Kyle started a new homeschool class offered by our local nature center today. While there, I talked a little bit with the woman who worked the front desk and mentioned how great I thought that it was that the nature center was offering these programs. She agreed and said that they were really pleased with the turnout (it is a program for K-2nd grade and the 15 slots had filled up quickly).
She then went on to say that I must be so glad to have an oportunity for my kids to be able to be socialize (yes, she used the word!) with other kids. I laughed a little and explained to her that we really did not have any problem finding group activities, that many places were realizing that there was this whole group of kids home during the day and offering classes. I also mentioned that we actually had to drop an activity in order to take this class and how they were taking a homeschool pottery class (also offered by the county park authority) and really enjoying it.
Not convinced, she said that even though she was sure that my kids had lots of opportunities, she was sure that there were other homeschoolers out there did not. And how being in a class with a group of other kids was just so important and the kids just learned so much about dealing with other kids.
She also went on to say that homeschooling seemed like it would be such a lot of work and asked me (in front of Jason!) if I didn't find it hard being around my kids so much! I just responded that really, homeschooling was easier then it seemed and that being with my kids was one of the reasons that I enjoyed homeschooling so much.
She was a very nice woman and I actually enjoyed our conversation…who knows, maybe I got her to think about things a little bit differently. Or at least opened the door. I am sure that interacting with the homeschool kids and parents who will be coming to the center will help open it further.
I think that for some people, homeschooling is just one of those things that they do not know much about and have not given much thought. It is not until they meet a homeschooler that they start thinking and questioning.
Kyle had a lot of fun in the class and is looking forward to the next one. They are covering earth science types of topics (including magnatism, rock identifcation, pulleys, amphibians, insects etc). He has a couple of friends who are taking it so that was fun for him. And the fact that Jason is not taking has some appeal as well. Jason seemed to enjoy our time…I brought the book we are reading, The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones and he brought the Bone graphic novel that he got for Christmas (that he loves!) and we had a nice time exploring the nature center and reading a bit.