Homeschool Expo Father

They said the pool was open at 5am.  Sure, the workout room was open.  But the little red light from the pool door told me I was rejected.  Thankfully, Paula from the front desk was awake enough to find the maintenance key and let me in.  A great way to wake up.  But as I sit in the lobby now, refreshed and ready for day 2, some thoughts hit me from day 1.

We’re in the midst of attending our first “Chicago Homeschool Expo” as a couple.  Sarah attended last year, and returned very excited that I might come with her this year.  So glad it worked out.  This time, we even paid the extra money to attend the Thursday before the event begins, for “Homeschool 101”.  Intended for those just beginning.  My advice?  Definitely come early.  It’s great to get settled in.  But save that money for IKEA, and read some articles online instead.

The two women that presented were great people.  Lots of experience there.  But one of the 3 sessions even ended with the statement, “Oh, and don’t come to _______ (a seminar) tomorrow, what I just told you was the same thing.”  Really?  We paid quite a bit extra to hear what we could have heard tomorrow?

I’m discovering some interesting things in Homeschooling.  Primarily, that there are as many ways of doing it as there are homes.  Here are a couple (rephrased) quotes from yesterday:

“I believe in 7-up.  No children allowed out of their rooms until after 7am, so that the parents can have time to themselves before the day begins.  Before you start your school day, be sure to shower/dress as if your family were leaving the house.  It helps to separate school from home, and communicates what we’re doing here matters.”

(the other speaker) “Be sure to make sure your household chores are done before homeschooling.  Also, you may want to sleep in until 11am sometimes, that’s fine.  In fact, you may even want to just keep everyone’s pajamas on.  That’s just one of the many benefits of homeschooling!  Heck, you should probably just take the entire month of December off also, because it’ll be quite busy anyways.”

Wow.  I couldn’t believe it.  I can see the importance now of finding like-minded homeschooling families to rub shoulders with.  I can also understand what must go through some people’s minds when they discover we’re homeschooling our children.  Perhaps their experience has been either ridiculously conservative approaches, or the second quote from above.  I think we find ourselves connecting more with the first speaker quoted above, though I’m sure there will be more relaxed days.  I look forward to the family time this path will allow for our home.

There were some other great things I learned also.  One being simply, to be involved with my wife, because it is a decision WE have made, even if she’s the primary “teacher” (though I hope to be involved in what teaching I can also).  She needs to know I’m not only behind her 100%, but standing shoulder to shoulder with her in the education/development of our children.  I have also attained the title of “Principal” of our school.  Mrs. Anderson will have the children report to me if they become disruptive or unruly in class….(snicker).  Seriously though..thinking of myself in that role certainly communicates a more involved role in everything going on.  I like that.

Finally, the reminder that the decision to home school is made on a yearly basis.  It’s daunting when someone asks “Are you doing this through graduation from HS?” to answer them “Yup.”  Even though that is our goal at this point, we will decide annually, and re-evaluate in the summers.  One year at a time, making sure this is a healthy decision and beneficial for what God is doing in our family/home.  In fear and trembling..

All that to say….here we go….day 2..

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