Let’s admit, the homeschooling movement is growing, but it is still a little off the mainstream path. People hear that you are homeschooling your kids, you get a few looks, or nods of agreement followed with a so, or but…..
But are you going to ALWAYS homeschool?
But your kids are so outgoing and social for homeschoolers!???
How do you know they are learning? Do you give them a lot of tests?
So now that you are back in Canada your are going to put them in school, right?
Sometimes I explain a day that we had, one that may seem quite different from a school norm and I just get a silent stare, although I see the wheels turning inside their head.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I am grateful to live in a country and province that grants us freedom to choose. Not only that, there is a large amount of support and options here for homeschoolers.
I am very grateful though to have a family that supports our choice and helps facilitate our children’s learning in anyway they can. My dad is always excited to hear about what the kids are doing. My mom is always purchasing books for my kids, art supplies, sending articles that reflect conversations they’ve had, encouraging their projects and encouraging me as a parent. Ronan published a book on ibooks, titled Living in Jamaica about his life in Jamaica. My mom, like only she can, worked her magic and had 3 copies printed and bound for him. (Apple makes it very difficult to print any ibook, of course) Ronan was more excited about having his book printed than published on an international platform.
I also have a lot of encouragement from my husband’s side of the family. My mother in law is a Grade 4 teacher. She has taught high school as well, and she has just completed her Masters in Math Education. My husband’s parents homeschooled him and his brother for almost 5 years, halfway through elementary into junior high. They stopped when my mother-in-law decided to go back to school herself, complete her high school requirements, enter university and receive a double degree in Education and English. She is one of our biggest homeschool supporters.
My husband credits his homeschool upbringing for giving him the tools and ability to think outside of the box to follow a career path that he loves, writing. That, and seeing his mother follow her passions in life. As he quotes from an interview he did with screenwriter and film maker Margaret Nagle where she stressed the importance of role models for a young person (especially for girls and women), “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
With the internet and so much online, the homeschool community is growing and connecting more globally. It has made it easier to connect and build that community, not to mention providing greater tools and access to information.
Reaching out to someone, or to a community that is like minded is extremely important. It helps to have support, have a sounding board, gather ideas, or sometimes just to hear a few words of encouragement.
Who are your biggest supporters in homeschooling? What is important to you in the community?
My support network has helped me immensely – when traveling, resettling, looking for ideas, and with encouragement that I am not entirely crazy.
Or maybe that craziness is just a cool part of who we are.