This week, the iHomeschoolNetwork's 10 * in * 10 series asked our group of awesome homeschool bloggers to post about "10 questions people ask you."
Some are silly, some are snarky, all are actual, real questions I've been asked (or Sarah has).
1. Is that your son?
I started with this one because it ticks me off. The response I'd like to give is, "No, it's my beautiful daughter, who happens to have short hair and like the color blue. I understand that at a glance you MIGHT think that, but she is generally wearing a shirt with butterflies on it - and earrings, and a dangly necklace; are you blind?"
The answer I usually give is something like, "She's a girl - just loves short hair like her mom!" To the occasional really persistent person - yes, I've had people not believe me - I will usually just politely reiterate that her name is Sarah and that we both enjoy wearing our hair short.
2. Did you know that you and your (son/daughter) look alike?
Again, she's my daughter (if they say son), and no, no one's EVER said that before. At least not in the last half-hour.
Nah, again, that's not really what I say. Usually I say, "Thanks! I think she's way's cuter," or "Yeah, she and I get that a lot; it's pretty cool!"
It IS pretty cool. I love that Sarah and I look so much alike, and that question doesn't annoy me at all - it just is almost silly how frequently it happens.
This is us with our friend Amanda at Amanda's wedding. I picked it to exemplify the mother-daughte resemblance because when I posted it on Facebook, everyone ignored the bride and commented on how much Sarah looked like me!
3. Do you work?
Yep, a full-time job AND a part-time one, plus some side gigs. And my husband works what I call "extra-full-time" - like 60 to 70 hours many weeks.
4. HOW do you homeschool if you both work?
I'm blessed to be able to work mostly from home; but honestly, the other answer is, "We want it to." We have made the choice about how we spend our time, and while (for now) we need two full-time incomes, Chris and I are both adamant about spending as much time as a family as possible!
5. Does your mom give you good grades?
We don't "do" grades at all, actually, but Sarah is probably asked this more often than almost anything else! She always looks a little mystified and a little worried - don't forget, grades stress her out - and her answer is a mumbled "Not really" in most cases, leaving me to explain more (that state law doesn't mandate grades, and that we choose to measure progress through conversations and other life-learning methods).
6. Is that your dad?
The bad part is that this isn't usually asked to Sarah - but to ME. Yes, Chris is 12 years older than I am, and yes, I tend to look slightly younger than my age, while he looks slightly older than his.
Added to this is the fact that we're a three-generation family; my mother lives with us as well. Weirdest thing ever - kindergarten orientation for Sarah. All three adults in our household attend. Teacher leans over to Sarah, says, "OK, nice to meet you; go sit down with Mommy and Grandma and Grandpa." As soon as I calmly learned over and took Chris's hand, the wonderfully nice lady was beside herself.
No one wants to routinely get married off to their mother-in-law, but Chris is a good sport. Sometimes I really get mean and tease him by yelling, "Hey, Dad!" in stores. It's terrible. He gets me back.
7. What was wrong with public school? Wasn't it good enough for you?
Actually, one of my former teachers ran into us the other day and asked this, NOT in a mean way, but seriously curious! The short answer is that it wasn't a good fit for Sarah's unique learning needs, but the longer answer can be found in our three-part series on our educational journey - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
This is probably the least cut-and-dried question on this list. We homeschool because it's right for our family, and I believe because God led us to it. So is that a religious reason?
I believe that public school was a battleground for Sarah in some ways because of her faith. Does that make our homeschooling decision "for religious reasons?"
Funnily, today, we drove past a local school building and after reading its sign, Sarah said, "Mom, what's a Christian school?" (Remember, she actually attended one - and so did I - for our very first years, so that's even stranger.)
Interestingly, though I believe I've always done a good job of sharing my faith with Sarah, and helping her explore and form her own beliefs, and though we are unapologetically Christian, I can't in good conscience say yes to this question.
Mostly, that's because this is one thing that DIDN'T change from our public-school days - we were doing at-home and in-church family spiritual "stuff" before, and we're doing it now.
That said - is it a plus that we're not in a secular school system any more? In my book, yeah, for a lot of reasons!
9. What will you do about (math/biology/art/foreign language/other traditional "subject") when she gets older?
Help her learn it as she shows an interest.
Random lady in the gift shop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art really hammered this - and finally I told her I was a math major and my husband was an English major... she kept going, and I said... "And I was a philosophy and Spanish minor." That was good enough across disciplines, I guess, because she stopped talking to us.
10. Are you planning to have any more kids?
I can't - a fact that was established medically long before Chris and I got married. (As I've mentioned, he later adopted Sarah, so yes, she is "our" daughter in all ways!)
I'm "lucky" in a way - while people's first response is usually to say they're sorry when they hear this, it is not a problem for me. I was always of the mind that I was kind of a one-and-done person, and as I've got to know Sarah over the years, she is really a "good" only child, if that makes sense. I don't think she'd do as well with a sibling, especially not a younger one.
It did worry me when Chris and I became a couple, because I realized he'd never have a "baby" - he started with a 4-year-old, missing all the cute little stuff! It was fine with him, too, though, which is great.
I will say that I'd consider adopting or fostering older kids - 12 and above - after Sarah's a little older. I really am not the baby type - I like people who can hold a conversation with me and do their own laundry - but I have a passion for helping teens, because I remember how rough of an age that was. Truly, God only knows what will happen later!
BONUS 11. Will you homeschool me? Will you talk to my parents so I can be homeschooled?
This is from some of Sarah's friends, and while it's very flattering, I have to say that I never set out to be the homeschool evangelist of West York. :)
I'm always glad to talk about it, though, and to discuss other options that are out there! I would hate for anyone to miss out on a good fit for their child just because they don't understand what options are available to them, whether that's tutoring, homeschooling, cyberschooling...
So those are some of the questions we've been asked. If you have questions for us, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment or email me at joan at ourschoolathome dot com. I'll answer just about anything!
We're also linking up today to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings. Whether you're sharing your Top 10 questions people ask you, or a Top Ten list on any other topic, I'd
love for you
to link up and to check out the other blogs that have, too! And don't forget to check out my previous posts in this series if you missed them, on our 10 unschooling and homeschooling must-haves, 10 of Sarah's "likes" about homeschooling and 10 reasons we chose our unschooling style.