Tuesday, May 8

Our journey into home education began mostly because we lived in a school district notorious for failure in academics and there was a genuine dearth in suitable schools anywhere in the area.
That was two years ago. now that we have moved and are in a very desirable school district, the question keeps coming up, or rather the assumption, that "Oh, your kids will go to "________" school now, right?" To which we politely answer, "no, home education works great for our family."
I see the wheels spinning and I hear the unsaid, sometimes said, questions. I have found that the best answer to a question is another question. I like to make people think.
1. "What about socialization?"
This would be my number one least favorite question and I have patiently answered it countless times to well-meaning and concerned folks. "So," I'd say, "spending all day in a room with people your exact own age socializes you? When in real life will you ever be put in that situation again?" There are a hundred different answers to this question, but the above is my favorite.

2. What about sports?
"Do you know our oldest two play soccer with about 50 other children every week? They've participated in ballet, swimming, soccer, gym classes...."

3. How will they be able to keep up with their peers academically?
I loooove this question. I eagerly await it and try not to look too excited when I hear it.
"oh" (said as nochalantly as possible), "do you know that studies have shown that home educated children 'on the average, outperformed their counterparts in the public schools by 30-37% on all subjects.'? Or that by grade eight, the average home schooled child performs four grade levels above their private and public schooled counterpart? Pretty cool, huh?"

4. Aren't you worried about sheltering them?
"From what? What is there that is good in public/private schools that we aren't able to offer them? Music? Art? We do those. Do I need to let them experience cops running down the school halls and make out sessions in fourth grade in order to make them more complete human beings?"

Those are the main questions that come to mind, though I'm sure there are plenty more. I make an effort not to take the defensive, just to patiently give pertinent facts, though sometimes if I'm feeling my blood begin to boil, I have to resist throwing in the fact that our firstborn reads at a fourth grade level and her brother, who just turned five yesterday, helps her with her second grade math. No, they aren't geniuses, our daughter just likes to read and her brother has a knack for math.