreciated – besides, the desperate ones often do take me up on it, and they’re the ones that really need it badly.
What is homeschooling like?
I am a homeschool graduate myself and I could drone on about how good this was for me for a long time (here’s my video interview). In short, when I was in school, things felt dark and dreary. However, when I started homeschooling, it felt like the sun had come out again.
What is the biggest problem with homeschooling and how have you gotten around it?
I think legalism is probably the biggest problem with homeschooling. Sometimes we can think homeschooling is a panacea. That is, we homeschool our kids with a godly curriculum, teach them how to debate for the Christian faith, and they should turn into well rounded Christians who fight for what they believe.
This is all good, but sometimes we forget it’s all about the gospel and we teach our kids to be moralistic instead of teaching them about the gospel and expecting morality to flow from a good understanding of Jesus death on the cross for us.
What is your overarching goal or outcome for your homeschool?
Well, given the above question, my goal is to see my children living a gospel-centred Christian life. I think homeschooling is a good tool in this way and can help us give our kids a great Christian perspective on life. And that’s my goal!
What are three articles on your website you wish every homeschool mom could read and why are they great?
The three articles below are great as every homeschooling parent can use one (or all!) of them:
- How to Start Homeschooling: Starting Homeschooling Without a Clue!
- 10 Steps to Improve Your Homeschool for a Better Homeschool
- Optimize Your Homeschool to Make an Even Better Homeschool
I love gaining information from different perspectives and I can appreciate Rebecca’s as a homeschool graduate, an experience I don’t have! I hope you enjoyed the interview and if you are interested in being interviewed, contact me!