people's questions & comments

I get questions from both ends.....there's the homeschooling/unschooling questions and then there's the adoption questions. It's not that I mind, I love talking to people about the choices we've made. Most people are genuinely interested. But there are those people who just want to give their opinion without having any experiences to back them up. And then there are the ones that only want to tell me their horror stories.

I'm just going to post about the homeschooling/unschooling questions/comments for now and I'll get to the adoption questions (oh boy will I get to that!!) another time.

My favorite one was from a mother of two children, that were former classmates of my kids. Last summer I saw her a few days before school finished and she said , to my kids, how happy they must be that school was ending (if school is so great why is everybody so thrilled when it's over?). They reminded her that they don't go to school (my middle daughter loves to tell people that she's 'to cool for school' LOL). Then she asked me if we take a break for the summer. I told her that my kids are learning all the time and that I couldn't stop them if I tried. As they walked away I heard her tell her daughter "Wow, they have to do school work all year!!". *sigh* Some people just don't get it.

I still get the socialization question, although not as often. I think as more people realise it's a myth, that question is becoming less and less asked. Maybe I should print out what I
blogged about here and just hand it to them the next time I'm asked.

I read a post from a member named Judy at one of my unschooling groups that I'd like to share part of here.

".....I finally experienced the "what about socialization" question(much laughter ensued here as my 11yo is the most social party organizing child they all know) , along with "well, you make them learn something everyday don't you? You're not just letting them hang out around the swimming pool all day are you?" and then the topper......"how will they learn to stand in line and deal with all of those other
frustrations that we have to deal with in real life?" I almost laughed out loud....by living real life, of course!

I tried to reply a bit, but could tell that when I didn't cave and had reasonable and rational answers that posed a different perspective on living life and learning, these people weren't really interested in hearing in depth answers and having their beliefs challenged. All of them were expressing disappointment with the school systems they had their children in and that is how we got onto the subject of home
schooling in the first place. I felt sorry for them. They seemed trapped in the mindset that they can't do it. Someone even brought up that I couldn't possibly be qualified to teach all the subjects because I'm not an expert on them all. My husband and I had a good laugh as we reminded them that the elementary teachers that they leave their children with are probably less qualified than we are as they are certainly not experts on the subjects they teach, most of them don't even have children themselves or much life experience!
When I reminded them that I'm just there to help them learn how to
learn and support them and be a resource, they were dumbfounded. I could see them wondering, how is she possibly going to fill them with all that information that they would get in school. I went on to remind them that they and I learn things all the time without being taught or forced to learn by someone. That no one chases them around telling them, you better learn how to do this or that. That they do it
because they are interested.
It was amazing to watch some of them start to think a bit and then shut themselves down with some of the questions listed above and go back to a more comfortable place. This exchange was good because it started with all of them expressing dissatisfaction with the educational system, then taking a brief look at our lifestyle and method and, if only for a nano second, opening to a different possibility or way of doing things."

Most people are very supportive of our homeschooling and I enjoy answering their questions. It's the ones that can't understand how my daughter will learn how to count money without being in school, that I can do without.

My kids & I have had several conversations on how they can answer these questions themselves. I feel it's important for them to be able to discuss and conversate about our lifestyle choices and I want them to feel comfortable doing so. My husband suggested, to our seven year old, that when people ask her why she's not in school, to tell them she dropped out. LOL That's not quite what I had in mind, but it's a start.

And for the record, she learned how to count money by earing, saving and spending her own money. She learned unit pricing by shopping with my husband and how to spot a bargin by shopping with me. She's bought herself a camera (a very cool Disney Princess one) and a walkman with her own money. She gets money every month from us and she recently negotiated a raise with me.

Next question!

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