I am wondering if there are other queer homeschoolers out there? I know there is a homeschooling thread under education, but I would especially like to connect with queer homeschoolers.
My partner and I have two children, and the oldest is going to start homeschooling in September for kindergarden. We do not know lesbian parents in our community, let alone other lesbian homeschooling parents. I am wondering how other lesbian families homeschool? In heterosexual families, it's usually the woman homeschooling, but how do other families with two women split homeschooling? What are your experiences participating in homeschooling support groups? Has homophobia in the school system contributed to your desire to homeschool? In your experience so far, are challenges with homeschooling similar to challenges for heterosexual families or do you find them to be different? How does extended family and friends perceive your homeschooling and is that at all influenced by being queer homeschoolers?
I know that a lot of things will become clearer to me once I am officially homeschooling. Our daughter is still 4. Yet I would love to hear others' experiences, especially as we are currently announcing our decision to family and friends.
In straight families, SAHMs are way more common than SAHDs, and usually (although this is becoming a smaller majority) the man spends the most time working and the woman spends the most time with the kids. In families with a SAHD, the dad is usually the one who's more active in homeschooling. Also, there are plenty of times that both parents are involved. Gender has nothing to do with it beyond our society's set up that makes it easier for men to be breadwinners so they tend to spend less time with the kids (again, this is changing).
Don't look at it as a gender thing, just look at your situation and figure out what works best for your family. If it works best for only one of you to be the main teacher, go that way. If it's better for you both to have about an equal share, or to split subjects, go with that. If you homeschool from the start, I imagine your roles can grow quite organically.
So is @seraf, and she has oodles of experience homeschooling/unschooling.
As for how 'lesbian families homeschool' ... no clue. I imagine as differently as every other kind of family.
I have yet to meet any kind of family that homeschools the same way!
i am the WAHP in our house (work at home parent) and DP works full time.
I'm definitely the one in charge of the kids' learning, and how it happens, or doesn't happen.
We do project-based homeschooling, which frees us up to focus on whatever the kids' interests are. Within that, we touch on all the basics (math, reading, etc.)
DP is on board with this approach, and so she often participates, just by including the kids in cooking, planning, shopping, doing a particular activity.
We do not do 'school at home' ... so our kids are literally learning all the time.
Our daughter is 5 and would be starting K this coming fall because she is a January baby, but we've been unschooling with her since she was born, so September really has no bearing on what we're already doing. Heck, she's already reading, writing and doing math.
To mark the occasion of not going to school, we'll be hitting up the Not Back to School picnics in the area to celebrate!
As for homophobia, yes ... there are LOTS of homeschooling who are doing it for religious reasons.
We steer clear of those folks.
I don't appreciate mere 'tolerance.' I demand acceptance and inclusion for my kids, and so we avoid gatherings/field trips organized by folks who are particularly religious and/or homophobic.
You want to find secular homeschoolers in your area. Try a google search? Yahoo listserv?
Whereabouts in Canada are you? I could put out feelers for you via our FB group and Yahoo listserv?In general, unschoolers tend to be a group with more secular folks, although you will find some crunchy fundamentalists among them too. You just want to avoid the ones who believe that homosexuality is a sin.
As you gain confidence and bravado about your choice to homeschool and your right to participate in the bigger community of homeschoolers, perhaps being in the company of a few nutters won't matter so much.
But for now, while your knees are still a bit shaky, I'd avoid the right-wingers.
Feel free to ask me anything, if you think I can help.
And so are the boys!
My family has been in two homeschool groups that identified as secular/liberal/inclusive. Both included same-sex families, heterosexually-partnered families where one or both members identified as bisexual, poly families, and that's just what I was aware of. Not that this was always blatantly obvious - a surface look at the group would show a bunch of heterosexual families and a few token same-sex families.
These groups also tended to have more non-standard gender division of labor, rather than mom being the SAHM/homeschooling parent and dad working.
So yes, I would start by looking for secular or inclusive group (inclusive can be tricky - its meaning can vary from "We accept anyone regardless of religion or lack thereof or homeschooling style" to "Protestant Christian of any denomination").
My gut instinct would be that there would be a greater percentage of homeschoolers in the queer community because of bad experiences with homophobia and bullying in school, whether current or in the parents' childhood, but I don't know if that's actually reality. I know a fair number of queer people online who are homeschooling, considering homeschooling, or previously homeschooled... but as a large percentage of people I know online are either queer or homeschoolers, it's not surprising the Venn Diagram overlaps.
DS born 6/03, DD1 born 9/06, DD2 born 10/10, DD3 born 4/14.
Thank-you everyone for your responses. I am thinking about these questions a lot lately, as I prepare to homeschool officially in the fall. Yet, as others have said, we are already home learners, and I am unsure if I will follow any developed curriculum. I am wavering between Oak meadow and project-based learning.
I have talked to non-queer homeschoolers in my community, and given that I do not know any queer parents, I am doubtful that there are any queer homeschoolers. For those that are homeschooling, have you felt that your reasons for homeschooling are different than the non-queer homeschoolers you meet? I know that every family is different, whether they are queer or not. When I read reasons to homeschool online, I sometimes see racial protectionism - avoiding racism in schools and teaching culturally relevant history among ethnic minorities.
It made me wonder if there is anything equivalent among queer homeschoolers. By choosing to homeschool, I am motivated to protect my children from homophobia in schools? What does culturally/historically relevant history look like for queer homeschoolers?
As for queer parents and homeschoolers--are you in a small town, or a bigger city? I'm surprised that there are no other families there--if you'd like to know more families that look like yours it might also be worth doing some investigating/asking around to see if anyone else knows anyone. Queer-friendly churches, newspaper articles, progressive parenting groups. I say this because we were looking for queer parents in my wife's conservative, small city, and though there aren't tons, we have found some leads to families in the area in case we ever decide to move back there.
And so are the boys!