It doesn’t matter what type of homeschooler you are we all hear one question that to me is like a fingernail on the chalkboard, “If your child is not in public school, how will she learn what it will be like in the real world?” I guess most people do not think we as homeschoolers or unschoolers can truly prepare our child for the real world, or how to work in a structured atmosphere.
We have had a few days here that have drove home for us, that no matter what type of homeschool method you use, you truly do have an influence on teaching your child the importance of responsibility, which isn’t that what the real world is all about, being responsible, accomplishing all that needs to be done, rather it be in the home or on the job?
We woke one morning and Selena chose to do her school work on her own without waiting for me. I take my hat off and pat her on the back for having the initiative to accomplish this task without me, however we had a test that needed to be taken in one of her subjects. I always have her do these tests first before the rest of her work, as I know that they can be lengthy. She chose to do all the subjects but the one with the test. When I presented her with the test, of course the complaining began. I had two choices knowing she had done so much writing all ready I could have put the test off until the next day, or knowing that I truly prefer that Selena wait for complete instructions first before moving on by herself I could make her do it and give consequences for her attitude. She complained, she whined, she tried to get out of the test anyway she could, only to discover that with each attempt she was losing more fun things during the day. Needless to say she finally composed herself and completed the test. She did not earn back all her fun things but we did compromise on a couple.
The following day a family was going to come over so the kids could play. Selena got up and was helping to straiten up the house, then suddenly sat down to start her school work. This morning she was being very careful to not spoil having a play date. We were just finishing up when our phone rang. I pretty much knew from that moment who it was and what it was about. You see our friends homeschool as well, it so happens that her daughter had an assignment from Co-op, which was due the following day. She had hid it in her backpack and did not show it to her mom. Mom discovered it and had two choices, leave it undone to come play with us, then explain why it wasn’t done, or pull the play date and make her do the assignment. I do believe her daughter learned two valuable lessons here, the affect this had on herself by not completing her homework, but also the affect it had on everyone else, how disappointed it made Selena that she was not going to come over.
Do we as homeschoolers teach our children about real life? Do we prepare them for the work force? Well, in these two instances I think one can truly see that while it seems that our children have more time on their hands, and run around having fun, that in so many of the decisions we make truly does train them in many areas of life. I do not know of many homeschooling parents who do not take this task too lightly, who just let the child call every single shot of her day, nor worry about them getting their work done. We might look more relaxed, appear to have so much more time on our hands for fun activities, more time to laugh, play, and be with each other, but one thing we all agree with is that the work must get done first and foremost. Isn’t that what preparing them for the real world, and the workforce is all about?