10 More Annoying Homeschool Questions

10 More Annoying Homeschool Questions  

Warning: If you disagree with homeschooling, are opposed to laughter, or take yourself too seriously, please skip this post or at least refrain from sending emails telling me what’s wrong with me. I am already aware.

Awhile ago I revealed the 10 most annoying homeschool questions ever asked. It was a bad week – don’t judge. Some of the most annoying questions asked of me and many of you were:

  • What about socialization?
  • Do you like it?
  • Is it legal?
  • What will happen if they miss the prom?

I offered snarky answers to these dreaded questions. Like I said, it had been a rough week.

There are no excuses this time. No sick children, no sleepless nights, and PMS is nowhere on the radar. But when I reflect on the questions I’ve been asked about homeschooling, I tend to get a bit edgy. So let’s do this again, shall we?

10 more annoying homeschool questions

#1 – How will they learn to stand in line?

Can you believe someone, who shall remain nameless and who will never read this blog, asked me how my child would learn to stand in line when she is homeschooled? Maybe I should listen to them. I don’t stand well in line. I fidget in the grocery store, I sigh loudly at the bank, and don’t even get me started on the DMV. A trip to Disneyworld will take care of this education gap.

#2 – How will they learn to take orders?

Take orders? As in, “would you like fries with that?” Sorry, aspirations for my children are a wee bit higher than taking orders. Will they learn to respect authority? Certainly. If respect is earned. Manners and etiquette? Definitely. Something I’m a stickler on. They’ll be mindful of their manners and giving of their heart, but they won’t be mindless drones willing to accept anything and everything thrown their way.

#3 – How do they not cheat?

This one made me laugh. To me, cheating is a moral issue. It has nothing to do with homeschool or public school. I’ll go out on a limb here. There may be – I mean there could be…a slight chance…that cheating is going on in public school. Big shocker. So…if cheating goes on in public school, wouldn’t my child be better off at home – where there’s no one to cheat off of? Now if you’re insinuating that I’m the one cheating, that’s a different story. {rolling up sleeves, taking earrings off, clenching fists – kids screaming CAT FIGHT}

#4 – What makes you qualified?

Usually this question comes from some unsuspecting stranger that hasn’t a clue what’s about to hit the fan. Personally, I have more education than most certified teachers, but that’s irrelevant. Parents are qualified to teach their children and have been doing so since birth. Some may not believe they are qualified, and that’s fine. Their children are not being homeschooled. Unless you’re my mother or father, what makes you qualified to ask me if I’m qualified to teach MY kids?

#5 – How will they learn to tie their shoes?

Yes folks, this is an actual question asked by some idiot inquisitive cashier at Blockbuster. No offense to anyone working at a movie rental store. That’s not the point here. Shoe tying apparently can only be taught by someone other than a parent, and can never be demonstrated at home. Why else do you think I continue to buy Velcro shoes for my 10 year old?

#6 – How are you supposed to have a life?

I’m a parent – duh. I have no life – of my own that is. Homeschooling doesn’t have anything to do with it. My life ended when the doctor handed me that 8 lb. ball of flesh that looked like a well-done Thanksgiving turkey with the face of a 90 year old man. Yep, that’s my little girl. My heart grew three sizes that day – life over, game on.

#7 – Who will help them with their homework?

Apparently because I’m the teacher, I can’t help with homework – that would be cheating, right? Didn’t we just cover that one above? First of all, I don’t believe in homework and will never assign it. Heck, if we’re going to be literal here, isn’t it all HOMEwork? You don’t make sense Mister; now go away. {I’m reliving each question}

#8 – How will they learn to deal with bullies?

Did you really just ask me this question? Bullies? Well, let me paint a picture for you. My child was in first grade at public school, when a little man, I’ll call him jerk-boy, also in the first grade, began poking my daughter with sharp pencils on a daily basis. When brought to my attention one evening at dinner, I calmly discussed the hit plan with my husband. I told him I would meet with the teacher in the morning and make it all better. So of course the first thing I did was wait until the teacher had escorted most of the children inside before I ran to the boy like a rabid squirrel, squatted down at his level (because that’s how Super Nanny says one should discipline) and told him if he ever poked my child again…. Let’s just say, I left the playground in a hurry, and told my husband it would be great if he could take our daughter to school for the next couple of weeks – mommy needed to remain in hiding a break.

#9 – Does your husband know?

Know what? How much I spent on shoes curricula? I don’t think it’s fair for me to answer questions about my spouse when he is not present to answer for himself. Does he know I homeschool? What kind of marriage do you think this is? We may not have had a date-night in three weeks, but he does know there is a woman living in his house who educates his children. {Gasp}

#10 – How will they learn what’s in style?

When a close friend asked me this question, we’ll call her Fashion Jane for anonymity purposes, I was a bit shocked. At first, I thought, yeah what if they start dressing in yoga pants everyday? Oh wait, that’s me. Then I thought, my oldest is a gymnast, she wears a leotard every single day of her life. My toddler prefers a diaper, one sock, and shorts on her head. Style? We have our own style around here and we like it.

Disclaimer: There isn’t one. Like I said, there are no sick kids, no insomnia, no PMS, and no wine. 

Now, what about you? What annoying questions have you been asked?

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About the AuthorBrenda Rufener is the creator of Homeschool Diaries, an internationally published writer and homeschooling parent of two daughters. Get more from Brenda on Facebook and Twitter.

Further reading:

10 Most Annoying Homeschool Questions Ever Asked

5 Reasons Why Homeschooling Should Be Banned

Top 10 Homeschool Fails

Top 10 Most Awkward Homeschool Moments

Coming Soon:

For Better And For Worse

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    The worst thing ever said to me wasn’t even a question. I was talking to a friend about homeschool when a stranger OVERHEARD us. Yup, she wasn’t even part of the conversation, and chimed in with “Oh, don’t be stupid, you’re going to want that time to yourself.” I shot back with, “I didn’t realize the ONLY reason kids go to school is so the parents can have time to themselves.” *sarcasm font here*

    • 3

      says

      I get this ALL the time! I respond with “Free time? For what? So I can stare at Facebook & read blogs all day? Yeah… I do that now – right along with attending Seminary and operating a small business.” Why can’t other folks simply be supportive of one another? We all have our own choices to make – so what if my choices are different from their choices? Chances are we didn’t make the same choice for breakfast cereal, either. “Honey-nut Cheerios? Oh you can’t be serious? When are you going to start eating Multi-grain?” Silliness, I tell ya.

      Maybe us homeschooling mamma’s should start asking them “So when are you going to start homeschooling?” Ha!
      Becki Johnson recently posted…Spinning My Tires – Making a Mess!My Profile

  2. 7

    Wendy Anderson says

    Oh this was great! We also have a large family so we get teh large family questions along with the homeschooling ones. I am also like you in that I LOVE to give a snarky response. If it is a little old lady who seems genuinely interested tehn I will be honest and nice/polite, but most people ask with a snarky attitude so i answer with a snarky answer!!!

    • 8

      Brenda Kaye Rufener says

      Yes Wendy, I agree. There is a fine balance between honesty/politeness and snarkiness. Most of the snark is in my head but never leaves the lips…sometimes. :-)

    • 10

      Beth says

      And add, “How is he going to get a diploma?” after that question as well. :) I have a family member worried about this and keeps telling us she knows we mean well but she thinks we’re making a huge mistake…… Goodness! How many times do I have to explain we’re legally able to give a diploma when the time comes, there’s the GED if an unaccredited diploma isn’t enough PLUS there are online courses he could take in addition to what he’s taking at home to get a diploma from an accredited school. And he’s not going to be ready for a diploma for about 13 more years!

      • 11

        Beth M says

        A high school diploma isn’t strictly necessary anyway – and this is coming from someone (me) who doesn’t have one! I do, however, have two college degrees (AA and BA). I wasn’t homeschooled, I just dropped out of high school to go to college early. I never bothered to get a GED either. It can play havoc with the red tape sometimes, but the lack of a high school diploma has never preventing me from doing anything I really wanted to do. I went to college, graduated from college, was accepted into graduate schools (decided not to go), got married, taught public high school… Now I’m a homeschooling SAHM of 3 kids. Clearly my life is ruined by not having a high school diploma ;-)

    • 12

      says

      Got the same question about my littles. haha, I laughed in her face and proceeded to tell her that so far I had not homeschooled all the way through High School as my daughter graduated at 16 and went to college. Then I just gave her a big fat smile. she was silent. Love it when that happens.

      • 13

        Terran says

        My eldest took the California High School Proficiency Exam at 16, passed with flying colors, and went to college. Love the looks on people’s faces when I answer their ridiculous questions with that little fun fact!

    • 14

      Lynda says

      Hmmm…. My best and greatest affirmation that homeschooling through high school can work beautifully was when our oldest was accepted at Duke University. It was lovely to be able to interject that into conversations with homeschool skeptics. And now that she’s at Georgetown for medical school… Well, let’s say that doesn’t hurt either.

