When you first begin homeschooling, people ask all kinds of questions. What curriculum will you use? Will the kids have to be tested every year? Are you sure you can do this? How will they make friends? Will they have social lives? Do you have to take attendance? How will you know if they're actually learning anything? (Duh!?)
They ask your kids things, too. Do you like homeschool? Are you bored? Do you miss your friends? Do you wish you were back in public school? Is your mom a good teacher? (Duh!?) Do you enjoy school now? (They're still 13 year old boys people, they would prefer to be hanging upside down by their toenails than writing a paper about the Revolutionary War no matter where they go to school.)
As time goes by and people see that this homeschool stuff is actually working, the questions begin to change. They ask you where you're going on the next field trip? When is school over for the year? How did they enjoy the medical lab they toured? How is their garden coming along? Are you taking them to PE this week, and if so can I come along?
The family members? They slowly become transformed into homeschoolers, too. Oh, they may not remove their children from conventional school. They may not even have school-aged children. Doesn't matter. they're on the look-out for educational opportunities for my boys and they love to share! We love it that they love to share!
I get emails about civil war reenactments. I get text messages about science enrichment days at the local college. I get voice mails about berry-picking and bee-keeping and writing competitions. And it's not just family members, either. My daughter's public school teachers are busily scoping out experiences for my kids, too! They send home ideas and websites and extra-practice opportunities all the time. I love it!
My mother-in-law called this week to let me know about some kind of weird katydid bugs that would be crawling out of the ground this spring...for the first time in 13 years, apparently...and told me that I should bring the twins up to her house so they could see them. The bugs, not the grandparents.
And then, the icing on the cake. That very same day my own mom called to tell me about her root canal. And how when the dentist pulled the offending root from her tooth socket, she commented that it was pretty rare to remove an entire root intact. And my mom...actually LOOKED at it! And then...considered asking the dentist if she could bring it home to her grandsons because they're studying the human body systems right now and they would LOVE to see what a nerve looks like! Maybe they could put it under the microscope? How fascinating!
Anyway. Homeschooling has become a way of life around here. It's rubbing off on everyone. I guess it really does take a village to educate a child?!