"There go the homeschoolers." It was a short line in Parking Lot Road Rage, by John Crist, and it has replayed in my head a thousand times, like when we run weekday errands and get those funny looks from people because I'm out and about with four school age kids, or when my youngest has a hard time standing in line at gymnastics because it's not something we do much of here at Akin Academy, or when every picture I take in a weeks time, at least one of my kids is in the same pair of pajamas, all week. I chuckle under my breath as I repeat the words, yep, "there go the homeschoolers"!
And it's so funny, because we are not alone, like I used to think. You'd think we are out here on this homeschool island with some of the looks or comments you get, but the reality is, homeschooling is not all that uncommon any more. We joined a co-op this year for the first time, and talking with these other moms, some of whom have been homeschooling for years, I've found some commonalities that seem to run true for many (not all, I'm sure) homeschool mom types. It's done much for my soul to realize these things are not isolated to my home or my little humans. So.... Five signs you are a homeschooling momma!
1. Your kids ask "Where are we going today?" because you put on jeans. This one makes me laugh and wonder what my children must think of my appearance throughout the week when we don't venture out, because leggings, sweats, t-shirts and house shoes are the norm. No one wants to get down on the floor of their own home to do lego math with their five year old wearing skinny jeans. No thank you!
2. Your kids are the ones at the doctor's office reading, or doing work on a clip board, or on the side walk while you wait on a sibling at speech, or the bleachers at swim lessons, or a blanket at the park... Because homeschool goes with you, all the time.
3. Your third grader is at approximately lesson 120 of 170 in all but spelling which he's at lesson 27 and no one is panicking. In fact, he may start the 4th grade finishing up 3rd grade spelling. Why? Because we can. He's struggling in that subject, so we took a couple weeks off and slowed way down so he could work closer to mastery of each lesson. I've heard some moms say their child is on different grades in several subjects. We're so trained to believe these things have to happen the same for every child, when there is nothing else in their rearing that we expect them to do at the same time as every one else. In adulthood we call it "keeping up with the Jones'" and we know its wrong, the reason for discontent and feelings of inadequacy, yet we do it with our children's education... but I digress....
4. You might get strange looks for having the crew at the gym for swimming lessons... or Target, or the grocery... during school hours, but you'll also have several surprised adults comment on the gentle manners which they have in holding the doors open for each other and strangers, how they make eye contact, and engage adults when spoken to. Socialization people. Its not just for same aged peers.
5. You can get REAL creative with object lessons. A trip to the ice cream shop for a lesson on the senses. Bake a cake to discuss dry and liquid measurements. A pie to emphasize fractions. Hot chocolate to visualize first, second and third steps for writing. Hummmm.... Guess it's time for something sweet in the house! But truly, homeschool moms are some of the most impressive at real life lessons, because why would you ever let an opportunity pass you by?!
I hope you found these humorous and, if these same five are true for you, that for a brief moment you realize you are not on an island. If these aren't true for you, I'd love to hear what your 'signs' are!