I’m not homeschooling AT YOU

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I’m lucky to Iive in a pretty terrible school district. Lucky, as in – people don’t really question our decision to homeschool.

“Oh,” they say nodding, “of course. The schools here …”

And sometimes, for the sake of peace and quiet, I don’t tell them that my son went to a small church preschool that was adorable, and then we tried a private Montessori-based school that was amazing, but that it was also expensive and would have changed our lives entirely if we had decided to send him there full-time.

We never tried public schools, because at that point something was telling me that schools were not for this kid.

Any school. Anywhere.

But still, I am lucky that people don’t really question it, and so only a few times have people truly challenged our choice home educate.

That doesn’t mean that we never get questions though:

  • How long are you going to do that?
  • Just in grade school, right?
  • Isn’t it hard? I could never do that.
  • How can you teach every subject?
  • What about college?

Usually, I think these questions are born of genuine curiosity, or perhaps a little worry. A sweet friend of my mom’s once stopped me in Target to tell me that she prayed for me all the time.

“You’re just taking so much on yourself,” she said.

She right, but it’s usually good, I said. I wanted to explain that I don’t do what teachers do – homeschooling is different – and our life is very blended.

My work involves homeschooling, and we simply live our lives together.

All of us keep learning.

But that wasn’t what she needed to hear, and so instead I said something I say a lot, that’s “it’s good FOR NOW.”

The “for now” will get a lot of people off your back – the loving, worried ones and the ones who maybe feel that you are homeschooling at them.

The latter are a tricky beast – they are the folks who feel like your homeschooling is an indictment of their choice not to.

You can usually spot them by the following:

  • sudden and extreme school pride – Go Tigers!
  • an explanation of how homeschooling could NEVER work for them
  • defensiveness about their job or unique life situation
  • doubt that homeschooling works
  • questions that are really judgements: “I noticed you’re still tying Trudy’s shoes – doesn’t it worry you that because you homeschool she’ll never be a functional member of society?”

Sometimes, they come armed. They have read a book or article. Or they met a homeschooling family and those kids were weird.

They want you to know that you are really bothering them with your life choices.

Or sometimes, they want you to know that they would homeschool, but they can’t. They have a very real reason – an unsupportive spouse, the need for two full-time incomes, an illness …

And so do you understand? Do you? Really? That they just CAN’T homeschool, OK? And it’s great that you do – really. But everyone CAN’T, so I just hope you get that.

This is such hot water, sisters.

But I want to remind you that you probably didn’t do anything to get yourself into it.

It’s true that just as I met a man once who challenged our choice to homeschool after crashing my mom’s birthday party, there are people who are homeschooling at the world.

They want everyone to know that they have it figured out – that this is not only right, but that everything else is wrong. If you look at their Facebook page, it’s ALL memes about how schools are prisons and Candy Crush rankings. That’s it.

But that’s not most of us.

So what can we do when people get defensive about our choice to homeschool?

  1. We can listen. We can let them say what they need to say.

2. We can affirm their choices.

“Well, Sharona is thriving!” you can say.

“Your school sounds like a perfect fit for your guys,” you can add.

“If we were looking for a school, that’s exactly what we would want,” you can pledge.

3. We can gently assert that homeschooling works for us, “for now.”

This is powerful because we are saying we don’t feel like we have it all figured out – but right now? Right now we’re all good.

Hopefully, this will be enough. Hopefully, this kind approach will send the message, “Really, I’m not homeschooling at you.”

And if it doesn’t, you can always ask them to “please pass the pie.”

NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN. TELL US: WHat do you say to people who get confrontational about homeschooling? SHARE HERE!

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We make the rules: How we get it right

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Written by Kara S. Anderson.

When I was in second grade, I was in a split classroom with third graders.

Our school did this sometimes, and I try to imagine now how the teacher handled it. But at the time, I just knew that it allowed me to make friends with the coolest girl in school. Her name was Emily, she was 9, and she had blonde, curly hair that fell in waves down her back.

