We were homeschoolers when homeschool wasn’t cool.
We started with no support because there was no such thing as a homeschool support group. At about the same time, Home School Legal Defense Association started. They and we did not know about each other, so we also had no legal support.
Internet was only a child, then, and had not maximized its potential to help homeschoolers. Computers had no practical applications in home schools.
All, all the curriculum available to us was published for collective institutions and often, publishers refused to sell to home educators.
Back in these very good, old days, only the driven, committed, principled, loyal, persevering, stubborn, maverick, determined, motivated, obsessed, dedicated, devoted, steadfast, unswerving, faithful, home educating parents survived. We had somewhat of a reputation for being a pain, especially among status-quo legislators. Many of us could relate to the Washington/Jefferson/Adams triumvirate, always questioned by those around us and always questioning ourselves, testing ourselves, proving ourselves. Always hunted and attacked by the government that claimed to protect us. Always in semi-hiding. Always ready with an escape plan. Always losing money on this project. Always making do with do-by-self.
We faced obstacles, penalties, hindrances, impediments, barriers, hurdles, deterrents, limitations, and interference.
We were hated. We were arrested.
I guess it’s the American way.
Now that home educating is the bright star it has become, and we have retired, after a quarter century of it, people want our opinions:
- What curriculum do I think is best? Pick one you like and get busy.
- What is my child’s learning style? Lazy and stubborn. What about yours?
- Do I homeschool during summer? All parents homeschool at all times.
- Do I think you’re harming your child? Probably, but better you, than someone who doesn’t care enough to ask.
- What do I do about socialization? I talk to my child; I teach my child; I read to my child; I produce siblings for him; I take him to church.
- What about computers? Teach your children to read well, spell correctly, write legibly, and type accurately, and to love English, in that order, before even thinking about computers. Then, no computers allowed until high school and no Internet until the last half of the senior year.
Does all that sound harsh to you? Does it sound grumpy? You will not get a marshmallow answer from a homeschool-callused person. We did not plant our homeschool garden with a tractor, but with a shovel and a hoe. We did not have curriculum choice unless we wrote the curriculum, which we did.
I beg you, for your own and your children’s sakes: Pick one you like and get busy.
photo credit: Wikipedia