I’ve been seeing lots of “back to homeschool” posts on Facebook this month. One in particular this week made me stop though. There were pictures of kids, working hard on assignments and a cozy learning space. It appeared to be a great start to a new year. Then I came to the “disclaimer” at the bottom of the post. One I’ve seen many times over the years. This mama was explaining that their school room/area gets chilly, and the kids were dressed, but prefer to wear their robes over their clothes to stay warm.
Woah. What? Why would that even matter?
Because there’s a good chance without the disclaimer, something would be said about it.
Now, I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking I’m going to give a lecture about how it’s totally okay to do schoolwork in your pajamas. And while it totally is, (Didn’t we learn anything in college?) that’s not where I’m going with this.
What our kids wear to homeschool DOES NOT MATTER. If someone outside of your household cares, let it be their problem. For multiple reasons, I have my kids get dressed most days. It works better for us. However, I don’t give two cents what anyone else’s kids are wearing as they practice writing or read about World War I. I’ve taught plenty of lessons to kids in pajamas, superhero costumes, random ensembles of mismatched clothing, and swimsuits. And I am completely unapologetic about it.
Mamas, let’s take back our homeschools.
Take them back from the expectations of others.
Gone are the days of needing to explain or apologize for the way we craft our children’s learning experiences. Would anyone go to their child’s kindergarten teacher and ask why they have the kids sitting on a brightly colored rug together while listening to a story, insisting instead the students should all be at their desks? Absolutely not.
Do people come at homeschooling parents for not having their kids fully dressed or sitting at desks? They certainly do.
Things We Do Not Have to Do/Have/Be to Educate Our Children:
(Also known as – Things We Will No Longer Apologize or Make Explanations For NOT Doing:)
A strict 8 a.m. start time
Fully dressed kids
A classroom in my house
Lots of extra curricular activities
Regular tests in every subject
Very structured, academic homeschool co-op classes
A college degree
Workbooks for every subject
A set number of “class time” hours
Anything else that someone outside our home thinks we “need” to have or do to fully educate our children
Now, I’m NOT saying any of things are bad or shouldn’t be part of a homeschooling plan. In fact, they’ve all been part of our plan at one time or another in some form. However, I AM saying every family and situation is different, and we get to choose how our learning time and space looks and feels. That’s the beautiful part of homeschooling!
The point of homeschooling is not just to teach our children the information, but to teach them to find the information and to love learning. If a space and life is created where a child learns to love learning and how to teach themselves, that will serve them well in every area of life, for the rest of their life.
That is nothing to apologize for. Ever.