Thursday, December 8, 2016

Please Do(n't) Ask our Homeschooler...

We are four years into our homeschool journey and loving (most days) of it! :)

Mark was grew up attending private school and I attended Montessori/private/public schools. Mark's brother grew up in private schools and my sister went to public/charter schools. We didn't grow up with any homeschooled friends and very few of our friends are homeschooling their own children. 

I have noticed, maybe because of the above, that people tend to not ask Annabeth about school. As I kid I felt like every family gathering began with my grandparents and aunts asking me "How is school going?" 

So, in case you are wondering how, when, or what to ask our homeschooler here are some suggestions:

Please DO Ask:

- How is school going?
- What are you working on?
- What is your favorite subject?
- Have you done any fun projects lately?
- Do you have any art projects you would like to show me?
- Have you read any good books lately?
- Would you like to read together?
- Did you have a nice fall break? 
- Are you looking forward to Christmas break?

These last two really hit home over the weekend, we had lunch with Mark's family. Four members of his immediate family work in schools and they were all discussing their holiday break schedule. No one asked us ours. They may not have realized that we do keep a set schedule but Annabeth noticed. She said on the drive home, "Mama no one asked me when my Christmas day will be. Kati telled me hers" Her schedule, her breaks, are just as important to her as any other child. Our non-school days are VERY different than our school days and she certainly looks forward to the breaks!

Please DO NOT Ask:

- Do you wish you were in school?
- Don't you want to go school?
- A giant math question or to read a book on the spot. Just like all children, she may or may not want to "perform" in the moment. If you do ask a question like this, please be ready to help her find the answer or help read the book if she needs that. Failing to help her will make her feel like she has failed. 

Annabeth has never been to a brick-and-mortar school for class and thus has never asked to go to school that way. Her school is our schoolroom and to her school is how we do it. 

From the parent/teacher perspective, I wish people would ask me questions too. Like all teachers, I am always accessing how I am teaching and how Annabeth is learning. I read educational journals, homeschool magazines, and love to look at curriculum and science catalogs. I am always on Pinterest or other idea pages looking for new and exciting ideas to use in our classroom. I glean lots of great ideas through discussions with other homeschool parents but also from classroom teachers. I often ask my friend Rose and brother-in-law Luke, who both teach at brick-and-mortar schools for ideas or help when I need it. 

I am excited to be a teacher and I love being able to teach my children at home! A friend asked me this fall "but what else do you do?" Well, I full time teach and I full time run my home - that is about all I have time for! Homeschooling is my job so please feel free to ask me how work is going! :) 

Overall, my goal is that our family and friends would be as excited about what we do for school as they would be if Annabeth attended a school where they would visit for Grandparent's Day or Donuts with Dad or the Spring Music Concert. While our decision to homeschool is a personal one, I love to share our lives with you! We want everyone we love to be part of our journey as well! 

The Country School by Winslow Homer
This painting hung in my Grandma and Grandpa Chico's living room
and I was thankful to have it after they entered the Life Eternal. It now hangs in our schoolroom.  
Mark and I are so thankful for our parents and grandparents and their role in our education!

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