I had coffee with my Dad today. Dad was always the driving force behind our academic persuits (mine and my brother’s). He is very enthusiastic about education. Fortunately, he also has an open mind and a high regard for our parenting choices. Today I told him that we’d made the decision to homeschool. He started out with the usual misconceptions – saying it would be hard on me, and then saying that since he did a term of distance learning at University a thousand years ago he has some familiarity with homelearning. Yeeeeah. Anyways, I gave him the speech about self-directed learning, me not being a teacher but a resource finder, the children retaining their natural desire for learning, and avoiding all the social pitfalls of school society. By the end of the conversation he was positively giddy about it all. Yay Dad!
Now, to break the news to Mum. Actually, I don’t think she’ll freak out too much. She has talked about homeschooling with other people, and one of her friends is a school principle who took a one year sabbatical and happily homeschooled his kids through it. But my guess is that he is of the variety who sets up a mini classroom in his home. Still, with his endorsement Mum opened her mind. Then one day while she was watching my kids at the playground as I went off for a two hour lineup at the passport office, she encounterd a young boy and girl who, as it turned out, were homeschooled. She didn’t know this at first, and was delighted at the boy’s ability to hold a conversation with her and take an interest in her as a person. When I showed up she was gushing about what a nice young brother and sister they were, and I could see that the notion of homeschooling was becoming more acceptable to her. I think she might balk at the idea of them *never* going to school, but I can deal with that by just mumbling something along the lines of “well, we’ll start with elementary school and see how that goes”. Not like I have the slightest notion of sending them to high school, but it should keep Mum from worrying too much. By the time the kids get to be that age I’m sure she will be on board, just as has happened with every other parenting decision I’ve made.