Ever wonder if you and your children are behaving like a proper homeschool family? Don’t sweat it. There is no mold to fit into. However, here is a comical list of 100 homeschool manners (and a bit of unprofessional advice) and laughs for the entire homeschool family.
Homeschool Manners for Use During Public School Hours
- When someone asks why you are not at school today, do not roll your eyes and say, “Here we go again!”
- Also, do not just say, “I don’t go to school.”
- And resist the urge to ask them, “Well, why aren’t you at work?” ___________________________________________________
- For the love of second breakfast, comb your hair before you leave the house. Let’s break the mold, already.
- Want to save time and further questions? Just make up a name for your homeschool and give it to strangers who ask where you go to school. When they say they’ve never heard of it, tell them it is too elite for most people.
- Do not tell people you go to Hogwarts Academy. The Proper Name is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- If a stranger asks if you like your teacher this year, do not say, “No, she sleeps with the principal.”
- If you decide to tell a stranger you homeschool, don’t look weepy to attract pity. You will be alone with your mother shortly.
- Rehearse what grade you are in before leaving the house. There is no such thing as 14th grade. That is just your age.
- When asked what grade you are in, do not reply with, “What subject?”
- Give the docent at the museum time to finish asking his/her questions before you answer them.
- If they know your teacher is your mom, and they still ask the ridiculous question, “Do you like your teacher?” don’t roll your eyes and look annoyed.
- The proper response to the question Do you like your teacher? is “No, I love her.” Remember whose team you are on.
- At the doctor’s office, don’t laugh or scoff at the nurse when she asks if you need a note to return to school.
- Do not make the nurse write you a doctor’s note only to then turn and hand it to your mom and ask to be excused in sheer mockery.
- Clean up after yourself throughout the day. Your mom already does the work of 7-10 well paid employees, except without the pay part.
- When a stranger asks, “How will you make friends if you aren’t in school?” go ahead and ask, “Well, how do you make friends? You aren’t in school either.” ___________________________________________________________
- Correcting the grammar of strangers or adults is strictly forbidden. While “I seen that on the news” is just wrong, remember last week when you said, “I had tooken the garbage out…”
- When someone asks that worn out question about socialization, just tell them we’re nonbelievers. Their bumfuzzled horror will give you time to get away.
- When you are driving by a school on one of your days off, do not make weird faces at the kids on the playground and yell out the window, “See ya suckers! “
- You may not wear your school uniform when outside of the house. Pajamas at the museum and grocery store give all homeschoolers a bad reputation.
- By all means, wear your Batman costume everywhere.
- If a school field trip shows up to ruin your peaceful outing, do not audibly refer to the school bus as the “indoctrination bus.”
- Do not yell, “Don’t let them take me!” when you see a yellow bus.
Homeschool Manners When with Public Schoolers
- When you are with public-schooled kids that tease you about being homeschooled, do not say, “Oh, you go to public school… I am sorry your mama doesn’t really love you.”
- Don’t make private jokes in Latin.
- When another kid asks if you get tired of being at home every day, do not in turn ask, “Do you get tired of sitting at a desk in the same classroom with the same people day after day?” You already know the answer is yes. Don’t rub it in.
- Do not refer to public-school as ‘kid prison’ and the kids who attend as ‘inmates’.
- Do not follow up #28 by asking, “What cell block, um, I mean what grade are you in?”
- Occasionally, stop droning on about your latest project and ask other kids about their interests and hobbies. Though you usually ‘rule the school’ (so to speak), the world does not actually revolve around you.
- Bragging about sleeping late, short school hours, no standardized tests, exciting field trips, and learning what you want at your own pace is fun to do. Especially when you do it in front of mean cousins or snotty teammates. But it makes you a snot too. Don’t do it.
- Okay you can do #31 occasionally, but not too often. We wouldn’t want word to get out and our parks and museums to start getting crowded on weekdays too!
- Never assume that all kids know and love Blimey Cow. Don’t bother explaining it either. They probably won’t get it.