    • 16

      Julie says

      What are you going to do when you get to algebra???
      Alge-what? He doesn’t need to know anything about x and y…and I mean, it’s not like I took college algebra when I earned my bachelor’s and wouldn’t be able to teach high school algebra. SMH…

    • 18

      Carrie says

      Lol YES! I remember my mom getting asked this several times! =)

      Oh, by the way, she’s graduated 4 kids and two more not that far behind! =)

  3. 19

    Paula says

    Ha! We had a number 9 in our son’s life and handled it exactly the same way. Only my husband was the communicator! It worked. One thing about homeschool – there’s very little red tape!

  4. 20

    Christina S. says

    “So when are you going to put them in regular school?”

    It’s interesting how some people seem to think this is just an experiment or something short-term. I think it’s another way of saying, “You’re not really going to do this through High School, right?!”

  5. 21

    Paula F. says

    The worst thing I ever heard was, “If they’re that smart with you teaching them, imagine how smart they’d be if they went to real school.”

    Yep. Maybe, we should trade in the 74th percentile for the 50th.

    • 22

      Janice says

      LOL I have gotten that once and my mom got it from someone when my son was with her. We were speechless when it happened. I mean, what do you say to that? lol

      • 23

        Mrs. P says

        Quote all the research that says that homeschoolers out-perform public and private school children on standardized tests, have higher GPAs in college, etc. If they persist then walk away knowing that your opinions are based on statistics and their unresearched opinions are based merely on their feelings.

    • 25

      wrightchoicez528 says

      My parents don’t call it the “real school” but tell my kids that I need to put them back in the “free school” so I can get a “real job” to help pay our bills. My parents! Needless to say we limit the kid’s interaction with them and I don’t interact at all (story for another day). I work p/t at Casey’s besides being at home to help with bills. Who are they to say I need more for our bills?! We pay everything on time and don’t ask anyone for help (except the occasional sitter). Gotta love opinions-everybody has one and most stink ;)

      • 28

        Cassandra Creighton says

        Yes the idea of learning how to line up is astounding. I had the Regional Kindergarten Co-ordinator phone me in distress at our decision to homeschool saying “How will your son learn to line up ?” She then sent me an email saying the same thing! Two years later I still laugh about it.

      • 29

        Deb Rojas says

        They can get experience standing in line at an amusement park. That SHOULD NOT be the purpose of mass education.

    • 30

      Xanthina says

      This amuses me greatly.

      When my little one was 4, we went to a public event. There was a spin art station. She got her card, and stood in line. We where waiting our turn, when an older girl and her brother came up. The older girl was about 8 or 9. She cut in line in front of my daughter. I made a comment to the grandmother, who brushed it off but called the girl back. The girl proceeded to throw a royal screaming FIT. Grandma gave me an exasperated look, made a comment about kids not being able to wait in line. About a minute later they decided to move on to something else. My daughter looked at me and said “Mum-mum, that’s not good behavior”

  6. 33

    Mel Suderman says

    My personal favorites are:
    “Is it easy to teach them yourself?” (Oh yeah, teachers always say they have the easiest job in the world!)
    “When are you going to let them go to REAL school.” (Silly me, the 7 subjects we do each day sure feel real.)

  7. 34

    vicki says

    Had one person ask me how was my DD ever going to be ready for the real world? What?!!! I wanted to pinch him—to see if he was real. Geez…..

  8. 36

    Olivia Martin says

    I had someone yesterday tell me that it will be much nicer wants the kids are in school. I have 4 who are 5 and under. I told her we are homeschooling and she said back to me well someday you will have to put some of them in school. I sad no we are homeschooling all of our children. And once again she said well someday they will have to go to school. I just quit at that point.

  9. 38

    Brittani says

    “My toddler prefers a diaper, one sock, and shorts on her head.” Oh. Em. Gee. You literally had me laughing out loud at this one. My toddler, too, prefers a diaper, only she also prefers two different shoes, her sister’s bathrobe, and no top – that way her bellybutton is easier to access. You are hilarious.

    • 39

      Xanthina says

      My toddler cannot understand why she is not permitted to run around buck naked, wearing one shoe(with insole pulled out), one sandal, and a hat.

  10. 41

    says

    I just love posts that make me smile like this. Thank you! Today was the ‘first day of school’ for our local schools and I kept seeing so many Facebook pasts of sad moms and dads (and a few happy ones) as their children went off to school. This is our first year homeschooling and this was the happiest first day of school E.V.E.R.

  11. 42

    Amanda says

    I was once told by a family member…”Put her in school. She needs to learn street-smarts.” Ummm…..come again?!

  12. 45

    Mark B. says

    Number 3 may not apply if you have twins. Although they weren’t frequently studying the same subjects at the same level.

    And one could claim over 2100 on Sats but in the bottom half of his class.

  13. 46

    says

    I love these lists! It amazes me how many people comment on homeschooling and are not even educated on the topic. Number 9 made me laugh a lot. Does your husband know?? How could he not know?

  14. 48

    says

    Luckily, as of yet, I have not had too many negative responses. What I hear the most of is, “I could NEVER do that!” My thought is, “So you could give birth to them, and raised them until they are 5…but you can’t continue?”

    Someone also told me, “It takes a special kind of person to homeschool.”
    I looked at her puzzled as to what exactly it was she was implying. Since it was someone from church, I decided to remain as cordial as I could. I smiled and said, “Well, it isn’t easy.” Or something like that. What I now wish I had said was, “Thank you!”

    I have noticed how people react to me when they see me in the store with my kids. I usually get glares. Ha.. some people’s children!
    Evelyn Curtis recently posted…Travel Lap TrayMy Profile

    • 50

      Beth M says

      I hear that one a lot. I respond “Home schooling isn’t the right choice for every family.” Covers all the bases there. Usually, the person follows that with a huge list of why they need public school, taking the focus off their (mis)understandings about homeschooling.

  15. 51

    says

    Is it bad that I still have not taught my six year old twins to tie their shoes? They have no desire to learn, and I still haven’t bought them a pair of shoes that needs tieing! They would much rather be in flip flops all day long.

    Thank you for posting this! I needed a good laugh today. I rarely give anything less than a snarky comment to Homeschooling questions. Don’t people realize we get tired of the same old thing? I don’t even correct my children when they simply state “We don’t go to school”. Let those nosey ladies at the supermarket keep wondering!

    Thanks for a good laugh :) Much Love!
    Noey L recently posted…Our Curriculum for 2013-2014 School Year.My Profile

    • 52

      Heather says

      Lol! My 9 year old just learned to tie her shoes like a year ago. Heck no! Nothing wrong with that at all. People always want their kids to do everything first and learn everything early… not this mama! Time is passing me by too quickly as it is. If they have no desire yet, keep buying shoes that Velcro and worry not. :-)

  16. 53

    Beth says

    The best question I’ve ever gotten was a corollary to the bully question. “How will they learn to deal with annoying cubicle mates if they don’t have to deal with the same annoying kid in class five days a week for 9 months?” My answer had seething to do with maybe my kids won’t work in a cubicle to which she said “we all do, what makes your kid special? I just shook my head and quit talking to her at that point.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  17. 54

    says

    Oh, the socialization questions… and the questions about how we’re going to deal with their “special needs”. (Both boys are autistic). Honestly, it does get wearying, but your answers are funny!

  18. 55

    Jody says

    I don’t get too many annoying questions but the socialization one I have a few times. I usually just say, oh they get plenty but I really want to say something like….”Yes, because we all know homeschoolers keep their kids in the basement and make them learn all day long and maybe feed them now and then!”

    Oh and yes, I have gotten the how are they going to be able to be in the real world? My response has been. “So the real world consists of people of the same age group working together and never with people of different ages?”

  19. 56

    says

    Oh wow.. Yeah, I’ve gotten all these questions (minus the ones towards the parents) I did just fine being homeschooled. Truthfully (I can say this now that I’m graduated;D) me and my mom skipped all the stuff that I’m never going to use.. My brother loves Algebra and is incredibly good at it, so we had him do all my algebra classes (my homeschooling was online) I only studied hard on the things I could actually use and things I wanted to learn about. I took art classes (that sucked) and my driving class, as well as reading and writing, which I loved =)
    It’s amazing how little people know about homeschooling. It’s not evil!!

  20. 59

    says

    I just graduated my oldest (of three). I’ve homeschooled them the whole way through, and heard many annoying questions and comments. I’m here to say sit tight; when they ace the PSAT, the SAT, the CHSPE, and all their college assessments; and jump into college with a well-adjusted, friendly attitude, having never used drugs, drunk, or gone off the rails, you can hand every annoying question back to these people, with a snarky glint in your eye. :)
    Columba Lisa Smith recently posted…Three Tips for Answering a Child’s Hard QuestionsMy Profile

  21. 60

    Betty says

    I get “I could never homeschool” one quite a bit, need a snarky comeback.
    But my Dad who only went to school through 8th grade and is a farmer who has never kept typical farmer hours asked “How will they learn to wake up in time for a job?” I found it especially comical coming from him but seriously they have many years to wake to an alarm, I’m not going to make that a part of their childhood, people on swing or night shifts can train their bodies to wake at all different hours.

