So you’ve decided to become a homeschool mom. You’ve spent hours agonizing over the decision, and now you are ready. You’re going to do this. Then in your head, you start to worry. What will people think? Can I really do this? What will I tell people? Welcome to the first socialization stage of becoming a homeschool mom. Read on to see what comes next!
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Stage 1 – Shock
This stage starts at the initial moment you decide to homeschool. You can’t believe you are doing this. What will you tell your mother? How will you explain it to the mailman? Public school is so NORMAL. Our emotions range from “Yes, I can SO do this” to “there’s no earthly way.” You ponder if you even like your children enough to be with them all day. Oh, and of course you wonder if they will be mad at you for missing prom, even though it’s still 10 years away. It’s at this moment that the homeschool mom is born.
Stage 2 – Denial
During this stage, you are homeschooling, but pretending like you aren’t. You only go out of the house when public school is in session. (This does not apply if your child looks too young to be in school. If that’s the case you’re still safe.) You dread running into that well-meaning stranger who asks about socialization. You also hold your breath everytime someone asks what grade little Jimmy is in or how well he likes school. Why did you teach that kid to talk anyway? You sneak around town like you’ve just escaped a maximum security prison. Friends start to worry because it’s been a long time since they’ve seen you out in the daytime. There are rumors that you are becoming a recluse.
Stage 3 – Avoidance
It’s at this stage that reality sets in. By hiding out in the daytime, you are missing out on prime shopping time. (You know, when the rest of them are in school.) Now you go for the avoidance tactic. You teach your littles to become miniature versions of James Bond. Everyone learns to stealthily navigate the produce section like a Ninja. You practice speed walking in your spare time. They can’t ask about socialization if they can’t catch you! Your husband may begin to question why you run grocery shopping speed drills, but you don’t care. You are free again at last!
Stage 4 – Enlightenment
Finally one day it happens….You are hiding behind the bananas when you see a mom across the store. Its the middle of the day and she has her kids with her. They don’t appear to be sick. She has her calculator out, and it’s possible that they are doing math. That’s when it hits you. She could possibly be another homeschool mom. You gather your courage to quietly step out. She gives you a smile of understanding that lets you know that she’s also well versed in Ninja tactics. She asks what curriculum you use and you realize you have a new best friend. You are no longer navigating the waters alone!
Stage 5 – Acceptance
It’s in this final stage that you learn to rock your homeschool mom status. You boldly venture out during the day and look those strangers straight in the eye. You even listen patiently while they explain the public school system you. Your wardrobe may consist of one, or possibly several, homeschool mom t-shirts. Your children walk proud and tall into the supermarket, budget sheets in hand. The questions and the stares are still there, but they will not penetrate the thick skin of this new creature. You have adapted and overcome. Occasionally you still venture behind the bananas, but it’s only to see if anyone else is hiding there.
(Did you love this post? Then check out the Homeschool Mom’s Entrance Exam.)