The Truth About Homeschool MomsMarci Goodwin
Want to know the truth about homeschool moms? Is it true that they are more patient than other moms? Are their kids perfectly behaved? How do they know enough to teach all their children all the way through high school? Do they all wear denim jumpers? Are they all against public education? Do they secretly want to take over the world?
There seem to be a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about homeschool moms floating out there in non-homeschool circles. It’s time to lay some of those to rest with some truth from a homeschool mom in the trenches.
Truths about Homeschool Moms
We do not have more patience than other moms. – We hear it all the time from moms who do not homeschool. “I just don’t have the patience to homeschool.” Um. Don’t tell anyone, but neither do I and most of the homeschool moms I know. Our kids get on our last nerve. We throw up our hands and stomp out of the room from time to time. There are days when we threaten to stick them on the school bus the next morning. If super-human patience were required to be a homeschool mom, homeschooling wouldn’t even be a thing.
We aren’t weird (at least JUST because we homeschool). – OK. Some homeschool moms are weird. Some public school moms are weird. Homeschooling families do not have the market cornered on weird. Look around.
We don’t think we are better moms because we homeschool. – Moms love their kids and will do what they think is best for them. For some of us, homeschooling is best. For others, traditional school is best. Both come with responsibilities and concerns. Good moms make choices based upon their children and their family situation. Period.
We don’t judge you if you don’t homeschool. – When other moms find out I homeschool my kids, they usually bring up two things. First, they say the old “I don’t have enough patience to homeschool my kids” thing. Then, they usually start telling me all the reasons their school is so great or why they chose to send their kid to that school.
I always laugh at both responses. The patience thing makes me laugh, because in my mind, I am going back to our kitchen table where I have my son in a headlock while trying to make him do his math. (True story. Happens at least twice a month. There’s patience for ya.) The justifying why you are choosing to send your child to school thing really makes me laugh. For starters, they are your kids and I’m sure you are doing what is best for them and your family. But, it mostly comes down to I don’t really care why. I’m too busy trying to not screw up my own kids.
We don’t really homeschool. – Seriously. The term “homeschool” should be used loosely in many situations. In our case, and the case of most of our homeschool friends, we don’t spend a lot of time at home. We do school at the ice rink while one child practices skating or hockey. We stop at the library between art class at local art studio and astronomy class at the planetarium to get some book work done. Our kids have done school work in the car, at parks, at restaurants, in waiting rooms, in coffee shops, and at Grandma’s house.
Our family is on the road constantly taking advantage of the many educational opportunities in our area and beyond. We live in our car. It got so bad that I traded my gas guzzling SUV (which I loved) for a economical Toyota just to save money on gas. (Looking for a homeschool mom gift idea? Try a gas card!)
We don’t all love science, literature, and math but we learn alongside our kids. – Many moms tell me that they can’t homeschool because they don’t know enough about science or history or whatever. Well, that’s ok. None of us know everything about everything. Learning, or re-learning, with the kids is actually fun. Plus, the kids get to see an example of lifelong learning. I want my kids to never stop learning!
In my public high school, world history wasn’t even offered. Really. I was a biology major in college, so I never had to study it there either. Over the years, I learned about history from reading about things that interested me. When the kids started studying ancient history in their homeschool studies, I learned right along side them and loved it!
We don’t always wear yoga pants. – Once upon a time, the stereotypical homeschool mom always wore a denim jumper. These days, the jumper has been replaced by yoga pants. Yoga pants are so comfortable and just a step above pajama pants. This makes them acceptable to be seen wearing in public. However, just like not all homeschool moms used to wear denim jumpers, not all homeschool moms wear yoga pants…all the time. (We occasionally put on denim jeggings and a tunic if we think we might see people we know.)
We keep a close eye on the public school calendar. – We don’t actually use the calendar to start and stop our school year or determine what days to homeschool. The school calendar lets us know when the public school kids will not be at the parks or the museums. Homeschool families get so used to having these facilities to themselves, so they stay away from them on school breaks.
We sometimes consider sticking our kids on the school bus. – Yes. As I mentioned before, homeschool moms occasionally lose their patience and threaten the kids with the big yellow bus and a trip to the local school. Other times, it’s more than a momentary exasperated thought.
We all go through times in our homeschool journey where it just gets tough. One child refuses to do their math. (Hence the aforementioned headlock.) Another child cannot grasp the parts of speech. It’s been snowing and cold for what seems like an eternity and everyone has cabin fever. These are the times when we start looking into what it would take to ship the kids to school.
Usually, by the time we get our research done, the math gets finished, the grammar lights come on, and the sun comes out. We live to homeschool another day.
Ok, homeschool mom. What truth would you add to the list?
If you don’t homeschool, which of these truths surprised you?