  22. 63

    says

    Funny! I don’t get too many annoying questions anymore (we’re going on six years homeschooling.) Occasionally I will get questions about curriculum or my qualifications, but I have learned to respond in “education-ese” and that seems to quell the onslaught. It’s all semantics, and I have no problem “playing the game’ so I don’t get annoyed. Funnily enough, when I “tell people what they want to hear,” they are quick and happy to tell me how NORMAL they can see that my kids are and how I’m clearly doing a fantastic job teaching them. It cracks me up.

  23. 64

    AncaT says

    My sister in law’s father told me ” You know you are ruining their lives, right? How are they going to socialize?” I asked him if he seriously thought I kept my kids chained up inside the house.

  24. 66

    Eliza says

    What a hilarious post!!!!! Thank God I’ve never been asked any of THESE questions!! I just read your first article and having been homeschooled back in the 80s, I was asked most of those (and my mom was asked all of them!)!! It was such a big deal to see school aged kids in public in the daytime, that we were accosted almost every time we went anywhere. I still run into the occasional person who has never heard of homeschooling but thankfully most ppl in my area don’t bat am eye about it anymore.
    Ah, this article made me laugh so much. Thanks!!

  25. 67

    Emily says

    My fil once asked how do I know what to teach him. I pointed to the ‘Everything you 1st grader needs to know ‘ book, but before I could say anything he says “but those books are 20 years old! ” and asked me again. Uh, gee. As far as I know the basics like math, reading, and writing haven’t changed in 20 years! I also haven’t been living under a rock so I think I can handle modern history when we get to that. He then asked about teaching upper level math in high-school and (apparently because I’m too stupid to learn it when the time comes) completely forgot that my husband holds a BA in mathematics and was a teacher. Ummmm, I think we got this.

  26. 69

    says

    Wow ! Have we had those moments We are a 25 yr. plus second generation home-educating family right out of public school . Yeah, ours didn’t get to stand in line, but they have gotten to school in pajamas, birth goats, save the lives of many farm animals, learn natural treatments, find their own path (by the Grace of God) and much, much, much more. With no rigid time schedule, an open heart and mind, education happens on its own much of the time. Now I have nothing against those who public educate ~I don’ think all schools/teachers are out to be a detriment to our children. Now why can’t they give me the same respect and space
    ?

  27. 70

    Nicole says

    As far as waking up to an alarm. How do you think we get up in time to get to church? How do you think we know when we have to get up for an early appointment at the doctor’s office. Not like my kids don’t know what an alarm is. The world is run on a 24-hour clock and we give our kids plenty of opportunity to get out of the house and get places on time.

    Yeah, I hate that question!

    And this list is hilarious! ( I want this font on my blog!!)

  28. 71

    Melissa says

    I love that my daughter takes peer questions about home schooling head on! She doesn’t back down. At 16 she is a youth leader and will be starting college in January. She will have her associates degree before her friends even get an high school dipolma.

  29. 72

    Nicole says

    So funny! My mother went to a homeschool conference with us. I thought she was on board with the homeschooling thing until she said, “I can tell all these teenagers are really shelter.” I couldn’t even respond. I was so shocked. My daughter is 5. So mom, just tell me how you really feel.

  30. 73

    Sheela says

    “Would you homeschool my son for me?”

    I’ve gotten this one about…..8 times in the past 6 months or so….lots of antsy, miserable boys in school.

    • 74

      says

      lol I just got that question last week. I homeschool a friend of mine’s son (along with my 12 y/o daughter), and we were at a store. We ran into a mutual friend, and my friend told our mutual friend that I am her son’s teacher. Our friend almost immediately said, “How much would you charge to homeschool my son?” (who, btw, is VERY hyper. lol And my friend’s son is hyper, too. They’re both 6.) I just told her that I would love to, but we do good to have enough room in our home for the two kids (our daughter and our friend’s son) we do teach.

  31. 76

    Tina Rippy says

    This is soooo funny! I absolutely LOVE #8. As a homeschool mom of 3 boys, I learned a while ago that you don’t mess with ‘the family’. ;)

  32. 77

    Nikki says

    Fantastic post! I have been asked to homeschool ‘regular’ kids. My favorite questions involve “but why don’t you want your children to join our after-school (insert activity),because they must be starved of social interaction?”

    Others include “but if your child learns that now, they will get bored in high school!”
    “when are they going back to real school?”
    “what is the point of learning a foreign language early on? They will have to start from the beginning with everyone else later.”
    “no one speaks Latin. Don’t you think it’s a big waste of time?”
    “why are you letting your 6 year old study art history. Don’t you know that it’s only available in high school?”

    We have a great relationship with the former school. We still go back for some activities, once a week. So my absolute best conversations come from that. Apparently being in school when you are card-carrying homeschooler is a paradox!

  33. 78

    Kathleen says

    My ‘regular’ kids are in ‘regular’ school and I hate it. How did you get started? And did any of you have to convince your spouse? Thanks in advance!

    • 79

      Kimberly S says

      Aw, I am sorry you are not happy with your family’s situation right now. My husband and I were both homeschooled K-12 and loved it. We plan to homeschool our kids too. It’s totally worth it! Check around online for local homeschool groups. There are often meetings held for new homeschoolers (or those interested). Also, log like “Home Educating Family” on Facebook and send in your question. They have a ton of followers and regularly post questions like this to get input. Blessings!

    • 80

      jen says

      i did tons of research and talked to lots of homeschool moms! my husband still isn’t fully on board. the kids are 6,5 and 1. but he will eventually. i am of the opinion i know what is best for my children. even when it’s my husband. he started to come onto my side when my oldest started reading. it’s a slow process ;)

  34. 81

    says

    I’m always asked, “How do you socialize them?” Because ALL kids who homeschool are total introverts who never get play time with other kids at church or within the homeschool cover and can’t function in society. *Rolling Eyes* Apparently public school only allows for socialization.

    Then there’s the ever-loving comment, “I just couldn’t do it. I’m not patient enough.” Well, guess what? I’m not either, but homeschooling is teaching me. *Gasp* I’M learning something, too! I homeschool because it’s what’s best for THEM, not me. My choices aren’t about me right now and I signed on the unofficial dotted line the moment they were conceived to do what’s best for them. I’m a distant second or third down the line. I try to be tactful by not saying anything when inside I’m screaming, “THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU!”

  35. 82

    judy says

    Mine isn’t a question but a really annoying statement, from a childless friend with a sign in her yard that says “no children allowed” – seriously, she has that sign. She told me “grow up and do something with your life, you’re failing him”. As a single Mom working and paying the bills and homeschooling my adhd kid and watching him flourish, all I could say was F87k off. Not polite, but neither was she.

  36. 86

    Krista says

    My daughter has begun fielding these questions, too. Halfway through 1st grade she went into the public schools because, as an only child whose neighborhood didn’t have any girls for her to play with, and our church had zero kids other than herself, she was starving for some friends/playmates. Having experienced the public schools system, I think, has helped her to come around to see the advantages of home schooling. She would be in 5th grade this year, but instead she’s doing SAXON Math 7/6 – 6th grade-level math. A girl who moved to our block within the last few years told her a few weeks ago that she should go to “real school” to socialize. My daughter responded with, “I’m socializing with you, aren’t I?” I laughed out loud when she told me about it! :)

    She also has mentioned that at “real school,” they don’t really get to socialize all that much. They are constantly being harangued to be quiet, even in the lunch room where, of all places, you would EXPECT kids to be boisterously chatting it up with each other.

    Other issues she’s had with the school system have had to do with tardies/absences in relation to the enormous amounts of homework they were assigning. Last year she would come home with so much work that I was literally spending all of the afternoon and evening hours with her to get the homework done. Oftentimes she would have to quit, go to bed, and get up earlier in the morning to finish any undone homework before heading back to school. I figured that if I was putting in so many hours with her on homework, I might as well be home schooling instead. They had my kid for 35 hours per week. They can’t teach my kid what she needs to learn in that time, so they have to steal my time with my daughter and her time to enjoy childhood? That was one of the worst injustices of it all. Plus, with home schooling, we wouldn’t have to deal with any stupid 20-day maximum on absences (most of which resulted from tardiness) risking us truancy violations. This way, if she’s late to the desk, she has only to make up the time and/or the work, no intrusions from a truancy officer threatened.

    Don’t even get me started on winter weather and staying up to find out if school is cancelled! We don’t have to worry about idiots on the road who don’t know how to drive in snow. We can cuddle up together and spend the whole day reading in our PAJAMAS! And then, when the neighborhood kids get home from “real school,” she won’t have homework keeping her from going outside to play in the snow with them, like she did last year in 4th grade.

