Thursday, April 21, 2011

So - the Question, the Homeschooling Answer & the Fallout

A week or 2 back we were out at a weekly activity Bear is signed up for and at the end of it some of the moms were chatting about if they were continuing for the second half of the year and asking when everyone was sending their kids to school as it's "time" now. The kids in question range between about 2 and 3 and a half years old.

It's starting to happen more and more, Bear is now smack bang in the middle of the age people in our country consider it proper (and necessary) for small children to be in "school" it a playschool, a kindergarten, a preschool, no one cares about the name as long as you're doing the responsible thing by sending your child to it.

I'm not sure why this age in particular is deemed appropriate here?
Maybe it's cause they are now obviously out of the baby stage and are more like little people?
I know in certain areas of Europe 4 years of age is considered a good time, but here if you are privileged enough to be able to stay at home with your children people still expect you to start sending them off from around 2 years old. Some people start asking even earlier, I have one particular woman who asked me constantly when Bear would be starting school from when he turned 1...thank goodness she finally gave up around the 3 year

Considering that the Department of Education only considers the beginning of a child's school career to start at 7 years of age, I'm not sure why there is such a big rush to get our children into a system which will already claim 12 years of their lives? Why add another 4, 5, 6 years to that?
And here I have to add my disclaimer - I'm talking about those of us who have the priviledge and opportunity to stay at home with our kids, not those who have to put them into day care out of neccesity!

Anyway I digress, this post was actually suppose to be about what happened when they all looked at me and it was my turn to answer the question at hand!
"So what school are you guys looking at?" The one woman queried?
I hesitated for only a second, the decision has been made so no beating around the bush any more!
"We're not, we've decided we are going to be homeschooling!" I answered

Their feelings were written clearly on their faces before being replaced with wallpaper smiles
Not so discreet looks were exchanged
"Oh so you're a teacher?" the one lady asked politely
Oh I wanted to laugh, but instead I said no and went on try to explain a bit about homeschooling.
I don't know why I tried, there was no point to it and I have no need to explain my choices, next time I think it would be better not to even try!
Anyway, a few moments later it was time to go and the conversation ended on that note.
But the damage is done, I'm now "that mom"

IMAGINE if I told them we're leaning towards unschooling!

I must say we had a good giggle about it at home, lol, just as well as it's likely to happen more and more often.

So what do you think the best approach is when people ask you a question with an answer you know they won't "approve" of? And what kind of answer do you prefer to receive if you're asking the question?
  • Do you avoid the question, give a safe answer or outright lie?
  • Do you answer truthfully but try justify your answer?
  • Or are you a straight talker who gives the basics but makes no excuses, people can take it however they want?
I'd like to be a straight talker, I know I like a straight answer! I try, but somehow I always find myself slipping into the explaining & justifying's something I think I need to work on!


  1. Hi there,

    I lurk on BN alot and was reading the homeschooling threads. I LOVE your answers. I'm one of those weirdo's who homeschool, took my kids out of their playgroup, to start homeschool. They are now 5,4, and 2. Most people find it difficult to comprehend that they are in fact homeschooled as they are able to have a conversation, they are able to engage society at large. Snigger, snigger. I'm one of those straight talkers and make NO apologies for homeschooling.

    So thanks for your blogs, have a good chuckle reading them.
    Proud homeschooling mom.

  2. Hi Mick, so nice to hear from someone else who homeschools, especially someone with younger children like me! I think straight talking/no apologies is the way to go, so good for you!
    Thank you for your comment and I hope to hear more from you!