I thought I’d give ya’ll another glimpse of a homeschooling life. We’ve been homeschooling the kids “from the beginning” and are now the parents of a 4-year-old and, 5th, 9th, and 12th graders. As the years have gone by, being with and around other families that homeschool has been intermittently important. Some days we just needed to stay home, some days we were never home. I can’t imagine how I could possibly get anything done if I had to take the kids to and from a school on top of it all. As new homeschoolers it was important to immerse ourselves with other families that educated their kids the way we did. The support network of other moms and kids who were doing what we were doing was paramount on being able to stick with homeschooling. Now as I’ve become a “seasoned” (I don’t think I’ll ever feel “seasoned”) homeschool mom it is still just as important to find support. Without other moms to vent with about husbands and disobedient kids, I’d be happy to go back to work and send the kids away to boarding school. In other words I’d quit. Quitting isn’t an option when it’s your kids that lose, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it.
One of the things we do on a regular basis is attend a CO-OP. We have been members of a homeschool co-op every year for the past ten or so years. We have changed a few times but it has mostly been the same group of moms and kids the entire ten years. By doing this we have been able to develop some really wonderful friendships. The kids know what it’s like to grow up with friends. “Socialization” isn’t an issue. Socializing homeschool kids is one of the things everyone wants to know about. How do you make sure they’re going to be ok? What about socialization? Well, not a problem. My kids know how to be with people of all ages. They know how to help with the younger kids, and they know how to be with the older ones. They have good friends their own age and they can speak clearly and confidently with adults. What more do they need? This isn’t just my kids either. Parents of homeschooled kids laugh among themselves about the socialization question. Our kids will do fine. Research shows they do fine too.
In addition to co-op activities, the kids do scouts and music. The girls also do dance classes. They are involved in the youth groups at church and they have a network of friends bigger than I ever had when I was growing up. I find we’re not home much in the evenings. This school year the kids aren’t all home any night except Friday. Monday night there is a combination of scouts and dance, Tuesday nights is scouts again, Wednesday nights has dance again, Thursday nights is dance, and then nothing on Friday or Saturday nights. Sundays we have a standing invitation for dinner at my dad’s. The kids do music in the early afternoon on Tuesdays, for now. School, if it takes place, is in the mornings and usually done by 2. Fridays and Saturdays aren’t often empty, they’re just not pre-scheduled. The kids go camping with scouts, or over to friends’ houses, or are gone on church activities. We live a very busy life.
That’s just a touch of our life as homeschoolers,