- Try not to laugh when your public school friends do the Whip, Nae Nae, or Dab. They know not what they look like.
- Do not instigate an academic decathlon with your cousins in the living room at the family Christmas party. What if you don’t win?
- Do not correct other kids constantly if you want to have friends. It is great that you know Abraham Lincoln was in fact a Republican, pasta originated in China not Italy, and black holes are not actually ‘holes.’ But no one likes a know-it-all.
Homeschool Manners for Moms
- You don’t have to tell everyone you meet that you homeschool. It just leads to nosy questions and unwanted opinions. And suddenly you find yourself arguing with the gas station attendant about your child’s college prospects.
- Never say anything bad about homeschooling in front of a skeptical audience.
- If someone is concerned that you homeschool and says, “But you’re not a certified teacher.” Look completely shocked like you had no idea. Then whisper, “Shhh, don’t tell my kids!”
- Do not throat punch anyone who rudely disagrees with your choice to homeschool. Jesus loves them too, dang it.
- Politely answer questions from the curious. Some people really don’t understand how you homeschool.
- The question, “Is that even legal?” is a pretty accurate indicator that you are dealing with someone who is not pro-homeschool. Abort the situation asap.
- When other moms say they could never homeschool, do NOT agree with them. Or do agree, and watch their face.
- Some moms will often tell you they cannot homeschool in hopes you will argue with them. Don’t argue. Simply say, “Well, not everyone should homeschool.” It lets you off the hook. They can wrestle their own demons.
- Be bold and ask for the teacher discount at all the stores. Just don’t come over the counter when they tell you no. Go home and print a teacher ID. It’s like a fake ID for teens, but with more perks.
- When someone says you must be really patient, immediately scream at your kids, “Hurry up! We don’t have time for this nonsense!”
- If they ask (and they will) about socialization, tell them, “Oh, we don’t believe in that. We’re Solitairists.”
- Or say this: “I want them to be weird.”
- Or maybe try, “They are my kids. I’ll screw them up if I want to!”
- Let friends and family know that calling during the hours you are homeschooling is only excusable with a note from their doctor.
- If they call anyway, and then ask, “Are you busy?” Resist the urge to hang up. Just continue teaching right in their ear.
- Teach your kids to answer the phone in several different languages. This miracle skill causes telemarketers to actually hang-up first.
- Or…Ask the next telemarketer that interrupts school if you can put them on speaker phone. Then let your kids practice their new logic skills to pick apart whatever scam they are peddling today.
- When someone asks how long you plan on homeschooling, maybe don’t ask them how long they plan on wearing their hair like that.
- In case the doorbell rings unexpectedly, have a bra stashed in a handy location.
- Tell the UPS guy to please not ring that doorbell every single time, unless he is looking to be the next career day speaker.
- Do not correct other people’s kids at the library even though you refer to the place as your family’s second home.
- Do not complain about your child’s teacher at co-op for not teaching to your standard. She is probably working for free and you could always teach it your own way at home.
- If you catch an adult conducting a round of jeopardy on your kid to assess their academic knowledge, allow your kid to question the adult right back. After all, taking turns is good socialization.
- When someone says they couldn’t homeschool their kids, but then asks if you would do it for them, just laugh. They’re joking, right? If they say, “No, really. Will you homeschool my kids too?”…RUN!
Homeschool Manners for Dads
- Teach whatever you can, whenever you can. Do not limit yourself to garage and outdoor lessons. You can conjugate a verb as well as the rest of us.
- Those daily maintenance jobs you do on autopilot make for one heck of a life skills course. Let the girl-child enroll too.
- If you say you are going to teach, then actually follow through and teach it! No points for good intentions.
- Brag about your wife as often as the chance arises to whomever will listen.
- Let her hear you brag occasionally. Remember she won’t get a bonus check or employee of the month plaque no matter how incredible she performs. _______________________________________________________
- Yes, you too can get a library card.
- Be ready to cook or pick up pizza on a moment’s notice.
