When I mention homeschooling to almost anyone I meet, they cannot comprehend the enormity of what I am doing with my kids. I've gotten everything from, "Good for you, but I could never do it," to literal open mouthed shock.
I get it, for the following reasons:
But people in our culture do have a concept of what it means to be educated outside of the 30-kids-the-same-age classroom, but we just don't think about it. We all are aquainted with an educational system that is very different from today's public school model and very close to the homeschool model.
That very different educational model is called the one room schoolhouse.
In a one room school house, a small group of children in a wide variety of ages from a small group of families would come together, outside of the planting and harvest seasons, to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, history, and science together. There would be a single adult teacher in the room who was responsible for a wide range of children who all had something to learn.
When it came to the three Rs, the teacher would go around and teach short lessons to small groups of kids, who would then practice what they had learned while the teacher taught another group of kids. Older kids would help the younger kids and kids would help out the kids sitting next to them. Lessons in the content area subjects like, history, geography, and science would be shared with the entire school.
A one room schoolhouse was a multi-age educational community that worked.
The one room schoolhouse is not unusual in our minds, so why does homeschooling seem so unusual? After all, when you compare the two systems, they aren't that different at all.
So the next time someone looks at you askance when you mention you homeschool, mention the similarities to the one room school house.