Many people do not understand a family’s choice to home educate. Both parents and children face questions. Although I welcome questions, please stop quizzing my homeschool kids.
I have learned I need to be prepared for questions if we are out in public during school hours. Friendly people that enjoy engaging kids will invariably ask why they are not in school.
One day I made the mistake of stopping at Costco on our way home from an appointment. While checking out, my kids were asked why they weren’t in school. They mentioned the appointment and further explained they are homeschooled so our schedule is flexible.
The man checking us out decided my kids needed a pop quiz. He rang up the final item and asked, “So if your mom gives me $200 in cash, how much change do I give her back?”
I was stunned.
I heard nervous laughter from my two math-hating kids. One muttered how he’d already done his math homework for the day.
As I searched for an appropriate response, my left brain number-loving boy looked up to the imaginary whiteboard in his mind and slowly gave an answer as he completed his calculations. Then, he looked the man straight in the eye and with true wonder asked, “So, is that right?!?”
My kids have been quizzed by extended family, medical staff, Sunday school teachers, and more. Math skills are the most common test questions, in addition to naming state capitols or past presidents.
I have often wondered why these self-assigned auditors don’t administer the same questions to public schooled students.
Please stop quizzing my homeschool kids. I do not believe there is ill intent in the questions. Extended family may want to verify I’m actually teaching them something. Random strangers seem genuinely curious about home education.
Instead of administering a quiz, there are better questions that can be asked:
- What are you learning in school?
- What is your favorite subject?
- Have you read any good books recently?
- What’s your favorite thing about being homeschooled?
- Do you have any hobbies?
- Do you play any sports?
These questions are not that different from what could be asked of a publicly educated student, and I expect the answers will be similar. Almost every kid I know will claim lunch is their favorite subject. My six-foot son insists he is a tall hobbit and second breakfast should be on our schedule.
I appreciate it when people take the time to engage my kids and show an interest in what they are doing or learning. It builds relationship and affords them the same community connection adults are looking for.
A loving parent is invested in the growth, development, and education of their child. Parents are qualified to teach their children.
Please stop quizzing my homeschool kids, and rest assured they are being educated. Talk to them. Enjoy their childlike answers. If you have questions or concerns about how I am homeschooling my children, ask me. I welcome questions. Even the blunt ones, when asked respectfully.