    Home schooling is just so much better than public schools. I wish I had been home schooled, myself, as I was picked on in public school and could have used the lack of social distraction (stigma) to be able to focus on learning instead of who was going to be nasty to me today. By the time my parents finally thought about it, though, it was too late as I had so much hope that things would be better once I was out of grade school. That’s why I decided that this year HAD to be the year to get back to it – it gets harder to pull them out the older they get, as I know from my own frame of mind at that age.

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    says

    This is great!! I’ve been homeschooling for 13 years – just graduated my first and still have a first grader (I will be doing this for a long time…)

    My favorite comment is in the check out line at whatever random store we might be in during the summer – “I bet you can’t wait until the kids go back to school…” – I’ve come up with many many answers to that one over the years. But recently it was said while my kids were actually quiet and behaving – all three of them – at the same time.

    One of the kids piped up(yes, cashier – kids CAN hear you suggesting I want them out of my life…) : We are homeschooled! The cashier responded with a bit of shock, and I said, “yep – they never go to school – they are with me all the time! And, since my oldest just moved out on his own, I have to say – I treasure that. I don’t even know what I’d do if I had to spend a day without them.” She didn’t know what to say.

    What kind of world do we live in that kids are just meant to be moved out of your way so you can get on with life??

    Now, I have to go read your first post!!
    Lorie S recently posted…Threshing Oats Like it is 1921!My Profile

    • 88

      says

      “What kind of world do we live in that kids are just meant to be moved out of your way so you can get on with life??”

      What a beautiful question Lorie S…couldn’t agree with you more.

    • 89

      says

      I LOVE that! People are CONSTANTLY insisting I need a break from my children, or that they could never be around their children for that long without a break. I LOVE my sweet girl. No, she’s not perfect. No, we don’t get along 100% of the time. Yes, sometimes I am at my wit’s end without a string of patience in sight. But, I would NEVER wish my children away from me. To even imagine sending them away to school to be educated by someone other than me makes my heart sad. We are blessed with them in our home for such a short period of time. Thanks you for sharing that you don’t wish them away either =)

      • 90

        Vanessa says

        I have always found myself at the end of summers wanting just a few more weeks with my kids….we have returned to homeschooling again this year after a 5-year stint in the local school. I’m not saying that I don’t need (frequent) breaks of “alone time”, but those mostly serve to make me a better mom, and help to make me more focused and calm with my kids. At 14, 11, and 8, I know that my time with them is running out, and I love that they all still like to be around my husband and me! Talk about socializing….well, you’re all in the same boat, you know! I’ll take my “unsocialized” children any day over the alternative,thank you very much!

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    Traci says

    My daughter was in a “real school” from Pre-K until mid year 9th grade. Socialization??? They are not allowed to talk! I wish I had taken her out in 2nd grade when she asked me to. In the time that I have had her home (about 6 months now) she has opened up to how being in school killed her spirit. She was not allowed to be herself. She was not allowed to talk or be unique. As a young child she could and would talk to anyone about anything…she is painfully shy now. We are working on getting her fun loving free spirit back. So glad that my boys won’t experience this. My youngest who is in 2nd grade has been HS since Kindergarten. We knew school was not right for him right away! Just wish I had accepted the calling sooner than I did.

    Thank you for the laughs!!!! Fortunately I have not heard a lot of naysayers yet. The I couldn’t do that…and will you HS my kids too? I get those a lot.

  39. 92

    says

    When I was a 16 year old homeschool graduate, I got into a discussion with one of my college classmates about homeschooling. His reasoning was something along the lines of, “Well, sure you can learn a lot through homeschooling. Obviously you are smart enough to have graduated two years early. But what about socialization? How are homeschooled kids supposed to learn to interact with other people?” My response was, “Well, I’m sitting here talking to you, aren’t I?”

    I think most dumb questions come from genuine ignorance. I don’t give snarky answers because I think it does our cause more good if we take the time to educate rather than zing. (Even when people REALLY deserve it.) But we actually don’t get many questions about homeschooling. People never make it past the fact that we have nine kids. :)
    Melissa recently posted…Preserving Homeschool Memories With a YearbookMy Profile

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    says

    My daughter was asked at the end of the last school year if she had gone to school that morning. She replied no (she’s 5). The woman asked me if my daughter was enrolled in VPK (voluntary per-kindergarten. I said, “No, I homeschool.” She replied, “We’ll, I know you were a teacher, but is she going to be ready for kindergarten?” I replied that we would be graduating from kindergarten in two weeks (a year ahead). “Oh! So she’s actually a year ahead? Isn’t that going to be a problem in the future?” There is just no pleasing some people :)
    Suzette Ladouceur recently posted…That Is When God Stepped In (Part One)My Profile

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    says

    I’ve been enjoying getting to read your blog recently. I just started homeschooling my 7 year old in August. We had issues with bulling at school and no one would take care of it for us there so I took matters into my own hands, homeschooling. Of course I get the “But your going to let her go back to school eventually right?” She’s very happy at home with me and her siblings, so I don’t have any plans of her or her brother and sister every going to public school again. I really hate when I’m getting questions from family, I believe that has been the hardest for me, of course about socialization, we are at church 3 days a week, we have friends with children the same age, so what does going to public school vs. homeschooling have to do with anything? We get more one on one. And she’s regained having manners too! Again, thank you for your posts! They make me smile. :)

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    Jennifer says

    LOL great to see these….my favorite line came from a customer of ours(we own 2 bulk food stores which my boys age 15,12,9 all work in)that often inserts foot…:) he believes they lack in social skills (my 3 boys) due to being homeschooled but….he said ,one: they should be in school because I pay taxes so why keep them out but the best was when he asked how they are going to meet girls….cause that’s obviously why you go to school lol

  43. 96

    Christine LaRocque says

    I must preface my answer with a little background. I have a very close relationship with my two children. This summer my 6 year-old daughter said she wanted to homeschool entirely unprompted. A few weeks later her brother decided he wanted to, also. We discussed what would be involved & that they could not switch gears if they “got mad.”
    Most people are just flabbergasted that I would be willing to homeschool and usually I give little explanation. (Although I am always biting my tongue!) Well, yesterday this older gentleman asked why I was homeschooling and I told him because my children wanted to. He then snarkily asked if I do whatever my children ask. That made me very angry, and I answered rather vocally in a very public setting.

  44. 98

    says

    Ah, I had to laugh at the tying shoes one. My daughter watched me tie my shoes, watched the neighbor girl do it, and figured it out on her own at the age of 5. My son (4), well, I know he probably won’t figure it out on his own anytime before the age of 20, but at some point, when he’s in a good mood, and not feeling like he can’t do anything (today he couldn’t trace rectangles), I’ll sit down and teach him. Or my husband will. Or maybe his sister will.
    Lisa Reynoso recently posted…Gislaine’s First BookMy Profile

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    says

    OH my. This made me laugh so hard. Not only is your sense of humor amazing (doesn’t it need to be in our position?) but all of your answers are similarly as snarky as I would have been. Most of the time I think the people asking these questions are innocently ignorant. But then there are those who are as seemingly stupid as they imagine our children will turn out to be. To add to your list:

    1.”How will they ever learn how to fill out a job application?” This one is always my favorite. Really? Was that one of your concerns when you sent you child to public school? I fail to see, then, why that is an issue with my child.

    2. What if they end up stupid?
    First, NO child is stupid, regardless of their grades. Second, my child is not and will not ever be stupid. Go ahead, call my child stupid one more time and I will turn your body inside out *tames mama bear instinct*

    3. Are you following state guidlined curriculum?
    Have you even spoken to teachers who are FORCED to follow this curriculum in public schools? They all wish they had TIME to teach as opposed to following the supposed “core curriculum” they have to implement. Not to mention, my child is so far ahead of state guidelined curriculum, it would be slowing her down to follow it. And that is WHY we homeschool.

    4. What if she’s turns out to be socially incapable?
    Do I look socially incapable? I was homeschooled my whole life! This is the reponse I get, “Well, no, but you were homeschooled correctly.” So…doesn’t it seem logical is I was homeschooled correctly that I have a far better chance of homeschooling my child correctly? I wonder if these same parents also grill their kid’s teachers as harshly as they grill me…and I don’t even TEACH their kids, I teach my own. Which, believe it or not, is none of their business!

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    Ursula says

    When removing my daughter from grade one, the principal was aghast, and said, “But you don’t have a sand and water table!”
    To which I replied, that we had a sandbox and a bathtub, and they’d do just fine.
    They also wanted to know what I’d do without the special counters they had………… I said I have a button box.
    My daughter at the time (21 years ago) was being ‘taught’ the whole word method, and even though she had memorized 100 books word for word (matching the page with the picture), she couldn’t identify even the word ‘the’ when covering up the picture.
    I taught her to read in less than a month…….. something they failed to do in eight months (I took her out in April of that year).
    But they were concerned that I didn’t have a sand table (which is obviously vital for learning……. what I don’t know).

  47. 101

    VikingMom says

    I have a couple, all related to academics.

    “Which program do you use, K12 or Odyssey (local online)?” Because, apparently, all homeschooling is done online.

