Before I started homeschooling, no one in my family had ever done it.
It was a completely new idea to most of them. One cousin in particular grilled me on the whys and hows of my decision — but the next year she and another cousin started homeschooling, too! I don’t know how much I had to do with their decisions, but I like to think some of our discussions helped my cousins decide to go for it. It’s been awesome having local homeschooling friends who are family, too. (Just look at how little they were back then!)
In cleaning out my old blog, I found a Q-and-A post from 2008.
NOTE: The following questions and answers are exactly as posted when I had only one child, then 7 years old.
Q&A from 2008, our 2nd year of home educating:
1) How much do your children interact with kids of their own age?
Very often. We have neighbors we play with who attend public school, we have the silly homeschooling cousins mentioned above, and quite a few homeschooling friends who live nearby. We try to get together at least once a week or so for most of the afternoon at a park or the pool (when it’s hot!) so they can play. We do occasional field trips together, and sometimes participate in co-op classes with other homeschool families. At church, my daughter attends Sunday school with kids in her grade, too. We’ll also be starting rehearsals for a community play next week as well.
2) Will they go to school as their educational demands are increased?
Not likely. As always, I’ll do what I feel the Lord leading me to do, so I can’t say with 100% certainty that I’ll homeschool all the way through, but that is currently the plan. One of the delightful things about homeschooling is that I get to learn, or re-learn, as we go; therefore, I feel confident that I can indeed keep up with the educational demands of the higher grade levels. If I had to begin at high school level, I admit that would be harder. There are also some wonderful homeschool programs available in our area, including a fabulous one at our church, offering middle and high-school level classes (including school credits for them).
3) How do you feel about their transition into a less wholesome atmosphere and how they are equipped to deal with that when it is inevitable in this world?
I think it’s always scary as a parent when we send our kids off “into the world,” whether that’s in kindergarten or college. But homeschooling allows me to be there to explain as worldly ideas are presented to my child, rather than allowing classmates to be the voice of authority on such things. I can also reduce the number of worldly influences at a young age so that they won’t be an issue until she is ready to deal with them.
4) What about the question of interacting with ‘the world’ so that your kids are out there being a light for the Lord?
As I said above, I don’t want my children inundated with worldly influences at a young age, BUT we don’t believe in living in a bubble. We have friends of other religions, and one of my dearest friends since childhood is an atheist. I try to set an example of loving friends and neighbors, even strangers, as Christ would have us do, regardless of what they believe. Even our pending adoption is an opportunity for our entire family to be “light for the Lord.”
Looking back now, it’s interesting to me that the essentials of how and why I choose to home educate have NOT changed over the years. My experience as a homeschooling mom has only served to confirm what I believed and hoped for back then. I look forward to continuing down this road for what looks to be many more years to come, and someday looking back at this time of life as “the old days.”