The Homeschooler in Me- Q & A

Most of my homeschool posts appear on my Happy Hearts Homeschool blog, but occasionally I duplicate those posts here for friends and family to see our homeschooling in action. Since homeschooling is such an intricate part of the fabric that makes up our family, I've decided to include a once-a-week, original homeschool-related post here at Hi Madsens, starting today. With that in mind...

We are often asked questions about our homeschooling, so I thought a little Q & A session here would be fun.

Q: Why do you homeschool?

A: There are many reasons why we homeschool, but I would say one of my top-most reasons for homeschooling is to give my children a spiritually-safe learning environment. There is a scripture verse in D&C 88:8 which I love to apply to this- 
 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.
That is how I feel about our home. It's a holy place, one where we are free to openly pray to our Father in Heaven and where we can easily feel the Spirit. Zach and Darcie have told me how tiring it was for them to be in the pubic school environment day after day. It wore them down spiritually because it was an unholy environment. Although they were righteous influences on their friends at school, we reached a point as a family where it was simply not worth it. Given the choice, we choose to stand (and learn) in a holy place.

Q: Don't you want to go to school? 

A: "No. Been there, done that, I am never going back!" -Marissa 

Q: Are you ever going back to "real school"?

A: "Define your definition of "real school" because I am doing real school". -Marissa
A: "What's considered "real school"? I get a great education at home. I'm not missing out on anything. You know how a lot of people like the processed stuff? That's what public school is. It's processed. It's edible, but it's gross." -Darcie
A: "I am at a real school". -Marcus

Q: Are you antisocial? Do you know how to interact with kids your own age?

A: "Just because I'm homeschooled, doesn't mean I don't see and talk and hang out with friends my own age." -Marissa
A: "We have friends all over the world and we have friends of all different ages." -Darcie and Marissa
A: "I know how to interact with kids my own age. I do it all the time." -Marcus

Q: Do you actually want to be homeschooled or do your parents force you?

A: "I want to be homeschooled. I have been to public school and public school sucks!" -Marcus
A: "I enjoy being homeschooled more than I enjoyed going to public school. I'm getting better experiences at home than when I was at pubic school." -Marissa

Q: How do you teach your children without a teaching degree?

A: Parents are a child's first and most influential teachers. God gave me four of his precious spirit children to personally raise and teach here on earth. Therefore, HE qualifies me to teach my own children. I have seen public school teaching in action, both as a student and as a parent who sent her children to public school for many years. In all those years combined, only a handful of teachers we came across would qualify in my book as above-average teachers, meaning that they actually cared about my children and wanted them to succeed in life. The rest were below-average to average and I am definitely above-average when it comes to teaching my own children. I am personally invested in my children. I certainly know them better than any public school teacher ever could. And today, with homeschooling growing every year, there are all sorts of resources to help me, from well-designed curriculum to the amazing distance education offered by Liahona Academy which is LDS-based. And, I believe that children have a natural thirst for learning that is quenched more through play, hands-on and life experiences, than it ever would be in a formal classroom setting.

Q: Do you know anything about the "real world"? Aren't you sheltered?

A: "No, I'm not sheltered. I've probably seen more of the real world than you have." -Marissa

Q: Are you homeschooled because you're Mormon? 

A: "No. In fact, most LDS kids we know are not homeschooled." -Darcie and Marissa
A: While our values that come from the gospel as taught by our faith, influenced our decision to homeschool, we do not homeschool simply because we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Q: Do you just sit around and do nothing all day?

A: "No, I don't sit around all day, but I do have more free time. I can take a break whenever I want. I also read whatever I want and at any level." -Marissa
A: Actually, my kids get more learning done at home in 2 hours than their public school peers do in 6 hours of classroom instruction. That's because while they are studying the same subjects (English, history, science, math, etc.), they are doing it without the added time of standing in line, requesting permission to use the bathroom, changing classrooms, attending assemblies, following a schedule, etc.

Q: Aren't there gaps in your education? And how will you take the ACT/SAT and get into college?

A: "Yes, there are gaps in my education and there are gaps in your education too. Public education is filled with gaps! I knew things in my first semester of college that my public schooled peers had never learned." -Darcie
A: "I took the ACT the same way you will take it. I studied with a book. I took practice tests. I went to the nearest testing location. I did well enough on it that I was accepted into the university of my choice." -Darcie

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