    When I reply to the previous question that I don’t use an online program I get either, “How do you do THAT?” or “How do you know what to do?”

    The best is, “how do you know she’s ready for the next grade?” Then when I tell them my 10yr old is about to start 8th grade math & 8th grade English so I think I’m in the clear, they give a “hmph” like I’m bragging.

  48. 102

    Valerie says

    I have a cousin-in-law (who happens to be an elementary teacher) who when she heard that I really wanted to home school my kids sputtered, ”Oh no, no, don’t do that to them, just put them in school.” As if home school isn’t a real school… We haven’t spoken much since.

  49. 103

    Hypatia says

    Homeschooling is pretty common in my urban area, but I still get weird assumptions and questions. Most people assume I was a teacher before I stayed home with my kids….somehow that would explain why I’m homeschooling and that I’m qualified to do so. Truth be told, my husband is the teacher with the doctorate and long curriculum vitae. I’m the idealistic hippie who studied anthropology.

  50. 104

    Paula says

    I was homeschooled until 6th grade because my parents had been told that you had to have a college education to homeschool through high school. I finished in public school. I loathed everything about public school and to this day wish I could have been homeschooled all the way through. I am now 35 and intend to homeschool my daughters all the way to graduation.

  51. 106

    Sarah Welsh says

    My dad was really upset at first. He literally yelled at me, “Why did you even have kids?!” His over-reaction totally blew me away. My step-mom chimed in with, “Our kids went to public school, and they turned out just fine.” And then down the road she nervously added, “Gee, Sarah, I sure hope you’re making the right decision!”

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    LAura G. says

    You are absolutely right, it is ALL “homework”. That is why we refer to anything that was left undone during the day as “leftovers”.

  53. 108

    Des says

    I plan on homeschooling my daughter when the time comes. Granted, it is about three and a half years away, but I have gotten comments and shocked looks from family or anyone who asks where she is going to school. I had my aunt tell me that I had to take classes just to be able to teach her. I have also had someone ask me “Well how would you know what to do?” I have also heard that it is too expensive to homeschool and I would be better off sending her to a private school.

  54. 109

    Crystal says

    I would just like you to know recently that I was asked why I homeschool. After responding that I hate one local school, my husband hates another, and we feel our children would be hindered (our 5-year old is breezing through first grade work and our 3 year old is trying to learn Kindergarten stuff), this lady finally informs me that she is a retired teacher. I really wish she would have mentioned this BEFORE it seemed that I was insulting her career choice. (Although, I am considering a early child education degree.)

  55. 110

    says

    We moved a couple years ago and now when people ask why I homeschool I have an answer they can’t respond to:

    When my husband was interviewing he asked how the public schools were. His future employer told him not to even bother with them, except for one. They recommended private school. I think when your future employer says that and they have been in the area *for years*, we should listen.

    No one has a comeback after that :)
    abrianna recently posted…Angel BirdbathMy Profile

  56. 111

    Deanna says

    When we told one of the teachers at the public school that we wouldn’t be back in the fall because we’d decided to homeschool, he was upset because they really need kids like mine who will score highly on the standardized tests. Yes, because making the school look good is a big priority to me. I’m civic-minded, but I have to put my kids first, so um, no….

    When my husband mentioned to a coworker that we homeschool the guy groaned and rolled his eyes and then asked “How old is the earth?” That was a new one for us! I told my husband he should have said “Duh, it’s like 2,000 years old, that’s why the year is 2013!” If anyone ever asks me that question, at least I have my snarky response all planned out, though.

  57. 112

    Deanna says

    My husband told a coworker that we homeschool and the guy groaned, rolled his eyes and asked “How old is the earth?” I told my hubby he should have said “Duh, it’s like 2,000 years old that’s why the year is 2013.” I never have a quick comeback, so I am almost wishing someone asks me this now that I’ve got a comeback all figured out. :-)

  58. 113

    stephanie says

    when we decided to pull our kids out of day school to home-school the teacher remarked when we were leaving “They will always have a place here for them WHEN you decide to bring them back.” She expected me to fail and so it was all the more sweeter when I ran into her down the street and told her how well they were doing. I had managed to close the 3.5 year gap in reading my 8 year old had where she hadn’t. my 5 year old had learnt how to write his name backwards in the 3 terms he’d been in Prep but in 6 months he was writing and reading 2 years ahead of his age and my non-verbal 6 year old had started using sign language, saying a few words and knew his alphabet forwards and backwards! That teacher is still waiting for my phone call to re-enrol….

  59. 114

    Jess Smith says

    I haven’t gotten too many of the questions YET! I know I will eventually. I did have a woman ask me if my son was starting kindergarten this year right before the school year began. I said he no he’s 6, so she answered “oh he’s starting 1st grade then?” I think she was thinking I was going to yes and name off the public school in our area. But I answered, “Actually no he’s starting 2nd grade!” Puzzled look, but no words. So I explained that I homeschool and he completed 1st grade over the summer and is starting 2nd grade this fall! I could see the questions trying to form in her mind, but my answer stopped any objections to homeschooling before she could get a word out! So then all she could say was “wow he’s super smart!” or something like that!

  60. 115

    piwimama says

    Love this! My most recent ‘comment’ was a sympathetic look towards DD7 and the comment ‘oh poor thing she won’t have friends’. We HS in part because we move around so much for DH’s work and we didn’t want her to have to change schools several times a year. She had just finished telling me about the number of schools her children had had to attend! Thankfully as I sat there with my mouth open DD7 decided to politely list off all the friends she had made in the various locations we have lived in and still keeps in contact with lol!

  61. 116

    lynn says

    I actually had someone I consider a friend say out loud to a group we were in, “I have a MASTERS degree, and I would NEVER think I was qualified to homeschool my kids!”. I honestly didn’t know what to say, I was so floored.

    My other favorite it that everyone just assumes that you will stop and send them to “real” high-school. Um, nope.

  62. 117

    Dorinda says

    Too Funny! We’re on our 9th or 10th year (I’ve lost count) and lately the comments I’m getting revolve around how, “NICE” it must be that my husband “LETS” me homeschool our kids and stay at home with them, while he goes to work all day. Put to me another way, “It must be nice to not need the other income you would be providing.” Ummmmmmmm………yeah, well, not that it’s any of their business but, he’s always worked a second job to make up for the income I’m not “Providing,” he actually WANTS me to do this thing we call homeschooling, and all the times I was ready to throw in the towel, he was there cheering me on and looking for ways to financially make it work.

    Another one I got yesterday that literally made me laugh out loud was, “Wow, you must have a lot of patience.” I laughed and said, “Um, no, not really. But you learn patience.Which is a good thing.” :)

  63. 118

    says

    This is hilarious! I can’t believe that some people have actually ask those questions…the only questions I’ve been asked are “what about friends (socialization, time with other kids…)?” and “how do you know what to teach them?”. Love the tying the shoe question…LOL

  64. 119

    Cheri says

    One of my favorite comments is “wow, with all of that extra time at home, you must get a lot of housework done”.

    Because, yes, my day is free and breezy. Nothing at all to do.

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    Ben Venable says

    Now I’m going through my head, trying to remember all the questions I’ve ever asked homeschoolers, hoping that none them were on this list (or the previous one)… (:-S

  66. 121

    says

    When standing IN LINE, WITH HER SHOES TIED, LOOKING VERY STYLISH next to the sweat-panted public school kids…ready to take the college entry exam…a fellow homeschooler asked her if “large crowds of non-homeschoolers make you nervous.” She looked at him like “are you crazy?” and said, “No.” He said, “Yeah. Me either. My public school friend asked me that. Because it does make her nervous.”

    Thanks for these posts! My two oldest and I sat and read these and laughed and remembered the times when we were asked these very questions. (Then I asked my 2nd grader if he knows how to tie his shoes. To which he answered, “No! They’re Velcro, remember?”)

  67. 122

    Susan says

    I love this! I’ve been asked most of these myself.
    Another annoying question I’ve been asked is: “Don’t you want them to have a senior prom?” Well, let’s see–thinking back to all the stuff that went on at my senior prom, I’d have to say a big NO!
    And the comment that most makes me shake my head is: “I wouldn’t feel qualified to teach them.” I think to myself–Where did you go to school? Public school? And you graduated? Yet you think you’re not qualified to teach your child who hasn’t yet graduated? And that lack of confidence in your own qualifications makes you want to send your children to the same kind of school that didn’t qualify you?

    • 123

      Monica says

      I feel the same way when people ask me what qualifies me to teach my daughter. Let’s see… I finished high school then went to college, so I figure I can get through it again – but without the bullying and boredom. My step-daughter is the registrar at another school district (and she knows everything *snark). She doesn’t agree with my decision to homeschool my daughter, (because I am just not and will never be as smart as she is) so she says “don’t you know you have to be certified to homeschool?” It’s funny because the only requirement to homeschool in Arkansas is that you have to submit a notice of intent to homeschool, and you can’t be a registered sex offender!

