I am SOOOOO sick of answering the “so, is your daughter starting Kindergarten this year?” question. ‘Cuz you just know where it’s going. You know the script by heart:
“actually we homeschool”
“oh?” (pause) “what about [insert stereotype here: socialization, math, you name it]”
I end up launching into a lengthy discourse, trying to dispel all their preconceived notions…see here for example. It’s tiring and goes on way too long. I’ve recognized for a while now that I need to come up with a simpler answer.
And today it hit me: the problem is that as soon as the word “homeschooling” leaves my lips (and nobody gets what homelearning is or unschooling so ultimately I can’t help but say that word) I’m swimming uphill. Because the second they hear that word their mind is filled with their idea of what homeschooling is, and I spend all my energy trying to get them past their preconceived notions so I can then fill their minds back up again with the facts.
So, what if I just started from a blank, where they would have no idea what I’m talking about and then I can just fill it all in? Here’s what I mean:
“So, is your daughter starting school this year?”
“No, she isn’t going to school”….stop.
“Oh, uh…well then, what are you doing?”
“We do something called Free Learning. It’s where the kids decide what they want to learn about and I lead them to the resources they need to fully explore that subject.”
I’m not going to use the H-word at all. Hopefully by the time they figure out it’s basically a form of homeschooling, they’ll have heard enough not to bother asking me “well, what about math?”.