Homeschooling: The Questions Continue

I have been reading Valorie’s blogs about her homeschooling experiences with much intrigue. Have you checked out her latest? I have to say that the way Valorie homeschools impresses me to no end. As a teacher, I often worry about kids who are homeschooled, truly wondering exactly what type of education each child is receiving. I am beyond impressed with what Valorie does to educate her own children, and because of this, I have many more questions about homeschooling. Valorie, can you help me out?

Are homeschooled children mandated by the state to take physical education? If so, how do you incorporate that into your day? I ask because my husband runs a huge community center in a neighboring city and they offered a gym class for kids who are homeschooled. The class ended up being cancelled because not enough homeschoolers were interested. This is in a city that has a pretty large population for homeschooling. It makes me wonder where these children, or how these children, participate in physical education.

Can you share with me what a typical curriculum for homeschooling looks like? Do you have actual lesson plans and activities that you follow? Where do you homeschool in your home? Do you have a classroom set up with all the things a typical public school would have? While I realize that you wouldn’t need an overhead projector, etc…do you have a dry erase board, a chalk board? Or do you just homeschool in the kitchen or another area? Are homeschoolers supposed to have a designated area where they educate their children, or does it not matter? Where is your space?

I think my last big question about homeschooling, and anyone feel free to jump in with what they do, where do your children make friends? How many activities do your children participate in, such as sports, gymnastics, music lessons, things that do not relate to homeschooling? Do you feel your children are missing out on any of the social aspect that a public education could give them, such as friendships that carry through the school day and year after year?

How do you make sure your children make long-lasting friendships that the public school system is a starting point for? I happen to, at 35 years old, have a close friend that I met in 2nd grade. We are still great friends to this day. I would never have met her had I not attended public school and spent time with her everyday. Do you feel that your children are going to be able to make sustainable friendships with children they may only see once a week at soccer practice?

I ask, not because I am judging, but simply because I am curious as to how the entire homeschooling works, including the important social aspect of making friends.