And she had her ears pierced.

She would wear tiny ice cream cone earrings, or dainty hoops; tiny gold stars, or fluorescent dots, and man – did I ever want to be just like her.

I asked my parents again and again if I could pierce my ears, and they told me “not until you’re older,” and “later,” and so I waited and while I should have been memorizing multiplication tables, I instead memorized the shape of Emily’s earlobes and her collection of tiny animal and rhinestone stud earrings, and I wondered if part of the reason Emily was so cool was because her parents clearly let her do whatever she wanted.

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February Didn’t Break Me This Year: How We Survived the Longest-Shortest Month

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February Didn't Break Me This Year: How We Survived the Longest-Shortest Month | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

February didn’t break me this year. 

There were moments when I felt like February was winning but, in the end, I came out ahead.

Today, I thought I’d share what helped just in case the Februaries are lingering in your home…

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Homeschool sisters; homeschool support (we’re on the Brave Writer Podcast!)

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Written by Kara Stephenson Anderson.

More than a year ago, when Cait and I had the crazy idea to start a podcast, the first person to reach out to us was Julie Bogart from Brave Writer.

In case you ever find yourself needing to put that in terms non-homeschoolers (i.e. my husband) would understand, I would say it’s about on par with announcing that you are going to make a small, independent film, and getting an email from Julia Roberts saying, “Way to go you two – let me know how I can help.” Continue reading

What is Your Homeschool Hell Yes?

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What is Your Homeschool Hell Yes?

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

I’ve lived in New England my entire life, and I’d rather be outdoors than inside, but somehow I never learned to ski.

When my husband and I were first married, he bought me ski lessons.

It was the perfect gift, really. I had always wanted to learn. My husband is an avid skier and this would be another outdoor activity we could enjoy together.

I wanted to love it.

I tried really, really hard to love it.  Continue reading

Finding Your Homeschool Tribe

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Written by Kara S. Anderson

I recently told Cait about one of my early homeschool mom friend fails.

It was pretty much a disaster that ended in the woman yelling into my voicemail, “I don’t know what I did to offend you!!!”

It’s a little funny now, because she had continually criticized everything in my life including my dog’s manners, but the truth is, I don’t get easily offended.

Instead, I wake up one day suddenly full of pluck: “Wait a minute …” I finally say to myself. “I don’t deserve this b.s.” Continue reading

Back-Pocket Games Will Save Your Bacon this Winter

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These Super-Fun Back-Pocket Games Will Save Your Bacon

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

I am a New England girl, born and raised. I absolutely love each of our four seasons. I look forward to each change and the traditions that each season brings with it.

That said, I’m just not happy when I’m cold. And I’m cold a lot. So, winter can be… tricky. And don’t even get me started on February…

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What Every Homeschool Mom Really Wants This Holiday Season

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WHAT EVERY HOMESCHOOL MOM REALLY WANTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON best homeschool resources

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

Kara and I were going to take the month of December off, to do all of the things Melissa suggested, and to work a little bit behind the scenes here at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

But, we received a question this week and, after chatting about it, it seemed like the time is NOW to answer it.

Because this is the time of year when we tend to acquire a lot of stuff and, unfortunately, a lot of the stuff isn’t necessarily helpful. And so if this post can help you politely suggest an alternative when your husband/mother/sister-in-law inquires, that’s wonderful! If not, just save it in your back pocket and use it as a wish list. Start small and go from there.

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Support The Homeschool Sisters

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Did you know that you can support The Homeschool Sisters Podcast via purchases you’re already making?

Many listeners have asked how they can support The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. Well, guess what? You can support us … and doing so is super-simple!

Do you shop online? Click our link first. You won’t pay any extra, but a small percentage goes toward The Homeschool Sisters Podcast to help offset our expenses. Every little bit counts, and we are so grateful for your support! Continue reading