Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Only Freaks Do That

We homeschool. You've probably caught that by now. We started in the Fall of 2000 when our oldest was in 1st grade. Our other 2 sons were almost 3 1/2 and 6 months old. So we were really just schooling one boy at that point. The others were along for the snacks, good stories and occasional fun projects (I am not a very project-y type of homeschooling mom...more on that someday).

Wow, we're just about done with our 10th year of this. Wow.

We've now got kids in 10th, 7th, 4th, and 1st grades. Plus, there is the 2 year old who thinks she is 12 and is seriously studying coloring at the present time. She is very serious about it.

When we decided do the homeschool thing, we only knew one other homeschooling family personally and they lived about 34 hours and 12 minutes away from us, according to mapquest. Surprisingly, this didn't bother me at all. I didn't ever doubt that we could homeschool our kids. We'd done so much praying; we knew this was what God wanted for our family.

I did know myself well enough to make The Big Guy make me commit to homeschooling until our oldest was in 5th grade. I knew there were going to be days, and probably lots of them, when I would want to lock myself in a closet and just rock back and forth while drinking a Pepsi. The 5th grade commitment wasn't any magical age. We figured that since we had been spent so much time praying and discussing the whole idea that we'd better be in it for the long haul and so we chose four long years away. We were well into our 5th year of my tenure as a home educator before I even remembered that we had talked about the end of the 4th year as the time to "get out" if we wanted. It was working for us, I guess.

Wow, we'll be done homeschooling our last kid in the year 2026. Wow.

So, we'd made the decision and we were excited. The calls to the family began. Everyone was supportive, but we knew they had reservations. One family member, whom I love dearly partially because she calls things like she sees them, had a rather abrupt reaction. When I told her that we'd decided to homeschool Nate she said, and I quote, "Wendy! Only freaks do that!" I had to laugh because I know her and love her. "Well, I guess we are freaks then, " I replied.

I've thought about that conversation about once a month since then and I still laugh because it is true. We are freaks. We made a choice for our family that went decidedly against what all the normal, non-freak type of people do. We prayed and prayed and felt God telling us to go for it. We are freaks.

The funny thing is that I know a lot of people who are freaks and they don't homeschool.

The family member who reacted to our announcement is, herself, a freak. She and her husband only let their kids play video games on Friday nights! Can you believe it? What freaks!

I know some people who don't have TV's in their homes. Major freaks!

I know some other folks who take every Sunday morning and spend it at church instead of sleeping or shopping or going to a sporting event. Whoa! Those are some freaks!

I know some people who take their hard earned money and give a sizable chunk away to churches and those who need it each month because they want to do so. Crazy freaks!

When I look at it like that, I am glad to be a freak - homeschooling or otherwise.


  1. Great!! Freaky mom thinks her freaky daughter is wonderful. Keep up the good work.

  2. Ok, sooooo in your opinion Wendy, is there hope for someone like me? I have been seriously unimpressed with Jordan's whole school experience thus far, but the thought of homeschooling completely freaks me out. And I mean completely. I feel like I'm really, really bad at being organized. And I feel like I would just mess the whole thing up. I'm not quite sure what to think...

  3. You can do it!

    That's all I'm going to say. I'll let my wife say more!

  4. Well, I'm freaking out here because I found out you blog!!! Watch out, Wend - you've got a new follower now.

    I'm still liking our public school situation (which could probably be considered freaky of me!) but I'm definitely a freak without a TV going on 11 years now, and no video games except the occasional and fancypants. (Don't confuse that last game with a certain lingerie site, if you're unfamiliar.)

    I do a lot of extracurricular teaching at home in the afternoons and weekends to supplement the public education (hmm... just realized that's probably freaky), so I'll look forward to your freaky homeschooling posts.

    Freakaliciously yours,

  5. Mel,
    In my humble opinion, most people think they can't homeschool, but lots of them can. It takes some rearranging of your house, schedule and thinking (most of all), but it is totally doable. Your homeschool doesn't have to look at all like a school - it is school in your home, so it looks like your family. I am not going to tell you that I love it all the time because I have looked a school bus longingly on a few occasions, but I woudn't do things any differently. Pray about it and give me a call. I'll talk whenever. WJ

  6. Anj,
    Hi!!! I'm a bit nervous now that I know a published author is lurking about. Congrats! I don't think you're a freak at all. Well, you were a bit of a freak in that Marie Callendar's uniform... :)

    Sounds like you are really intentional with your kids - that is 3/4 of the battle as far as I am concerned. WJ

  7. You "freaks" have completely sold us on becoming homeschooling "freaks" too. We thank God for it and will continue to look to Him for guidance. (and you too!)

  8. It was seeing you make this decision and follow through so well that made me consider homeschooling. Thanks for being a positive influence!

  9. Drew and Amy,
    You are both very kind. Ron and I have been humbled (and a bit scared) to know that people are watching what we do in our family. Thanks for being so gracious in your watching!

  10. You inspire me.