Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Quizzes" and such

       I was asked last week by another homeschooling mom if my kids got "quizzed" by family members.  She was upset that her family doesn't support homeschooling and so therefor quizzes all of her kids when they get together to see what her children do and don't know.  I could honestly answer this has never happened to us.  We've been really lucky in that everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) has been very supportive of our choice to homeschool.  I'm sure some think it strange, but other then what I've come to view as the "typical questions" (you can click through for our 10 FAQ about homeschooling) we haven't had anyone say anything negative to us.  More often we're asked questions by parents and family that are intrigued and thinking of homeschooling themselves.  Clerks at the store tell us it's "wonderful" and we're "so lucky."  I have to agree.  Now I know many homeschool families get annoyed or very defensive when asked any questions about homeschooling, but I don't mind.  Maybe because we've been homeschooling for less than a year and so I haven't had time yet to get annoyed, maybe because most people I meet seem to be genuinely interested and intrigued by the idea; I don't know.  But I did watch last night, with amusement,  as my husband's aunt quizzed my middle son when she came to visit.  I remembered this mom asking her question last week and being baffled as to why family would act like that and I STILL am!  Our aunt was asking out of fun; it was a game between her and Alec and one that both of them were having great fun playing.  Key words being fun & game.  I think that makes all the difference!
     It all started when Alec came over and started reading to me, out loud, from his new Pokemon book.   Once he fell silent and started reading in his head she looked at me with that look of amazement I'm so used to by now and just said "Wow! He reads so well!"  She noticed his attention had wavered from the book to the movie on TV and so she asked him if she could see his book.  She wanted to see if she could find some words to stump him... she flipped through the book and pointed to random words like sinister, perseverance, determination, etc.  She did manage to stump him a time or two and she'd tell him what the word was but more often than not he'd tell her the word without really even looking at what she was pointing at!  They were laughing and smiling and having a great time.   She finally gave up and told me she though he probably read better than most high school students.  What a wonderful compliment!  Alec was radiant with pride.
          He woke up this morning and proceeded to read the entire rest of the book he started last night.  He occasionally took a break to watch a movie or two with his brothers but for the most part sat in the room by himself curled up reading his book.  I was glad because I was trying to finish painting the kitchen and I was at the point of all the cabinets where the kids really weren't able to help. 
        Ian chose art.  I was so surprised but pleasantly so as he's not normally my artist.  But he sat at the kitchen table and painted two watercolor paintings; one of a jet he named "big bang" and one of a landscape (he even asked if we could take a trip to Micheal's so he could buy his own art case like Alec's using his own money!).  Evan wanted to try painting too but he gets so frustrated lately that he quits everything before he even starts.  He ended up convincing Ian to play with the hover craft and all terrain vehicles instead.  They would go back and forth from Lego's, to painting, to remote control vehicles and for the most part they were getting along and engaged.  At one point though Evan was the only one with "nothing to do" and so, bored, he sat on the kitchen floor spinning the binoculars around in a circle.  He excitedly told me to watch and explained that if he spun his hand like this the binoculars would spin in a circle on the floor.  I asked him why and Ian yelled "he's using force!"  When talking about why they stop they told me "it's friction!"   Evan immediately looked up excitedly and asked if he could watch that movie again.  So this morning found us learning about Newton's Laws of Motion again through Disney Imagineering.  I was so proud by how much they remembered and enjoyed the movie.  They also watched a few Magic School Bus episodes all about planting, water, and construction.  I hated that they had settled on movies but consoled myself with the fact that I was able to finish most of the kitchen and at least they were watching educational stuff while staying out of my hair. 


  1. Glad to hear she was impressed, maybe that interaction changed her mind and now has a better idea of what homeschooling entails for the better. I think the older generation has a different view!

  2. She actually seemed to "get" homeschooling right from the get go; this was just a game for her as much as for Alec. She's even been my substitute teacher --taking them for a day and had a turn at homeschooling. It's great to have wonderfully supportive family!