- Be able to recognize the moment when you need to pick up pizza. Your exhausted wife may not realize she needs you too.
- Never sleep during family read-aloud time. There might be a quiz. Resting your eyes is not an acceptable excuse.
- It is especially important that you do not fall asleep if you are the one reading.
- Ooh and aah over all the paintings, drawings, crafts, and unidentifiable items you are proudly presented with when you get home from work.
- When the kids ask you a question, “Go ask mom” is not the answer.
- “I don’t know. Let’s Google it.” is acceptable.
- Sounds of Bodily functions 101 is an outside study course and can be practiced alone or in the car with dad only.
- No getting irritated and annoyed with the kids if you’ve only been home 5 minutes.
- Set a timer on your phone when you’re on the toilet. You get 30 minutes tops.
- Listen, smile, comment, make coffee and enjoy looking at homeschool curriculum on-line. It is basically the equivalent of bringing flowers and chocolate home. ______________________________________________________
- Playing on your cell phone while your wife is desperately trying to get the kids to pay attention could be detrimental to your health.
- Wrestling with and riling up the children at bedtime is bad juju.
Homeschool Manners Between Homeschoolers
- Other homeschoolers should understand the struggles of other homeschoolers. Let them vent their frustrations as you do yours. In a safe space; no judgements.
- No matter how innocent your intentions, do not point out what you think another homeschool mom is doing wrong. Just let that train wreck and fix itself.
- Deschooling, unschooling, classical schooling, eclectic schooling, whatever-you-call-it schooling…are all the different labels we assign to our individual purpose and collective exhaustion. Respect each other.
- Remember your method is not the only method of homeschooling. Play nicely.
- If another homeschool mom asks for advice, tread lightly and within the confines of the request.
- Never claim to use the best curriculum. ‘The Best Curriculum’ is such a relative term that even Einstein’s head would spin.
- To co-op or not to co-op? Remember, moms are expected to participate. Nicely.
- Lots of awesome homeschool moms have left their co-op or never joined one in the first place. Just bow out gracefully.
- It is okay to brag about your kid’s academic achievement in moderation around other homeschool moms. Just be mindful of those struggling with learning disabilities and celebrate their achievements as well.
- It is okay to get annoyed with moms who brag about their kid’s achievements. Just be mindful that they may not know your kid is struggling, and they aren’t the cause of the struggle.
- Be kind to the mom who decides to quit homeschooling. Her shoes don’t fit your feet.
- Help that new homeschool mom out by airing some of your dirty laundry. Like the time you tried to give a spelling test in the dentist’s waiting room.
- Some of us homeschoolers eat the red dye #40 and don’t feel guilty, so don’t try and make us. Trust that we are laden with other guilts.
- Some homeschoolers actually make and eat their own kale chips. Do not make fun of them. They may live longer than the rest of us.
- Learning Latin is quite commendable, but does not make you an elite homeschooler. Do not snub those who choose to learn one of the other foreign languages of the living.
Manners for Everyone Else When Socializing With Homeschoolers
95. When you meet a homeschooler, count to three before saying or asking whatever just popped into your head.
96. Do not assume all of our kid’s behaviors are a result of homeschooling. Unless they are being awesome. Then, yes, this is because they are homeschooled.
97. Every concern you have about our choice to homeschool has crossed our minds at least seven thousand times. You needn’t bring it up every time we meet. No really. Just stop.
98. It is true. There are homeschoolers who can’t read and are socially awkward. But there are thousands more just as illiterate and tragically weird and they are sitting in public schools across the country. Stop the finger pointing.
99. We are not actively recruiting new members. So please, do not feel the need to explain why you do not homeschool when you meet us. We really do not have the time or energy to care.
100. Homeschoolers are not “normal.” Truly this is one of our proudest qualities. But be careful what you say, the movement is growing and you don’t want to eat your words someday. You know, in case you decide to give it a shot!
More helpful lists of ‘100 Things” for homeschoolers are coming November 6th from the other fabulous bloggers at iHomeschoolNetwork.com. Check it out!