When I started homeschooling I never imagined all the questions we would get from society. People are perplexed by homeschoolers because they can’t put us in a box. They can’t categorize us and, for some reason, that makes people uncomfortable. Unfortunately, to many people different means weird.
When we meet someone new and they find out we homeschool, we generally get one or two of the same questions over and over. I get it, people are curious. (I probably would be, too.) So, I’m OK answering questions and fostering discussion. What is exhausting are the judgmental questions from people who seem perplexed about our lifestyle and educational choices.
7 Questions People Ask About Homeschooling ALL THE TIME
1. Are you worried your kid won’t have a ‘normal’ childhood?
We don’t really put a lot of stock in “normal” in our home. We celebrate differences (our own and others’) and homeschooling is a great place to foster independence and confidence in being different. We definitely rock our freak flag here.
I happen to like that my child has an abnormally unique childhood. I think it’s going to make her a way more interesting adult with a different outlook on life.
2. Are you going to homeschool the whole time?
This is a regular question that is perplexing to me. When my daughter was younger I actually had someone tell me, “Oh, it’s OK to homeschool her now while she’s at this [preschool] age, but as she gets older you’ll need to put her in school.”
For different homeschoolers, this answer will vary. However, our answer is that we intend to homeschool as long as it is working for us. If, one day, my daughter wakes up and says “I think I would like to go to traditional school” then we will explore that option. For now, she’s happy and we’re happy.
And, people do really homeschooling the whole time — all the way through high school (and many even watch their kids go off to college!).
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3. How can your child be socialized?
Homeschooling isn’t a quarantine. Homeschooling families don’t enclose our house in a plastic bubble or embark into a biodome where we shut ourselves away from the world for years on end. In fact, we even go out with our kids. In public. Sometimes? We even let them play with other kids!
My child has opportunities to be with other kids quite often (and so do other homeschoolers). She attends regular classes outside of the home (Spanish, swim, music, AHG) as well as many other activities (both with homeschoolers and traditionally-schooled kids) where she gets to “socialize” quite often.
Many homeschooling families spend a great deal of time outside the home in other classes and activities.
4. Oh, so this is a ‘religious’ thing.
(Sometimes there are even air quotes on the “religious” part.)
For some homeschooling families it is about religion. But, you may be shocked to know that for many others it has nothing to do with religion.
For us, it was a mix–we did want to incorporate Christian teachings into our curriculum, but that wasn’t the only thing. My daughter is also highly interested in many things that are being removed from public schools like art and music. I happen to think that those things are important in learning and expanding your mind, so that was a big reason for us to homeschool, too.
5. Are you really qualified for this?
I would say I’m about as qualified for this as I am for parenting. You don’t need a college degree or a teaching certificate to homeschool.
Some people who don’t completely understand homeschooling may not realize that most homeschool parents spend a great deal of money buying curricula and countless hours planning out homeschool classes, schedules, and more.
We do our homework, yo.
6. Aren’t you afraid that your kid will be behind in their studies?
No, in fact I feel the exact opposite.
The great thing about homeschooling is that you can speed up or slow down based on how your child is learning. This not only helps them in the long run, but also gives them the time to develop confidence in their own skills.
Homeschooling allows us to give one-on-one attention and also personally tailor learning to our kids’ needs.
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7. Wow, your kid is so outgoing for a homeschooled child!
OK, this really isn’t a question, but it is a statement I get all the time about my daughter. I have a very outgoing child and, for some reason, mainstream public perception is the homeschooled kids are backward, shy, and introverted. Homeschooled kids are just like traditional school kids–some are shy and some are outgoing.
Do you homeschool? What are some of the weird questions you’ve been asked? Or, what are the things you’ve always wondered about homeschooling?
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