14 November 2008

Closet Homeschoolers

I think it must be a common misconception that homeschooling students are kept in the closet, or locked in the basement! The amount of questions that we, and other homeschoolers across the country, hear about how homeschooling parents force their kids to dress, or whether or not we allow our girls to wear make up, or how our children make friends with out being locked in a  building all day long are ridiculous!

My children and I love to get out! We love to go hiking and climbing, take walks around the neighborhood, visit our neighbors. We love to go to any near by museums or zoos when we live by them. We love to take karate classes, and yoga classes. We love to go to vegetarian or vegan community dinners.

We also love to chat with people on line, research information on the computer, play new computer games, and sit and play by ourselves. We love to laugh and tell jokes as a family, and prepare meals together.

Yes, my 15 year old daughter can make dinner... not because I am training her to be a housewife, but because I want her to be able to EAT when she wants to live out of my house. For this same reason , my boys are learning to prepare their own food to. And they all do housework... everybody needs to know how to do housework!

But how many five year olds took an interest in the last election, and could discuss with adults why he was choosing to "vote" for a particular candidate? Mine did, and then he stayed up all night to make sure that his candidate would actually win. How many children got to see what the voting process is actually like, and tour a voting facility? We came home with stickers that said "I Voted", which they awarded to their stuffed animals when they participated in the election held at home.

There are places that we have lived that we make it a point to NOT go to the store during school hours. Some places homeschoolers are not just misunderstood, but discouraged. If we choose to keep to ourselves sometimes, it is only for that reason.

And we still find plenty of reasons to get out and talk to people....Even if it is only a half hour conversation with the produce manager about our favorite produce, and how they had fresh squeezed orange juice every morning growing up and had to make it by hand. Or maybe it was the cashier at the movie store that loves to hear of our adventures, and discusses movies and actors with the kids... Yeah, we get out, and have plenty of friends.

How many people are glad to see you and your kids when you walk in the door?

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