Monday, August 19, 2013

Homeschooling. The least conventional way

After much anticipation and what seems like years of preparation, we have finally joined the ranks of homeschoolers. 

In the months prior to our joining, I have spent countless hours reading blogs from other homeschooling families, researching curriculum, looking at pictures of "school rooms" in Pinterest; and finally I've come to the conclusion that we are like no other homeschooling family.  At least none I've found.

For starters, I am not the one doing the teaching.  I'm the one who gets up in the wee hours of the morning, yells at unsuspecting drivers on the way to work, and puts in 9 hours each day in a downtown office.  Where most homeschooling families have a mom doing the teaching, ours has a dad (wonderful dad!) who is willing to take on the task of educating the kids to my ridiculously high expectations.

And yes, while I'm at it, I know sometimes I have unrealistic expectations, and that I expect my kids to be smarter than most children, but that's just me.  I figure if we aim high and not achieve it, we'll still achieve our goal.

As I was saying, I spent countless hours looking for blogs about families like ours: families where dad did the schooling, mom went to the office every day, and they both had a significant role in their children's education.  I'm pretty certain there are homeschool dads out there, we can't be the only family with one.  I came across a few blogs that had not been updated in several years, which made me wonder: did the dads call it quits, did they get too busy and no longer had time to update their blogs? I guess I'll never know.  

I have been very surprised to be asked "are you quitting your job?" every time we've mentioned homeschooling.  Are we conditioned to think men are not capable of teaching?  Because every professor I had in college was male, and there are many male teachers in elementary and high school.  Is it because mom usually stays home?  I'm never sure why the question come, but it is usually accompanied by a look of disapproval.  

What most of these people never bother to ask is what my role is in this homeschooling adventure.  I wonder if they think simply because I'm not doing the teaching, I'm not involved in the schooling.  

Truth be told, I'm the mastermind of this whole operation.  *insert evil laugh* .  Once we made the decision (it was a joint decision, not just mine); I knew the researching, learning, finding curriculum, getting organized, keep up with records, etc, would fall on me.  That's just the roles we have in our family, I'm the one who does the planning, even if my husband does the execution of the plan. Homeschooling is no different.  I put the lesson plans together, I keep their schedules straight, I run the operation behind the scenes.  

We are just on week two of homeschooling, but I can see already it will only work if all parties (parents and kids) communicate.  The kids let me know if they don't like something in a lesson.  Dad will tell me if he notices the kids listen better if read to, rather than having to do the reading, or if the material in a textbook is boring.  Homeschooling is more than just school at home, it's a family endeavour.  

So here we are.  Homeschoolers.  I can add that to the list of things I never thought I would be.  But I'm certainly glad we are on this path.