Eventually I’ll get around to talking about our homeschool adventure. Please bear with me. I’m not sure where to begin. It’s been over two years since I’ve written anything on this blog and at this very moment in time, everything feels strange and unusual about this process.
If I’m being really honest,
I had to do an internet search to look up how to login into my WordPress.org account. That’s how long it’s been.
Let’s begin by doing a quick recap.
2019: The last few months of this year were super exciting.
- My husband almost died during the great dump truck disaster.
- A private detective showed up outside of our house
- I got pneumonia
- I got pleurisy
- Something in the garage impaled my leg
- The year ended.
READ MORE: The Great Dump Truck Disaster
A Plague On All Our Houses
2020 started off fairly normal and then in March….
And that’s when my husband I began our homeschool adventure. And it went really well..except for the constant, lingering doubt I had about whether or not I was actually teaching my kids anything. But other than that, I really liked the time I was spending with them.
I’d love to tell you that I was one of those cool homeschool moms who takes her kids on all kinds of fun field trips and can manage to teach all of the state educational requirements in under two hours a day, but I wasn’t. I was a hardass.
I’m going to share a little secret with all of you.
But you can’t tell anyone because if you do, I’ll be reported to the International Association of Homeschool Mommy Shamers.
The International Association of Homeschool Mommy Shamers (IAHMS) is a group of individuals who believe if you don’t homeschool exactly the way they think you should homeschool, they shame you for it.
READ MORE: The Judgy Moms
Typically they find out that you violated their expectations on an internet forum where various parents are asking questions regarding curriculums, schedules, and other topics. The common belief among the members of the International Association of Homeschool Mommy Shamers is that if you follow a schedule similar to a public school schedule, you’re doing it wrong. You’re a disgrace to your children. You’ve completely missed the point of homeschooling. You should just put on a cone of shame and send your kids back to public school.
At the Silver Academy of Science & Sarcasm (I named our school. No particular reason. Just because I could.) school started between 8 and 8:30 in the morning. We worked until 12 pm. They had a one-hour lunch break and then we were back at it until 3 pm. Sometimes 4 pm. An average day consisted of breakfast, second breakfast, snack, second snack, pre-lunch, lunch, after lunch snack and about a million bathroom breaks.
So if you’re wondering if I gave my kids breaks during the day, don’t worry. I did. Also, I was on a whole bunch of shitlists because of this schedule. But in my defense I was teaching Math, Language Arts, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, and Music. I’m a woman of many talents but cramming all of that into a two-hour day (as required by the IAHMS) is not something I’m capable of.
And the shamers didn’t stop with your homeschool schedule. During our homeschool adventure I learned that if I let my children watch Harry Potter movies, had them vaccinated for chicken pox or other such illnesses, or let them go trick o’ treating, I was on a path straight to hell.
FYI – It should be said I’m only an expert in what’s in the best interest of my children. I’m not an expert in other people’s children. That’s why I don’t judge other parents regarding touchy topics like vaccinations, trick o’ treating, or Harry Potter. It’d be nice if all parents returned the favor. But some don’t. Hence, the International Association of Homeschool Mommy Shamers.
READ MORE: Dear Homeowner’s Association
Who wants to hear a personal anecdote from a time I was mommy shamed?
Awesome! The first thing that should be said is that each state has their own homeschooling laws. When we started our homeschool adventure, one of the first websites I visited was the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). It helps you track down state requirements for homeschooling. The great state of Georgia (where we live) requires you complete 180 days of homeschool within a 365-day window. No big deal. I had my kids on a tight schedule, guaranteed to make every member of IAHMS seeth.
I had no worries about making this deadline. However, I wondered (because I do that sometimes) what happens if you don’t finish that requirement? Attendance sheets weren’t required so there really wasn’t any way for the state to find out. But what if, they somehow did? What if my neighbors spied on me and reported back to the state?
So I made the mistake of posting the question on an internet forum. And I had a response from a member of the IAHMS. Just my luck! To recap my question – based solely on general curiousity was this: In the State of Georgia, what happens if my kids don’t complete their homeschool program in one year. And I specified in my question that I was asking out of a general curiosity.
READ MORE: Mommy-Shaming
Mommy Shamer: Um. If you can’t finish your homeschool program in one year, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
Me: Well not only was that harsh and uncessary. It also failed to answer my question.
Mommy Shamer: I’m being honest. If you want sunshine and unicorns, go to another group. It’s people like you who make homeschool teachers, like me, look bad.
It took everything in me not to jump through the screen and cyber-slap her.
Me: So, sunshine and unicorns aren’t necessary, thank you! But an actual answer to my question instead of an unsolicited opinion would be nice.
The Thing Is, She Wasn’t Wrong
Because of the comment she made about her choice to homeschool looking bad to others, I can only assume that she had family members or friends make some interesting and unfriendly judgments. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who say they’re homeschooling but really, they’re not. I’ve heard stories about parents who were drug addicts telling school officials they were homeschooling so they could hide their addiction.
Also, barring any unforseen circumstances like a horrific illness, a house fire, or a death in the family, there really isn’t any reason why someone shouldn’t complete their homeschool curriculum within a one-year period. But, I’m still curious.
And, in case you wondered, I never found the answer. It’s fine.
READ MORE: No, Mom. I Haven’t Been Drinking
My favorite homeschool adventure, to date, was the three-week social studies trip we took across country. Actually, the point of the trip was to visit my husband’s family but we also saw a lot of fun things on the way. And I fully intend to tell you all about it…..in the next blog.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion…or maybe it’s just Part 2. I don’t know yet. But regardless, Stay Tuned!