Questions People Ask About Homeschooling
Homeschoolers are used to being asked very personal questions, often by complete strangers. Some of these questions are more popular than others. Below I’ve shared the most frequently asked questions I have encountered in the last two decades of homeschooling, my homeschool FAQ.
How can you afford to homeschool?
I really don’t like this question at all and there’s really only one way I can answer this and that is that our financial status is private.
How do you separate being a parent and a teacher?
When your child is a toddler everything is integrated, you don’t switch from teacher to parent. Teaching is an extension of parenting during the toddler years and that doesn’t change when you children reach school age.
How will they learn to raise their hand?
Turn to your kid and ask them to raise their hand. Did they do it? Ok, my job is done here.
Related questions: How will they learn to stand in line? How will they learn to ride a bus? How will they learn to eat in a cafeteria?
How will you teach (advanced) math?
If I am so ill-prepared to teach my child math, why would I want to send them to the same system that left me this way?
There are many, many ways a homeschooled child can learn advanced math even if their parent cannot teach it. Here are some options:
- Buy a curriculum that does the teaching for you.
- Hire a tutor.
- Enroll your child in a virtual school for math.
- Enroll your child in a brick & mortar school for math.
- Find a co-op that can provide math instruction.
What about socialization?
“The S word”. We have ALL heard this one. Look, I drag my kids to the store, the post office, the doctor’s office, co-ops, the museum, the mall…In fact, one could argue that my kids are MORE socialized than most kids. Why? Because life after high school isn’t segregated and schools segregate students by age, race, ability, zip codes, even religion in some instances. My kids are never segregated by any of that nonsense.
How do you have the patience? I could never homeschool! I couldn’t be around my kids that long.
None of us have the patience of a proverbial saint. Sometimes we speak out in anger or frustration. Sometimes we yell when siblings won’t stop fighting. We aren’t perfect but this is the right choice for us, so we try. We aren’t better than anyone else.
Oh, and you probably could homeschool but if that isn’t the right choice for your family, it isn’t the right choice and that’s totally valid.
Public school was good enough for you, why isn’t it good enough for your kids?
This one is a toughie. While it may not make sense, some people will take our decision to do something different as an affront to how we were raised. The key here is to stress different. We all make the best decisions for our family, and this is what we have decided is best for us. The worst thing you can do to someone who asks this is start rattling off every fault you find with the public school system. While you are under no obligation to win these people over, if they are near & dear to you, you might want to try. Let them know how much you value your education and how you want to foster that same love of learning in your children. If nothing else a simple “We are so excited to have this option, I know not everyone has this opportunity.” will work.
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Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes, please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.