      My response to the socialization issue is that my daughter will never have nightmares again over the bullies in school, and she wont be sick every other week – or catch headlice. My daughter’s Kindergarten year has been a nightmare, because the school holds you accountable to them, but don’t feel that they are accountable to the parent. I was told I was overreacting by the vice-principal when I threatened to go to the school board when they refused after 3 attempts to stop another little girl from bullying my daughter. If that is acceptable socialization I am not interested! She doesn’t get pushed around at Daisies or 4H or church. . .

      My husband and I had always planned on homeschooling our daughter, but when he passed away I wasn’t ready to deal with it emotionally. I really regret that decision to just wait a year to “get my life together”. If we wait to do what is right for us for when our life is perfect we’d never get started on anything!

  68. 124

    Jill says

    My new favorite homeschool question, asked of a friend of mine at church who plans to homeschool her son: “If he doesn’t go to school, how will he ever learn how to tell time?” Apparently, children can only learn to tell time if they attend public school and are taught by a certified teacher. I still laugh when I think about this and have shared it with many of my homeschool friends so they can laugh, too :)

  69. 125

    Heather says

    Oh. My. Word. That is so awesome! I love all your answers and am really surprised at the stupidity of some people. Wow! Thanks for the great laugh!

  70. 126

    brian Chovanec says

    I think #6 kind of sums it all up. Some people think their life should be able to go on uninterrupted when they have kids, and that raising them is the school’s responsibility, and others realize that parenthood is a sacrifice but worth it. By the way, we don’t homeschool, but I respect those who do.

  71. 127

    Jill says

    My favorite one is a question I received from a teammate while playing soccer when I was in the sixth grade, “How do you meet boys?” I didn’t know what to say at the time, but in the 16 years that have passed since then I’ve thought of several snarky responses I would have loved to have used. Not the least of which would be, “We’re 11-years-old! Who cares about boys!?”
    As a side note, I’ve been happily married for four years now, (my husband was also homeschooled), and we’re expecting our second child in March. To the best of knowledge, said teammate is not married. Hmm…

  72. 128

    Karla says

    When my now-21 yo son was in 5th grade and going to school for the first time, his teacher said to me that she hated the first few weeks with homeschoolers because the kids didn’t understand certain procedures. In particular, they would take an assignment that had been graded, and fix the errors, then turn it in again hoping to get a better grade. I wasn’t sure why that was a problem. She said because she doesn’t have time to review and correct papers more than once so a grade is a grade is a grade. After a bit of thought on my part I got it. Its true – when one of my kids gets something wrong, I make them go back and fix it. And if they still get it wrong, I make them do it again until its right. It seems more real-world to me. If I do something wrong, I have to go back and fix it more often than not. Its a rare scenario where I can get away with a mistake (piano on Sunday morning being an exception lol!).

    I am honestly glad to be homeschooling my younger kids full-time now.

  73. 129

    says

    I love the part on style! My children also want to know where we are going when I ask them to dress. Socialization, I tend to explain that public schools are de socializing children. Don’t talk,..Don’t touch arms distance stay in line eyes ahead. Little soldiers. SAD
    States standards a test they have to pass regardless of hard work all year and they recall nothing the next week,…have you seen where we rank as a nation? Time to raise the bar!
    Proms??? We love music fests as a family and my kids are not shy. They often approach other kids only to have then silently turn away and hide behind parents, they have never seen a real LIVE boy before.
    I have been asked about field trips and extra curricular,..my bus has seatbelts and they get out more than twice a year. Some of our homeschool friends are the most amazing athletes and artist they have time to pursue talents. They are not sitting quietly with their hands in their lap and their heads on a desk waiting for a class of 38 kids to catch up!
    Homework, I was doing all the teaching at home when he was in school. He did not focus in class and by the time he came home he was a zombie who I had to try and teach in two hrs what some one else had 6 to do.

  74. 130

    says

    I was applying for an educator’s discount card at Joann’s and the lady asked me for additional proof such as my pay check stub. I responded that I wasn’t a teacher but a homeschooler and don’t get paid to teach my children to which she responded, “Why would you home school if you don’t get a pay check?” !!!!! Well, it doesn’t make sense I guess when you consider how much it has cost us to homeschool the past 20 years in lost income/retirement and on top of that actually funding our girls’ educations but I would certainly do it all over again. The reward has been priceless.

  75. 131

    vvvvictoria says

    I see a common theme here…cashiers don’t understand homeschooling! I had a PetsMart cashier explain to me that we should definitely put our kids in public high school so they could play sports! Really? So you send them to public school for sports? I thought school was for gaining an education.

  76. 132

    Christie says

    I appreciate your honesty. I had no idea that being a homeschool mom would be such a topic when I started…but, I guess that the best comment recently is “he will go to REAL school someday, right?” Ha!

  77. 133

    Evelyn M says

    You are awesome!! I read your blog to my soon to be graduating homeschooler and she LOVES it as well!!! She loves telling people she’s homeschooled, that she is in school when we are in a store during a random time of day, at a restaurant when “public” school kids are in class, and that everything she does is part of her education!! Too bad more people don’t realize that every day they wake up is a new day to learn something, and we are all homeschooling!! Thank you so very much for your inspiration!!

  78. 134

    says

    It cracks me up when people look at me incredulously and say, ‘How on earth can you homeschool all ten children?” There are a couple of ways to respond to this:

    1. Um, most teachers have 25-30 kids in a classroom. I’ve actually only got seven doing official school work at this point, and the pre-schoolers don’t need more than 15-20 minutes of formal instruction. Sometimes the response to this is, ‘Yeah, but school teachers have 25-30 kids ALL THE SAME AGE–it’s not the same thing.” At which point I move to #2…

    2. Have you ever heard of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the one-room schoolhouse concept? She taught 15-25 children from kindergarten through twelfth grade…THROUGH ALL SUBJECTS. As children progressed, they moved toward the back of the room, since they didn’t need as much help with their learning. Only the littles in the front needed to be close to the teacher for Q&A and correction. The key to excellent teaching is really igniting in kids a passion to learn on their own…and then guiding them as they “move toward the back.” This usually elicits stares and gaping mouths, but it tends to shut up the crabby questioners! ;-) To the one ultra-crabby lady who shot back at me, “Yeah, well that wasn’t much of an education back then,” I responded, “Go Google 8th-grade test for 19th-century school children. See if you can pass it.” (Uttered with a wide smile as I walked out of the grocery store.)

    Truly, it just amazes me that we still get these questions 40 years into the homeschooling movement. I was taught at home with my siblings in the 80s when we had the truant officer at the door every day for six weeks and couldn’t go out until 3pm lest we get reported to the police. My indefatigable mother met all those challenges with grace and warmth and educated others as she answered truly stupid questions…every day. I feel like we should have a well-earned break from the nonsensical interrogation, but it seems the public is still largely ignorant about what constitutes an “education” and how parents are fully qualified and more than capable of giving that to their kids!
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    says

    Oh WOW_I think I love you! Wanna be best friends! Haha just kidding-but you have talent! First the gift of writing. Second, the gift of humor amidst tact! You go Mama and thanks for the laugh and the tools added to my “Yes I homeschool” arsenal! LOL!

  80. 136

    Tami Maloney says

    BEST annoying question is actually a series of questions…..

    Stranger: Wow, are all those children yours?
    Me: Yes (smiling because he doesn’t know what’s coming!)
    Stranger: You certainly have your hands full!
    Me: Oh, this is easy, I only take four with me at a time and leave the others at home.
    Stranger: (voice shaky) others?
    Me: Yes, I usually leave the other 5 at home.
    Stranger: (nearly astonished) You have nine children?! You are so brave!
    Me: No, I actually have 11 children, but my oldest son is married and my oldest daughter is away at college.
    Stranger: (dumbfounded can’t-process-this-information look) how can you do it?
    Me: The ONLY way I can “do it” as you say is by homeschooling my children.
    Stranger: (now, this is where I get a little concerned about this dear man’s health. He is really looking pale and gaunt) Homeschool…all nine, er.. eleven!? You? (stuttering ensues…..)
    Me: (pointing to my children). Yes, and as you can see my four children have waited politely while you and I have had this wonderful conversation. I really need to return to my errands. Have a fantastic day.

    ACTUALLY, I only have four children – not nine or eleven. And, yes, I did clarify with my children the difference between lying, fibbing, “stretching the truth”, doing unto others, and all other favorable characteristics Charlotte Mason would prefer for me to exemplify. And then, I taught my children about repentance because sometime the Mama Bear overrules the golden rule. I explain to my brood of four that others sometimes can’t see how marvelous and wonderful they are, and are just overwhelmed that I’m traipsing through a store with FOUR children (gasp)!

    Thanks for sharing your annoying experiences – we’ll change the world one Blockbuster employee at a time!

