I had got up, ran for 4.2km (using my brand new, belated Christmas pressie of a Garmin GPS watch). Came home, checked Facebook, hooked up my Garmin to the Garmin Connect website and was considering blogging, went to the loo (nature calls) when my mobile rang. I let it go to message bank - there are some things you don't interrupt! It was a local radio station, ABC Illawarra, who are apparently even more disorganised than me, wanting to interview someone about homeschooling for their morning program!
So I sat there, in my sweaty running clothes, trying to get my thoughts in order, obtaining support from Facebook friends and relos and trying not get too nervous about the prospect of live radio and the potentially controversial topic of homeschooling! You know the media loves a beat-up...
Just as the due time approached, my phone rang - it was a call from the Home Education Association helpline! Whoever you were, I'm sorry I ditched your call to the answering machine!
They finally called. Just as at the same time someone else called my mobile wanting tutoring for their child (I think my message bank beeps went to air)! Man! It was just going off in our house!
They asked about my reasons for homeschooling. Because they announced my full name and location on the air, I was a little reticent about providing all the gory details of how we got here - my son deserves a little privacy - but I remained positive about the benefits of homeschooling (individualised learning and catering for learning styles!). You will not be surprised that they asked about "socialisation" which I think I handled well, explaining there were lots of social opportunities, a variety of experiences and exposure to a variety of differing opinions and views, living in the "real" community and that the school experience of same-age peers is not necessarily the best thing for our kids. They also quizzed me on preparation for university and if I would homeschool "through highschool" and also asked about unschooling!
I explained there was a variety of ways to homeschool and that one end of the spectrum, there was unschooling. And yes, the Board of Studies was happy with it, provided the children aren't "neglected".
I'm sure there was lots more - it went for quite a while (maybe 15 minutes), but then, I can talk about homeschooling to anyone who'll listen for so much longer than that!
Overall, it was reasonably well balanced and not "anti" homeschooling - I've been asked many of the questions by curious friends and acquaintances many times over. Answering questions on the HEA helpline has been helpful as well. I think I presented homeschooling, its benefits and our community well :-)
The interview after mine was Mark Lizotte (aka Diesel - which probably means nothing to overseas readers), so I was kinda glad I didn't have to follow that!
BTW - in the text they sent organising the interview, they said "we here there are growing numbers of parents choosing to homeschool". I chose not to correct her spelling...but I did comment (probably a couple of times) that I hope to raise literate children (and now I'm hoping like hell there are no spelling or grammatical errors in the post - if there are, please humour me and ignore them!).
And, no. I never did get my knives sharpened and my dry-cleaning remains uncollected since early December!!