What Homeschoolers Can Learn From Baboons: Betty's Interview

Today we meet Betty who lives in Indiana. No, no, this is not a portrait of her! It's just a clue as to what you are going to read about a particularly funny adventure she had while homeschooling.

Her youngest is now in college but Betty continues to work with homeschoolers in her local area, teaching theatre classes. It's a good thing Betty knows a lot about acting because it sounds like she acted as if she did not notice anything unusual that infamous day at the zoo...

1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?

We homeschooled our youngest daughter Emily for 8 years. She's now a Freshman at IU and loves it. I, however, think I may be homeschooling forever! I still teach theatre classes for homeschoolers and recently agreed to serve as President for the Homeschool Cooperative I founded with friends. Just to help them out. :)

2. One of the main benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility it allows. Can you give us a few examples of how this freedom and flexibility benefited you (your family)?

While I remain ecstatic about our homeschool experience and its freedom and flexibility, I also believe it takes a different type of discipline. A discipline in which the entire family becomes committed to "learning." It isn't always easy and takes a lot of effort to be constantly aware of encouraging of real learning. But it's fun!

3. Another benefit of homeschooling is the fun factor. Can you give us a few examples of some especially fun times you had as a result of homeschooling?

So, so many. But some of our favorites revolve around the Big Red Porch Van. Good friends of ours homeschooled the same years. The mother and I remain the best of friends and for a period of about 4 to 5 years we spent much time in their huge cargo van fieldtripping our way around Indiana. What fun! The "edventures we had"

4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?

So many, some such inside jokes only we would find them amusing. However, there is one special zoo field trip...with the aforementioned Porch family. My friend and I decided to take the kids to the zoo, so we loaded up our kids and a few of their friends and off we went for a wonderful summer adventure day in Indianapolis.

It was great and then we came to the baboon cages. We'd been all reading and talking and "learning" together about all these great animals. You know the usual informative home schooling talks from mom. As we came up to the cages and all the activity occurring there, it became slowly obvious to my friend and I and then with red faces, to our children and their friends that two of the baboons were engaged in...uh...well..you know, procreation activities.

As the pre-teens and adults stood there unsure of what to say and blushing, the youngest child, age 8..said Look Mom, that monkey is being mean to the other one. What's he doing? It sure put sex education in a new light for all of us...To this day, as young adults the kids say they can't hear the word baboon without being transported back to that day at the zoo...but we all laugh about it!

Picnics, funny speeches, laughter every day. It was and is truly what we love the most about our homeschooling memories. We have photo albums full of friendly faces and minds and hearts full of loving memories.

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