Home School Mommy
I’ve been home schooling the kids for about seven months now but haven’t actually said much about it. Mostly because it makes me cry a lot and sometimes it makes me throw things at my husband. No. I’m not really kidding.
This whole thing has been frustrating from the beginning. I think that you have to be a certain kind of person to be taken seriously in the home schooling world. Otherwise The Universe is just fucking with me.
Now I knew this was going to be hard. I knew that I would far prefer to not do it. But I also knew that the kids needed something to change. Thomas and Bridgette were both getting lost in a school system that couldn’t really be bothered with them. Ty and I grew frustrated with how much hand holding that had to be done with homework (seriously – did you guys need your parents to sit on your heads to do homework?) and we felt that they needed to become a little bit more independent than the school would allow.
Of course I start looking into these kinds of things – only to be met with walls.
First of all, the home schooling world can be a bit of a cult. Now, I use that word lightly and in jest, but it is kind of true. My one experience with a Home Schooling Expo left me feeling murderous. I literally drove to George to sit and listen to two different people lecture me on why I should home school.
I’m sorry, but what the fuck? Why on earth do they think all those people go to an expo like that? To be told to home school? No! We all already know that we want to home school. Now we need help figuring out how to go about it. Six hours (I exaggerate – I hope) worth of lectures on how shit the school system is can’t possibly be beneficial to anyone! And yet that seems to be all that is on offer.
I believe in home schooling. I truly do. I think it can very well be the right choice for many children who struggle with conventional learning and also for those children who wish to exceed the expectations of regular schooling. I even think that unschooling is great. What worries me is that the support structure is just not there. Home schooling seems to very much be a club for Christians, and if your brand of Christianity doesn’t match up to the expectations of the home schooling elite then my darling you are fucked and you need to make another plan. And if you’re not Christian at all? Well then balls to you demon spawn, there is no place for you here!
I have spent the last year clawing my way through all of this. Never mind the difficulties of home schooling itself, but the number of times I have been completely and utterly ignored by other home schooling moms and home schooling institutions is staggering.
The Eagles Home Schooling Group in PE completely ignored my message asking for info on them last year. When I emailed again this year the only response I got was someone who asked if I would like to be put on their mailing list. I have yet to receive a single email. Another home schooling mom forwards them to me… (I can only think these people have facebook stalked me and decided I am unworthy – which is fair enough.)
Singapore Math books cost a fortune to buy. Once they arrived there were no answer keys. I enquired about this and was informed that I had to purchase answers separately. At R1200 a pop. Now don’t you think you might have mentioned that in the first place? You know? When we were chatting and I was asking you for help? Thankfully I am capable of marking this stuff on my own.
The same sort of thing happened with the Afrikaans curriculum – no answers. I thought they must have forgotten to send them, so I ask. Oh no – there are no answer keys. I should be able to manage to mark it on my own… Alrighty then… I guess I’ll just have to pay someone else to help with that…
I’m not 100% happy with the work the kids have been doing this year and I’m seriously considering switching over to ACE. But again – the message I sent them has so far been ignored. How on earth do people put up with this? You are still running a business for heaven’s sake. Surely it is SOMEONE’S job to be helpful?!
The one and only really helpful and nice woman that I have had to deal with in this whole thing was a lady I met briefly at the Home Schooler’s Expo in George last year. I chose not to use her curriculum because it seemed very daunting. But now I am wondering if I shouldn’t just go for it purely because she will most likely be willing to offer the kind of help we will need along the way….