  81. 137

    says

    You are so funny. I wish I had your sense of humor to deal with some of this comments. One of my sisters in laws seems to think that she know best she tries to convince us to put our kids in public school every chance she gets. For about a year her oldest was bullie my baby. Her girl was 8yrs and mine was a year and a half. We were neighbors with her and she had her schedule full work, school , date night and she would even take a nap do her homework before picking up her kids. Well she put her girl in karate and one day her girl decided to karate kick my 1 yr old in the face and she knock her down I was 4 feet away shock and pissed. That was the last time I babysat. However not before my sister in-law felt the need to tell me what she thought the problem was. She said that if my husband and I had date night away from our kids we would be more relax and see that just being kids she even offer to babysit so that we could relax. She went on… that if I allowed my child to go to school she would learn to stand up and that other kids would stop picking on her. I felt the blood rush to my face. Well she seemed to think that fixed it and decides to show up a week later for dinner with her mom and sure enough her daughter did it again this time she had yack at my daughter arm and dropped her. I picked her up and my sister just set their not even a comment you know don’t be rough with the one yr old. Its the only time I have gone at an person wanting to hurt them lucky for her my husband caught me and we moved away so after.
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  82. 138

    Erica says

    You are like a breath of fresh air!! Love the articles. While I haven’t even made the official jump yet (still trying to decide on a curriculum and what records to keep at home), I have already run into the dreaded “Socialization, its so important, how are you going to do it?”. I know more will be coming my way, now I feel adequately prepared. :)

  83. 139

    April says

    Short story :) When my younger sister (who is now 24 years old) was entering 6th grade – our mother decided to homeschool. I remember my mom getting all the nasty questions, and I was no exception. I am 8 years older than my sister and has already become a mother to my oldest child myself. I didn’t think for one second that our mother was “qualified” to homeschool…after all, she didn’t graduate high school but rather obtained her G.E.D. I was certain that my mother was out to ruin my sisters life, and that my sister would never have the socialization skills that she needed. Our mom stuck to her guns and homeschooled all the way through my sisters 8th grade year. My mom decided to homeschool my sister, because she was “running with the wrong crowd and wanted to nip it in the bud”. After 3 years of my sister and my mom spending hours together each day doing school work….my sister expressed her desire to go back to “regular school”. My mom enrolled her in a private school for high school, and my sister excelled in every possible area. My sister is now an adult, a college graduate with a degree in Communications (who’d of thought?!) and has a very successful career as a professional fundraiser for The United Way. She is the MOST thoughtful and caring person you will ever meet, and certainly the life of the party with no issues with socialization skills! My sister claims that if it wasn’t for the homeschool curriculum that our mother used, she probably would not be the person that she is today. My mom required my sister to do LOTS of volunteer work as part of her curriculum, to be able to engage in socialization. She ended up learning to ride horses, and has MANY first place blue ribbons to show her success in that area. She volunteered at battered womens shelters to tutor young children…and many other acts of volunteerism and pure kindness was written into her daily schedule. Last year, my oldest son was having so many problems during his 5th grade year with being bullied. This had actually been going on for years and I had done everything humanly possible to get the bullying to stop. I attended meetings, wrote formal complaints, etc. I was served with a RESTRAINING ORDER by the PUBLIC SCHOOL that both of my kids went to stating that I was not permitted “On, near, or around the school property at anytime”. The restraining order was because I approached a child that I witnessed pushing both of my boys around, I got down to his level, and I said “I don’t know what kind of home you come from but in MY house we don’t put our hands on other people!” I then approached a teacher to tell her of the incident. The next day I was hand delivered, by the POLICE (while my grandparents were visiting haha) the restraining order. How in the &*%^$ was I supposed to PICK MY CHILDREN UP FROM SCHOOL if I was legally not allowed “On, near, or around the school property”?! That was it. I decided to follow my mothers lead, and I pulled my kids out! On day one of homeschooling I decided to start with science. Something on the news provoked me to ask my son (who was 11 at the time) about NASA. You know, the space program. He did NOT KNOW what NASA was! What 11 year old child does not know or WANT to know about outer space??!! So our first lesson was a week long, discussing and learning about NASA and the International Space Station. At the end of the week, a discussion on what we learned and a short essay…..Followed by a field trip to C.O.S.I. (The science center in Columbus, Ohio) We had a great time homeschooling and my kids learned more in the short time that I was able to be their teacher than they had in their ENTIRE school careers! Unfortunately, I could not continue to homeschool this year because as a single mother – homeschooling doesn’t pay the rent. So I enrolled my children in a charter school with a maximum classroom size of 16 students per 2 teacher ratio. Thankfully they love it, but not as much as homeschooling! If I could continue to homeschool I would. It was the best decision that I had ever made for my children. Sorry that wasn’t such a short story :)

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    Caitlyn says

    First thing that came to mind about the Cheating question was because a lot of the answers are in the back of books. I was homeschooled and I think the cheating issue is definitely a moral one. Haha, if I looked at the back of the book for the answers because I was stuck… I would immediately feel bad and mark another one (that I might’ve known the answer to) WRONG. Just teach your kids the difference between right and wrong… They will be fine.

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    says

    I love it. We have homeschooled since Kindergarten when the assistant to a principal said to us, (after asking to speak with the prinicipal for five whole minutes before turning over our small child) “What choice do you have?” And that was that.

    Our child is now working in high school towards a dual enrollment in college, earned stellar EOG scores far above grade, excelled in everything possible, won Science Olympiad medals, has earned an adult black belt in six mixed martial arts, has been internationally ranked, is a Star Scout nearly a Life Scout headed towards Eagle and a member of the BSA National Honor Society. He has taught classes, helped start a business, made a PROFIT consistently and has job offers starting from age 12. Yeah. He’s so disadvantaged compared to the stand-in-line, order-takers who may one day be employees if they are lucky. As for my child, I think he will do just fine running the corporation he builds.

  86. 142

    Stacie says

    “Aren’t you afraid your kids will turn out to be weird?”

    No, I am more concerned that they will turn out to be rude. She didn’t get it.

    “You probably should have them tested…I am sure you must have loads of holes in their knowledge base.”

    Test away. I’m pretty sure my kids will do just fine. Thanks, Mom. (She doesn’t live in the same country. So, although she is a teacher, she has very little interaction other than phone calls. Surely that is enough for a Kindergarten teacher to assess a 7th grader and 4th grader.) Although she was SHOCKED when she visited and my 3 year old new all her letters and sounds. Yeah…I don’t really take education seriously. Its all about pajamas and not having to get the kids up for school.

    “I could never do THAT.”

    Thanks mom…I am glad to know that you, as a teacher, wouldn’t ever want to teach at home. Do you realize that you just said that you couldn’t stand to be around me that much to my face?

    “Are you going to homeschool ALL of them?”

    No….I just keep the older one around to change the little ones diapers. He reads. He’ll be fine. The other two are smart. I will just work with them. Some kids deserve an education. Others, its really just a waste of time.

    “Oh…I would love to do that. But it is really more important that my kids can go to college.”

    Because Homeschoolers can’t? Maybe you shouldn’t homeschool. You are stupid. Uh…I mean…College is very important.

    “I really think homeschooling is great. But I think it needs to be regulated. I mean, what if the parents are abusive or neglectful?”

    Yes….THAT is why I keep my kids at home! I sing songs, bake cookies, teach arithmetic, Greek, Latin, grammar, writing, history and science–AND BEAT MY KIDS! There! Now its all out in the open. I feel so much better.

    I am not ANTI school…for anyone other than my family. I do get tired of justifying my decisions. Thanks for letting me vent.

  87. 143

    says

    I often get the bug eyes when I say I am homeschooling my daughter with autism. Followed by…”Oh! Wow. How are you doing that?” or “What? I mean, do you use a, I mean I am not sure how you do that.” Is it really that hard to say, “What curriculum do you use?” or “How is is going?”
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    Teara says

    Most recent one came from a lady I work with, who asked if I was ever going to put them “back” into public school (they’ve never been). I have had so many conversations with this woman, who has no children, and nothing I’ve ever said has sunk in, so my response was a simple shrug – “I don’t know, maybe.” (not a chance) She replies “Yeah, in case they ever wanna go to college or something.” Blink…blink. “Uh, homeschooled kids can, and DO go to college.” She says “Oh. Yeah. I know.” I just walked way.

  89. 145

    says

    Oh my goodness…. the questions… the questions….

    We have a 9 year old with Aspergers who we started to homeschool (have been for 3 years now) because he was so badly bullied in Kindergarten, and the beginning of 1st grade (didn’t last a month in public school 1st grade before I pulled him out).

    My FAVORITE questions:
    How do you do it? (Because I work a full time job and also have my own business from home) Answer? Here’s the shocker – my husband does the bulk of the school “work” and I fill in on the more extracurricular parts. You should see the LOOKS on people’s faces! And then more questions! “Why doesn’t he work instead of you?” (None of your damn business, lady!) “My husband would NEVER manage that!” (Well, congratulations for me then – he even cooks, cleans and does laundry too!)

    My family is thankfully reasonably understanding with the exception of my mother and mother-in-law, who both still insist that “we’re not doing enough to keep him in public school” like he magically wouldn’t have Asperger’s if he was in the public school system.

