No Marshmallow Answers Here.

A Map of the Legality of Home schooling around...
A Map of the Legality of Home schooling around the world. Based off of Image:BlankMap-World6.svg. Green is legal, yellow is legal in most political subdivisions but not all or is practiced, but legality is disputed. Red is illegal or unlawful. Orange is generally considered illegal, but untested legally.

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

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

9 thoughts on “No Marshmallow Answers Here.

  1. From a still fairly new homeschooling mom, THANK YOU!! I know there were a number of dedicated families that paved the way, making this a much easier journey today than it was not that long ago.

    1. Thanks so much for these very kind words, MWM!
      And Welcome to Home’s Cool!
      Yes, the path has grown smoother since the good ol’days. I actually learned how to drive in our state’s Capital, we had to go there so often! Still, although it appears that the fight has moved over to Europe, we must never relax the vigilance. Just like stray cancer cells, the enemies of freedom wait in hiding for any weak area to attack . . .

  2. I remember people calling me ‘a homeschooling pioneer.’ No, I knew the pioneers. I was a settler. 🙂
    In my area, I don’t see the dedication in homeschoolers that I used to see. 😦

    1. Hey, Leah! Thanks for stopping by! No, the dedication usually fades with the difficulties, doesn’t it.

      You have to go to Europe to find it, now days. Those people have it totally rough, even compared to us. It’s like the days of Hitler over there. Far too much like it!

  3. Thank God for dedicated home school teachers.

    I lived next door to a grandmother who was home schooling her grandson. He was way ahead of neighboring children in intelligence and discipline. He would follow my husband around asking questions, and to satisfy some of the young man’s questions he “helped” the student plant a garden. We were amazed when we returned from a trip to find green beans that had not been picked.
    My husband asked the youngster why he had not picked the green beans. The student said, “My mom and I did not know where the beans were. We saw the blossoms, but no beans”. When my husband lifted the leaves and showed the boy the beans, he was so excited that he jumped the fence and ran to tell his adopted mom.
    He returned with a container to pick his crop of beans.
    Love that little man.

    1. I know that joy — finding the bean hiding under the leaves, although I do know to lift the vine and find them! 😉 Yes, what fun to introduce a small, eager one to the joys of reality. I hope that mom did cook those beans! You never know now days . . .

  4. I have ventured into the world of homeschooling just this year due to relocation. The kids are really enjoying it, and I have been amazed at how smooth it’s going. I anticipated so many obstacles, and am so thankful we’ve had such a good experience. A temporary solution may very well turn into a permanent one for us! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, and Welcome!, both to Home’s Cool, AND to homeschooling! I am so glad you are having a good experience — I remember when we first brought our children home, and I discovered that they had been nervous kids. Never knew it until I saw the new, improved version! 😉
      Hope you look around as there are many posts here about homeschooling and you might as well help yourself! 🙂

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