1. Homeschool moms don’t wear pants. Michelle Duggar, the most famous homeschool mom in America, has definitely influenced the way people view fashion styles of the homeschool mom. She adheres to a strict, modest dress code and that’s ok, but that is the exception, not the norm. Most of the homeschool hottie moms that I know rock pants, and even shorts. I have seen homeschool moms rock rainbow hair, tattoos, piercings, GunsNRoses tees, distressed jeans, and gasp, even makeup. On the other hand, like Michelle Duggar, some of our homeschool sisters rock long denim skirts and that fresh face glow. We are a diverse bunch of women and we proudly rock personal styles that range from conservative to “Rebel Yell” and everything in-between. That’s the beauty of homeschoolers - “you do you, babe.”
2. Homeschool moms are weird and so are their kids. I sure hope so! Who wants to be “normal” and “ordinary” and by whose standards are we measuring ourselves and one another, anyway? Often I think “normal” and “ordinary” can be substituted with “boring” and “common”. We want our kids to be “okay” and fit in and be accepted, appreciated and validated. There is nothing wrong with that except this - we should never compromise the core of who we are and what makes us joyful. And we should never give up or hide our passions for things that may be off the beaten path just so that others would be more comfortable and accepting of the blander version of ourselves.
3. Homeschool moms are super organized. Here’s a phenomena that I can’t quite explain but definitely experience whenever I meet a new mom. Upon learning that I am a homeschooling mom of 6, she’ll instantly assume that I possess epic skills in organization and just about everything else in the motherhood realm. And yes, sometimes I feel like Logistics Central - a 5’4” human hub where people gather around to get a quick snack and find out what’s what in the upcoming week. Our insane family calendar does not look pretty - it is not adorned with neatly bordered Target washi tape, seasonal stickers or flowery momligraphy. My family’s calendar is sticky, smells vaguely of peanut butter and pickles and the deeper in we are in a month, the more it resembles a war zone of multi-colored frantic cross-outs, potholes, illegible scrawl, and mysterious codes and hieroglyphics.
There are excellent days where everything is going great and my kids are those stereotypical homeschool kids and I am that mythically perfect homeschool mom racking up serious bonus points for punctuality, neatness, excellence, and achievement while also awesomely dropping a pound or two along the way (holla!). But the truth is, just like every other mom in the trenches, I also have my days of mild panic and chaos, wondering how my toothbrush could've disappeared between bedtime the night before and 5 am the next morning, and trying to solve the mystery of why there is a pair of black dress socks in the freezer. I navigate my world of large family living and homeschooling one day at a time and do my best to not be at my worst when it really counts (which is always... no pressure.)
4. Homeschool moms are either tiger moms or unschooling hippies. Yes and yes. And some of us are both at the same time, depending on which of our children we are talking about. I have six children and each child likes to learn a little differently. One of my children loves workbooks and will probably marry one someday. Another of my children hates workbooks and will probably burn all of his someday. They are both smart, curious, and love to learn new things but they do it in very different ways and both styles are 100% ok and legit. Another of my children likes to push himself hard and wishes I had pushed him harder at a younger age. I birthed 6 babies and they all entered the world in a similar way but once they were out, they wasted no time letting me know they were unique people and teaching them and watching them learn on their own has been and continues to be a great adventure.
5. Homeschool moms never lose their cool. I really wish this were true. There’s a saying, “If you don’t yell at your kids, you’re not spending enough time with them.” I don’t support yelling but honestly, sometimes a good yell starts out as a tiny kernel at the back of my throat and when my attitude turns a little salty under pressure, it POPS! I would love to proclaim that I have the patience of Job and the demeanor of Kanga (Roo’s ever gracious mama) but alas that’s not the case. Typically, I have the urgency and impatience of a New Yorker (which I am) and most days, my house is bustling like Grand Central. Let’s just say that sometimes I have to turn up the volume just to be heard over the healthy din of 8 active bodies each doing their own thing.
6. Homeschool moms have lots of kids. Okay, some of us do indeed have a gaggle of kids and our tribe is strong in number. What can I say, we have lots of sex. Oh no I didn't... Oh yes I did.
7. Homeschool moms knit. All of them. All of the time. Okay, this myth definitely has some “truthiness” to it. Have you ever been in a waiting room and there’s a woman just chilling with a knitting project while her well-behaved children quietly occupy themselves with workbooks, iPads, or toys? Homeschoolers. How about a knitting mom perched on a folding chair in the hallway of a conservatory, with little ones in tow, while her prodigy (more on prodigies, later) has a music lesson? Homeschoolers. Knitting is so prevalent in the homeschool mom tribe that if you come across a non-knitter in our community, it’s like spotting a live unicorn in the middle of co-op.
8. Homeschool moms are all raising child prodigies. This myth is a common one that I hear often. The truth is, homeschooling affords families a more flexible schedule, allowing kids to pursue passions and interests at their own pace with fewer distractions. Sometimes that pace is accelerated by how very passionate they are about something that has piqued their interest and curiosity. Oftentimes creative and athletic pursuits such as music, art, writing, sports and drama hook a homeschool child’s interest and some of those kids successfully make a whole life and career out of it right from the get-go. That’s where the legend of the homeschool prodigy generates. But many more homeschoolers are like any other students meaning that they fall somewhere on the learning spectrum from struggling learners and average students to excellent achievers.
9. Homeschool moms are sheltered and submissive. Hella no.
10. Homeschool moms are super conservative. Guilty. I am ultra conservative in all aspects of my life. For instance, I like my thigh high boots in classic black suede and shun the flashier colors. And I play my savage EDM playlists at vulgar and unrelenting concert stadium volumes, like a proper lady (Steve Aoki! Cake Me!).
11. Homeschool moms are either good teachers or totally incompetent. Here’s the hard truth about being a “teacher” to my own kids - I am not really their teacher. You now have some serious insider information regarding homeschool mom intel. The truth is, they are their own teacher. It’s like this: Their life is Mt. Everest. My children are the adventurous climbers. And you guessed it, I am their sherpa. Their glorious successes are theirs to bask in and also, their failures are their own to hopefully learn and grow from. I am their guide - they do their own climbing, learning, and training. I help them with the logistics of education (finance, travel, equipment, teachers, resources and precious open and free time to explore and think and, if needed, I help structure their schedules). They do the actual learning and come up with their own passions to pursue and get excited about.
12. Homeschool moms hate their local schools. Admittedly, some of us are very anti-institutionalized schooling in all of it’s forms. But there are many of us that do not vilify one form of education to uplift another. I am what I call a “hybrid schooling” mom. I have a child who recently entered public school and is prospering. My other children are homeschooling with me as well as through co-ops and other academic communities. As I’ve said before, I believe each child has unique needs and personalities and styles of learning and embracing what they need individually is the absolute best course of action when it comes to education.
13. Homeschool moms all birth their babies in the middle of a serene forest wearing nothing but a crown of wildflowers. Yup. This one is 100% true.
Now that we've got that all straightened out, should I do a Truths About Homeschool Moms Blog? Send me your truths in the comments section and let's make an epic blog list together! Thanks for stopping by themomzoo. Hope to see you again, sister!