On Being THAT Homeschool Family

More help than Poppop needs.

More help than Poppop needs from Samara and Avielle.

When I first felt the tug to homeschool, I resisted. I didn’t know many homeschoolers–or so I thought–and the ones I knew were a bit different. I had the notion that all homeschoolers ate only what they grew, wore only what they made, and didn’t know how to throw a football.

With the silkies.

With the silkies.

After homeschooling for thirteen years, I have met those families, but the majority are like us. We eat some of what we grow, wear some of what we make, and we can play a mean football game. But today, I laughed when a customer came to pick up a fish order (we own Alaskawild Seafoods) because I knew they probably left with the notion that we are THAT homeschool family and yet I was perfectly okay with that. I homeschool by choice and I no longer feel the need to offer up reasons for it. There are so many.

My youngest girls’ favorite time period to study is the Colonial Period and today they were living out their studies. In their simple dresses and caps (not to be confused with coifs that pilgrims wore or bonnets which pioneers wore as my girls just informed me), they were picking radishes with their Poppop and collecting eggs from the backyard chickens,

Samara collecting eggs.

and I got a little chuckle as I realized just how odd that must have seemed to a stranger. At the same time, I experienced freedom as I felt no need to apologize for it. It is a wonderful life. A life spent together doing things that are not only beneficial and productive, but fun and memorable as well.

As homeschoolers, we are free to spend the day reading on the couch or picking strawberries for a pie. We are free to labor over our math lessons at the kitchen table or to pick it all up and visit a lonely widow for an even greater lesson on compassion. And we are free to wear period clothing or jeans and a t-shirt. As homeschoolers, we are simply free.

I’m not sure what everyone else envisions when they think of homeschoolers, but unless they experience it first-hand there is no way to have an accurate picture. Whether or not we fit the mold in others’ minds I’m not sure.

Avielle can't leave the strawberries alone.

Avielle can’t leave the strawberries alone.

What I do know is that after graduating two and still two more to go, I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. So if we are THAT homeschool family, I will embrace it and wear it proudly. I simply love it.

And now, I think I have a paper, or rather a slate, to grade.

Where It All Began–Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown 2011:P1020570IMG_0351P1020595


1 thought on “On Being THAT Homeschool Family

  1. We had a strawberry patch on our small farm when I was a child, and I can still taste those sweet, juicy berries, fresh from the dirt. One for the quart basket, one for me. One for the quart basket, one for me (I don’t think Mom knew about that.) This nostalgia also triggers memories of the fear I experienced when when I had to put my foot on the step of that big yellow school bus that stopped in front of our house when I had to get on all by myself for the first time, long before I felt ready to leave the safety of home on my own. I love the pictures of your family enjoying their homeschool experience, Rita, and applaud the courage that you and other parents and grandparents muster to provide this loving homeschool environment. Praise goes out, as well, to the teachers who serve as lights to students in public schools like my daughter, Kim (East Millsboro Elementary). I know how deeply she cares about each and every one of her students. The nice thing about being moms is that, whether we train our kids at home or send them somewhere else to learn what they need to succeed in life, God equips us with the ability to provide all the loving support our children need. But, hey! That’s the whole point of Mothers With a Mission: LOVE!


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