When our kids’ education comes up, we explain that we have one at Bethel Christian who is thriving and loving it there . . . and that we have one at home who is also loving his “school” environment. “Home school?”, people question. “How do you know if you’re doing it right? Are you in one of those programs?”
Smile. Here in Northern California, charter school initiatives have made big changes in homeschooling. State run home school charters offer free curriculum along with supervision, grading and frequent visits. One popular local option also offers $100/month in “vendor money”, which can be used towards approved lessons in sports or music. Computers and printers are also bennies of the charter home school option. Of course there are worksheets and deadlines included.
The money was tempting but, it’s not for us. Not now. We’re homeschooling because we want the freedom to make learning fun for our son. We want him to have extra time to move and roam and hike and bike. We want him to engage productively with technology he enjoys. We want him to focus in on both his greatest strengths as well as his areas of greatest weakness so that he can grow quickly and easily in both. Homeschooling offers us the opportunity to tailor education completely to our child, at the high cost of our time and energy. And given his current needs and desires, it’s so worth it!
So when people ask us what program we’re using, I just smile. “I was home schooled, so I’m pretty comfortable with it”, I say. And then wait. Wait for either the big smile and exclamation of surprise and encouragement, or the knowing . . . . “oh.” I guess I find out in that moment whether they think I was an experiment worth repeating in the second generation.
Fortunately I picked up self-confidence and a healthy dose of independence somewhere along the way. 🙂