Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to Homeschool: The 1980's vs Today

I read this article earlier today and here's my take on it.

The 1980's

1) Check the local school calendar and let the kids know that they will not be allowed to play outdoors before 3:00 on public school days.  Explain that they are not allowed to answer the phone during that time either, since we don't want the neighbors or any local authorities to question why they aren't in the classroom.

2) Call local public and private schools to determine dates to purchase used textbooks.  Browse local bookstores for appropriate additional materials.  Call A-Beka to see if you can order only one copy of their Christian School curriculum, rather than 30 copies for an entire classroom.  Purchase expensive posters and maps intended to be used in a traditional classroom and try to find wall space to accommodate them.

3) Have conversation with church friends and family members explaining (yet again) why you wouldn't trust the local school teachers to educate your child.  Try to validate your ability as a teacher despite the lack of a degree.

4) Sew matching jumpers for your daughters to wear for special occasions, and check to make sure they have plenty of culottes for the playground.  Check to be sure your boys pants are still long enough to touch the back of their sneakers.  Re-hem and patch knees as needed.

5) Fill out affidavit declaring your home a private school, and non-profit organization by default.  Come up with awesome school names and eventually narrow it down to your last name plus "Academy".  Joke about having fundraisers for your non-profit, but realize you don't know enough people to actually make any money.

6) Spend $100 on art supplies and science equipment out of pocket and remind yourself that your children are too precious a resource to send them into the trenches of the local public school.  You are more interested in their spiritual development than trying to save money by shipping them off to the local humanistic indoctrination center.

7) On the first day of public school, get the kids up early to start a traditional school day.  Finish by noon and join the kids in making fun of all the time wasted in a traditional school.  Look on with pride as your children mock their neighbors getting off the school bus, knowing that the evening will be fun and family oriented since you don't have to do homework, like your neighbors do.

8) Wonder privately if you're doing enough, and if your kids will be able to get into college eventually.  Pray that you will be able to explain to a college admissions counselor that they are smart enough to get in despite homeschooling.


1) Eagerly open box after box of school curriculum and supplies as they arrive from curriculum vendors you learned about at the homeschool conference at the beginning of summer.  Struggle to find shelf space for all the new products alongside all the other products you've used in the past, but can't get rid of because the younger kids will need them in a few years.  Determine to get rid of the failed curriculum you've used in the past.

2) Purchase new file folders for all the children.  Color code everything so they know which file folders are theirs. Spend a week filling out assignment plans for each child in your official Homeschool Planner.  Determine that this year you will keep careful records and date everything your children do.  You WILL take pictures at every field trip, and co-op, so you will have something to show for your work.

3) Go through your email and mark your calendar with all the co-op dates and extra classes you want your kids to be in.  Promise yourself that they will do a foreign language and a fine arts class this year.  Sign up for more classes than you actually have time for and realize later that you will have to opt out of half of them.

4) Buy new lunchboxes and food storage containers because you remember doing it every year as a child, and want your kids to have similar experiences, even though you will probably only use them once a week on the co-op days.  Try to get your kids to pick one of your favorite childhood characters that has been re-booted and realize that they really don't care because they don't have time for cartoons with their busy schedules, and you don't really want them "watching that trash on TV" anyway.

5) Proudly tell everyone you meet that you are homeschooling this year, and eagerly anticipate defending your right to educate your child, and their better overall scholastic scores.  Smile sweetly and reassure those who doubt their abilities that, "It's not for everyone, but it's easier than they think."

6) Determine to go to more support group meetings so you don't burn out this year.  Peruse the web to find a support group you can really get involved in, whether or not it is the one you've signed up for co-op classes with.

7) Make sure your kids have physicals so they can participate in the local homeschool PE program or umbrella sports teams.  Opt out of all vaccinations, and defend your right to do so.  Buy new sneakers for the programs, along with a few stylish outfits so your kids will fit in with their peers.

8) Go to your local school supply store and buy smaller versions of posters and maps to use in your dining/school room, even though your kids will move from room to ro
om throughout the year and even do school in the car more often than they will use the actual school room you've set up.

9) Delete emails you haven't opened simply because you're already overwhelmed by the schedule you've made and can't possibly fit in another thing.

10) Wonder privately if you're doing enough, and if your kids will be able to get into college eventually.  Pray that you will be able to explain to a college admissions counselor that they are smart enough to get in despite the bad name homeschooling has gotten in recent years.