Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why homeschoolers laugh when you ask if we take our kids out!


I get it.  When people think of homeschooling, somehow a picture emerges of kids stuck at their desks all day with skin so pale from a lack of sunshine (you know, because they have to be in the home all day to be homeschooled.)  I am convinced that this is what people think because lately I have heard several comments along the lines of: "that's great that she can read...BUT does she get to play with other kids?" or "my child is just so social that they need physical contact with other children".  

I can hear my fellow homeschooling mothers laughing already.

Homeschooling today is TOTALLY different from that stereotype that I mentioned above!  In fact, it's more often the case that people have to turn down events because well...there just isn't time to get the school in around the social calendar.  I know people told me this before I started homeschooling but I don't think I really believed them.  I still secretly feared that I might be keeping them from social interaction with other kids.

Sigh.

So this is for you parents who think you want to homeschool and wonder what you'll do with your kids while other kids are at school (socializing for real).  Here are some of the fun things my girls get to do on a weekly or monthly basis:

  • Homeschool Swim & Gym class at the YMCA - Every week their "homeschool class" meets for an hour of gym class followed by a swim lesson.  This year the kids have learned sports such as basketball, soccer, and hockey.  

  • Irish Dancing taught by a fellow homeschooling mom - The added benefit of homeschooling is often times parents are willing to share a talent with the rest of the kids!  In our homeschooling circle, one of the mothers is an Irish dance teacher and is holding a weekly dance class.  The two older girls participate in this and absolutely love it!    
The girls at their St. Patrick's Day Irish dance recital.
  • Kung Fu Classes -  A couple months ago, we approached a martial arts studio about making a homeschool Kung Fu class during the day.  The studio owner jumped at this idea since his location was open during the day with no students (since they are all in school.)  Because of this, we have managed to get weekly Kung Fu classes for our kids for roughly $4 a class!
  • Violin Lessons - Ok, so this one we do at home since our lovely teacher comes to our house to teach lessons.  I included this on this list because if we didn't homeschool, we would not be able to do this since the closest school is 30 minutes away and would require me taking Sofia for lessons twice a week (with the other kids in tow.)  The way we do it now, is our teacher comes Monday mornings and teaches for 40 minutes.  We then include practice time into our daily school routine.

  • Monthly music classes taught by a fellow homeschooling mom - Once again, a gracious homeschool mother has offered to teach music classes to our homeschool children.  The first month they sang songs around Martin Luther King Jr. and also learned movements that went along with the songs!

Convinced yet that we don't lock our kids up all day away from other kids?

In addition to the regular events that homeschooled kids can participate in, our girls get to go on a field trip anytime we want to!  We have memberships to the Science Museum, Explore and More Children's Museum & the zoo (when other kids are in school, our girls pretty much get the run of the place!)  With our homeschool friends this school year we have gone to see Clifford the Big Red Dog Musical, Sesame Street Live and the Sleeping Beauty ballet.  We have Charlotte's Web and the Philharmonic Orchestra coming up before the end of this school year!  The kids have also visited a local police station (complete with finger printing and being put in a cell!), a kazoo factory, a Llama farm and a pumpkin patch.

 The majority of these activities are with kids they get to see on a regular basis.  They meet people and develop friendships just like they would at traditional school.

So, my kids may be weird, awkward and gawky (or any other negative homeschool stereotype)...but they definitely aren't unsocialized!

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