    Ugh.
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    says

    A stranger interrupted a conversation between a friend and myself, and announced that she would NEVER homeschool, because wanted her children to be properly socialized.

    I said, “I’m sorry, but I do not believe in Socialism.”

    She didn’t understand the pun.

  91. 147

    Sharon Goff says

    My youngest daughter attends online high school. My oldest daughter homeschools my 3 grandkids. My response when people ask about socializing is that at least I don’t have to worry about someone coming in with a gun. Also my daughter socializes at Celtic Highland games, that we are very active in. Suprisingly she learns history there as well. She has walked on civil war battlefields and been able to travel.She helps with our home business. She has also met a boy recently that she likes. In response to the prom question , I tell people I never went to prom. I think my daughter is learning more and adjusting better than she would in a brick and mortar school. Because we chose an online school she was able to spend two years helping me take care of her grandma. That is time she wouldn’t have been able to spend with her if she was in “real” school. She has helped with birthing baby goats and other farm work and in generally well adjusted. I will help any of my kids who want to homeschool.

  92. 148

    Shannon Skafte says

    let me set the story… when my only child was 2 years old, he could read, count to 80, do simple “plus 1″ addition, and loved to color in the lines, write his name and memorize things…. he’s three now, loves to read, write and do puzzles… now take in consideration that he still can’t get his own pants on, or throw a ball any amount of distance… ok so the question….

    Don’t you think you should dumb him down so he’ll have friends?

    You’re right, I should stop interacting with my child, burn the books, throw out the puzzles and dumb him down… because all the “cool” kids are idiots… yeesh.

    Side note: I do this ” … … … ” a lot :D

  93. 149

    Michelle says

    I had someone ask us “How will she know her place in life? In public school you learn what order you stand in, in life.” He also, asked the standing in line question. People come up with the weirdest questions and have the most odd view of public/homeschool. LOL! I love this article. Thank you.

  94. 150

    Karen says

    my very favorite and most heard question is, “What curriculum are you using? ” 1) We don’t use a prepackaged curriculum. I use what suits my children’s needs at any given moment, including workbooks, hands-on experiments, notebooking, lapbooks, museum exhibits, computer games, reading aloud, etc. 2) What curriculum is YOUR child using ? Most people have no idea what books their public-schooled children are using and they sure don’t know what is in those books or what, if anything, their child is actually learning. But for some reason they feel the need to make sure that my child is using quality curriculum to offset the poor quality of home education.

  95. 152

    amy says

    I had someone ask me, “What will you teach them about molecules?”
    my very articulate answer was, “Molecule-y stuff.”

  96. 153

    says

    I have been asked questions about how or why we homeschool. Most of the time, they are just questions of curiosity, rarely anything insulting. I especially get a lot of questions about how I homeschool my non-verbal 7 year old son. Most seem to be genuine questions. Only once did a “friend” say to me that she thought I was making a mistake and she thinks I should reconsider homeschooling my children. I just responded with turning a question onto her: What would you say if I critiqued your parenting decisions? She didn’t have an answer for me, and hasn’t spoken to me since then.
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  97. 154

    Jenny says

    My competitive swimmers and I were at the local pool’s open swim and someone told me how much they enjoyed talking to my children, you know things like “so polite” and “interesting”. She then asked me the dreaded “what grades are they?” because she really couldn’t tell. I confidently told her we home educated them and their grades are somewhat irrelevant. Whoops! In my defense I didn’t know she was a teacher!! She proceeded to tell me how she could understand that maybe they could benefit academically but wasn’t I worried about socialization? Really? Didn’t she just tell me how great they were?!

  98. 155

    Misty Brown says

    While I am extremely busy, as all of us are, I love answering “I don’t know how you find time for all that.” My response: I wouldn’t be able to do it if I DIDN’T homeschool. I’d miss my kids too much. There’s no way they would do any outside activities in addition to a full school day and homework plus my doing a direct sales job (which means I work mostly from home, but often when I do go out for work it’s in the evening or weekends). Gets them thinking about it, and often they look at me like “that’s true,”

  99. 156

    Gypsy says

    Ok, All us Homschooling mom’s ( homeschooled grad here! Now starting on my own kids 3 and 1) know the standing in line question is the dumbest thing anyone could think of as a reason for us to stop teaching our children how to live and love….but SERIOUSLY! That is exactly what mass public education was created for. In the beginning of the industrial revolution they COULD NOT get people to keep a factory job, standing in lines doing repetitive mindless work all day. So the government decided that they had to train the next generation from young how to stand in line, do things at the same time at the ring of a bell, and obey orders without thinking too much about why. Seriously we are comparing homeschooling to the public government sanctioned training of factory workers who wouldnt fuss and wouldnt quit cause it was boring and unfullfililng. They knew the people (who were all “home learned” at that time, wouldnt go for direct gov training programs, so it was disguised as “public education”.

    I dont know about you but that is really no comparison to me. Hmmmm should I let my child be trained as a factory drone…..or a kind and passionate contributing, self sufficient member of the community??…….yeah I know really not even a hard desision.
    And seriously do the people asking us these awful questions really think our society is getting better or worse? I have asked every ignorant questioner that very thing before i answer them, and 100% of them have replied “NO, its getting worse eveyday! and the youth are just getting worse and worse!” To which I reply, ” Then you know why I am homeschooling. I am not okay with direction the public indoctrination system – WHOOPS I mean education – is taking us. so WHY WOULD I BLINDLY FOLLOW IT? If you dont like something you change it right? so you are saying our youth are the worst behaved and worst workers, and worst parents in history, and you want to keep on letting them be taught that way? not me. My kids will be different, like Abraham Linclon, and all the other brave men and women in history that stood up and went against the flow and made GOOD changes”. they usually dont ask anymore questions they simply say. “hmm, you have a very good point…..I cant even answer that…..why are we still doing this?” and then we smile and part ways.

    Always remember you dont have to answer the question verbalized by people, you can turn the tables and ask them why on earth they are following a path they dont think is a good idea.

    just some thoughts of a homeschooled grad, who got asked ALL those and more growing up….and now get the Spanish inquisition treatment if anyone hears my kids are not in preschool, and will be homeschooled. I have the benefit of being homeschooled and 23 years of practice already answering the same questions there are no new ones….in 23 yrs! come on people at least come up with new questions lol jk.

  100. 157

    Rachel h says

    We have been asked by my grand mother , if we are now Amish .. ?!!!
    One lady told us Home school kids are the smartest kids there are , … But what about missing out on being Bullied??
    Ya that makes me want to send them back to P.S .. They are missing out on being bullied

  101. 158

    Crystal says

    My favorite was when a very close friend came to me concerned and talked to me. She commented that I never seemed to be doing enough “real” school with my 5 kids because we were always having too much fun. “There is a time and a place for fun and that’s not in the three R`s”. You need to be more serious and buckle down.” I asked her what classes her children received the highest grades in, she replied, so I then asked her which classes her children enjoyed the most and why? Strange how it was either the teacher made the material fun, or they enjoyed the material in the classes they received the highest grades in and retained the most information from. It’s still funny the sincerity of her concern for my kiddos not getting enough “real” school.

  102. 159

    Charmagne cox says

    I just found your blog, while searching for reviews of Michael Clay Thompson language. The homeschool questions are spot on and made me laugh out loud! I’m tempted to forward your blog to some of my family members who give me more grief about homeschooling than any stranger! Some of them are teachers, so I know they interpret our decision to homeschool as a personal attack, which it isn’t! Anyway, thanks for the reviews and the laughs!

    ~A fellow homeschooler of 11 yr old triplet girls and a 5 yr old girl!

  103. 160

    Kathy says

    Awesome! Love this site! “How will they learn about fashion?” Ha my tween daughters laugh at the public school “fashions” and also feel sad about how the girls all seem to think they need to show so much cleavage. The answer is they learn their OWN sense of fashion- for us- yoga pants, pajamas all day long, swimsuit on at 9AM in anticipation of swimming at 4PM,looking like you just came from the gym…

  104. 161

    says

    Q: Does she miss having friends????
    A: No,not at all! We’ve convinced her that she won the lead role in Rapunzel which will be performed about 8 years from now. She loves being locked in her room while growing her hair to “get into character.” We even bought her a pet iguana after she saw Tangled so she wouldn’t be lonely…
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  105. 162

    Martha Wilton says

    I actually was asked “How will your boys learn to think with the crowd?” and “How will they learn to obey laws?”.

    My response to the first was that they aren’t the crowd they are individuals so I kind of like teaching them individual thought is Ok.

    My response to the second was that kids learn by example and that since I hadn’t gone on a crime spree then they were unlikely to do so either.

  106. 163

    likeitornot says

    1. “What do you do with the baby when you homeschool (DD)? I take some Elmer’s to her back and stick her on the wall…sheesh
    2. Not so much a question, but “It’s a shame she’ll miss out on socialization opportunities like lunch and recess.” *head-desk

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