a girl with all her colored pencils
The 2 questions I am asked most often once people discover we homeschool are:
1) What about socialization?
2) What about algebra?
Well, friends, I took 2 years of algebra and I don’t have the faintest idea how to do algebra. I have gone many years without knowing algebra and so far, so good. Maybe it would have come in handy for... I really have no idea. I’m sure someone out there finds it handy. But I personally do not. I wonder why don't people ask, “What about flower arranging? How will they get through life without knowing flower arranging?”
a rainbow girl
Allow me to relay another little math-y story.
I took honors chemistry in high school. Because I was a “smart kid” and “smart kids” take honors classes. I took honors Earth science and honors biology and earned A’s, so when it came time for chemistry, of course I signed up for honors chemistry. Turns out I totally SUCKED at chemistry. It is so freakin’ math-y. No one warned me that it would be so math-y. I understood what was going on for about the first 3 days of class. Although even that many days is in question. The highest test grade I earned was a 62 and that was on the first test before everything got completely, 100% confusing. The teacher used a grading curve to determine our grades and I didn’t even understand how that worked. We would get our tests back and the other kids would get out their calculators—the kind with all those extra buttons that do unspeakably, unknowable math-y things—and they would say, “If I get a 97 on my next lab and a 98 on my next quiz and a 95 on my next test, I’ll end up with a 97 for the whole semester!” Now, these different elements held different values, plus the curve that I didn’t understand in the least, so even figuring out my grade was more than I could calculate. I would get my test back and say, “I got a 34!” I ended up with C’s every semester. I have no idea how that was possible.
General Grievous and Captain Rex built from Lego Hero Factory parts
Here’s the deal: when (if) my kids want to learn algebra, they can go take a class at the community college or utilize one of the many online resources. Or a good old-fashioned textbook. And if they never want to learn algebra, that’s okay, too. Because it will mean they are engaging in something else that is of greater interest to them. And where there is interest there is passion and where there is passion there is learning. And then anything is possible.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
My kids never fail to amaze and surprise me with what they do when given the freedom and time to explore that which interests and excites them.
My Little Pony—friendship is magic!
And socialization? We live in a society. It’s pretty impossible not to get socialized if you leave the house. If your kids spend time with a variety of people—people of different ages and backgrounds with genuine qualities and histories to share—they will be socialized. If you model the behavior, qualities and values you hope your children will embrace and embody, it’s all good. They will be socialized. Will they think differently because their experience varies from the traditional school paradigm? Yes, probably. But the world is rarely ever worse off when creative thinking is employed.
And if they turn out to be a little weird, it will probably have more to do with the quirks of their mother than the influence of homeschooling. I'll try to watch myself...
mama and dada