Monday, March 29, 2010

"Homeschoolers" is just who we are

This week's Blog Cruise question is:  How has homeschooling affected your family?

Wow, I just don't even know where to start.  "Homeschoolers" is just who we are.  It permeates so much of our lives.

My kids have never been to public schools, so I really don't have anything to compare to.  My suspicions, though, are:
  • My kids are pretty good friends with each other.  I'm not sure how true this would be if they were in public school
  • My kids don't get hung up on how old someone else is.  They make friends with kids their age, kids older than them, kids younger than them.  
  • We can go on vacation more or less when we want to.  Scouts is really the only thing that seriously trips up our traveling plans.
  • I'm forced to spend so much time with my kids that I do really get to know them.  
  • Since we are in the house all day, the house tends to always be in some state of chaos.
  • We don't have to have 8:00 bedtimes.  Because the kids don't have to be on a bus before 7:00.  We can stay up later at night, which means the kids get more time with Dad too.  If they were in school, I know that their time with their father would be limited extremely -- he gets home between 6:30 and 7:00 at night... so it would pretty much be dinner, some battles about homework and showers, and bed.  
  • We don't have to take snow days.  We can instead take off time because the sun is shining and it is simply too beautiful to be inside.  Sometimes that means taking a read-aloud outdoors.  
  • Everything turns into a learning experience.  I'm not saying this is always a good thing.  
  • We have all kinds of quirky family sayings, because we spend so much time reading aloud the same book.  Dale will frequently listen to a book on tape (uhhh, yeah, right... a book on mp3 is more accurate) so he knows what we are currently reading too.  Sharing all that great literature strengthens connections.
  • I think the kids are more aware of the idea of us working together to benefit the whole.  They see how clipping coupons helps us eat better, they see how counting dollars or items in various grocery promos helps us get more groceries too.  So they keep track of those things when we shop.
  • It hasn't occurred to my kids that they "should" have things like game systems or cell phones.  Some of that might not happen at our public school either, seeing as you can't get a consistent cell signal out here.  But still.
Of course, some of the impacts aren't all that positive.  Like it is tough for me to earn money when a significant part of my day needs to be spent in teaching my kids.  And there are moments I wonder if I shouldn't be contributing more to our bottom line.

The TOS Crew Blog is sponsoring a question of the week every Tuesday. Next week has to do with burnout. Uh, yeah, I think I've experienced that.  

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