We Laugh A Lot: Cynthia's Interview

Cynthia and her family crack themselves up as they live and learn together in Washington State...

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

We have homeschooled for four years. But, in a way, we did so even before that, because it was a part of our lifestyle and our personal habits to spend a lot of time in "enrichment" activities with our daughter. We read to her for long hours, had season tickets to the opera, and spent a lot of time exploring the world with her through hikes, science experiments, and community events. When we decided to take her out of school, we reasoned that it would not involve a great deal more time than we were already spending.

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)?

We love the freedom of homeschooling. Obviously, there is the ability to take vacations when it suits *our* schedule rather than the school district's. We have been able to involve our child in adult activities that took place during "school hours," which were of interest to her in spite of her age: a knitting retreat, a day at the courthouse, a lunchtime concert in the park, etc.

Furthermore, when learning isn't forced into the hours of the school day, it tends to happen more often. We don't call it "school," but we are frequently involved in some kind of project into the evening and weekend hours. If our daughter is still engrossed in the project on Monday morning, we can let her continue and return to the scheduled curriculum another day.

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?

We laugh a lot. We have a special way of jumping onto the couch together when we sit down to read that never fails to crack us up.

My daughter likes to pretend the cats are in the lessons too sometimes and we can't get them to cooperate. (Typical cat.)

One day on a weekend, I came home to find that my daughter and husband had decorated the entire downstairs with altars for the Greek gods (we were reading the Percy Jackson books at the time). I had to "take a tour," including a visit to the Oracle at Delphi, played by one of her old dolls wrapped up like a mummy in toilet paper. It was hilarious.

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

I guess the funniest event was a talent show - conceived, organized and executed by the kids in our homeschool co-op. No parents had a hand in it.

I love those kinds of events, the kid-driven ones. Some of the children could barely speak they were laughing so hard.

But there were also the serious moments, when respect for a child's recital of her poem kept everyone absolutely silent - something I don't think you'd find in any school program.

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