Chance is the sister of one of the women in my online support group. I am thrilled that she agreed to participate in my series!!
1. How old is/are your kid(s)?
My boys are 9 and 10.
2. How long have you been homeschooling?
Since birth! Neither of my boys have ever been in a brick and mortar school, so 5 years.
3. What made you choose to homeschool?
When we moved to Arizona Aug of '05 I went to sign my oldest up for kindergarten only to learn that he missed the cut off date by 5 days. I decided to start schooling him at home. The next year, when he was finally eligible for kindergarten, we toured the school and decided that he would be better off at home. In the city we lived the system was extremely taxed, especially in the younger grades. Teachers were dealing with extreme over crowding. Other mothers that I met had pulled their child out after first grade either to homeschool or send their kids to private schools, so I opted to just never send my boys to the local schools.
We have continued homeschooling even after moving out of AZ because when the economy tanked my husband had to take a job that keeps him away from home 10+ months out of the year. Homeschooling gives us the flexibility to visit him when it it right for us. If we had to work around the public school schedule we would rarely get to see him! We can bring school with us or take a break whenever we like. We school year 'round so getting in the required number of days of instruction in Colorado is easy.
4. Is there a particular style you use (e.g. Montessori, spiritual, etc) and why?
Eclectic. Our style is always changing. We started with a child based learning style, then unit studies, then a curriculum (Oak Meadow) and now we practice a "school at home" style.
5. Do you believe you will homeschool for your child(ren)'s entire academic life, or do you plan on using public, private or charter schools at some point?
We keep jumping back and forth on this one. If my husband starts working from home again I think I would try to convince them to go to our local public schools. If at anytime the boys would like to join public school I will sign them up and we will learn to work around their schedule. As it is now, it is totally their choice. As they get older I start to doubt my ability to teach some subjects so I have been looking into the online public schools for my oldest, who will be in 5th grade next year.
6. How do you respond to claims that homeschooling children leads to socialization issues and doesn't prepare children for the 'real world'?
I just avoid that question. :) Truthfully though, I moved every year of my childhood and went to a dozen different schools and no one worried about my socialization. The boys have friends, they know our neighbors, they participate in community programs, strangers regularly comment on their manners and ability to communicate with anyone in spite of their age. I cannot see how pigeonholing a child in a group of kids, only their age, for 13 years helps socialize them any better than what we do.
7. What is your biggest worry about homeschooling?
That they will someday resent it. But we all wish we had what we don't and did what we didn't, so one way or another we will have "did it wrong" in their eyes at some point in their lives. :) Hopefully they know it has all been out of love!
8. Briefly, what are your state's guidelines for homeschooling families? (If you feel comfortable saying it, feel free to indicate what state you're in)
In Colorado, the main requirements are to register a notice of intent to homeschool with the district every fall. Starting at the end of 3rd grade, you also need to give a standardized test every odd year. We are required to complete 172 days of instruction, averaging 4 hours a day, but a ledger is not required. I do make note of the starting dates and breaks we take on my calendar just in case it is ever needed.