You know whether you’re a homeschool mom or not. It’s kind of hard to miss, with all those kids running around the house all day. You were probably there when you turned your Declaration of Intent and attendance records in to your state school board. You’ve noticed that you haven’t herded any kids onto a school bus lately. And your arms may still be sore from lugging around all those books at the curriculum fair last spring.
But somewhere along the way, you went from just calling yourself a homeschool mom to getting sucked into the homeschool mom culture. Are you aware of the warning signs that you have become a homeschool mom in every sense of the word? Check these top ten signs to see how far gone you really are.
You might be a homeschool mom if…
1. You put on jeans, and your kids ask if you’re going somewhere.
You may be a homeschooling mom if your regular attire consists of sweat pants and T-shirts. If your kids spot you in anything else and assume it means that it’s a field trip or errand day, the chances are good that you homeschool.
Let’s not forget the kids. If “put on clothes” day is more notable an occasion than PJ day, you probably homeschool.
2. You’ve kissed the school principal in the cafeteria.
If you jokingly refer to your husband as the principal, and you’ve kissed him in the cafeteria (a.k.a. the kitchen), the media room (a.k.a. the living room), or the teacher’s lounge (a.k.a. the bedroom), you are probably a homeschool mom.
You may even secretly enjoy grossing out your students with such displays, with no fear of getting fired or making the evening news!
3. You’ve ever had a conversation about socialization with a cashier.
You see it coming, but there is nothing you can do to stop it. The cashier (or another random stranger) looks at your kids. You can see him mentally assessing ages. Then he asks, “Why aren’t you in school today?”
You know what’s next. The dreaded socialization question. You have a split second to decide: Will the response du jour be patient and polite or satisfyingly snarky? (Just go with polite. You’ll probably feel guilty about being snarky.)
4. You’ve ever had any one of the following items on your dining room table (on purpose):
• A cow’s eyeball
• An owl pellet
• A frog (alive or preserved in formaldehyde)
• A mummified chicken
• Anything growing mold
5. You suspect that your overdue fines funded the library’s new wing.
If you’ve ever considered going to the library in disguise because of your fines or you’ve gotten a library card for your two year old just so that you can check out more books, you’re probably a homeschool mom.
6. You’ve ever cancelled an outing because you realized that the public schools were on break that day.
If you’ve ever pulled into a parking lot only to drive right back out because the place was packed with public school kids on break, you’re probably a homeschooling mom. No, that doesn’t mean you have anything against public school kids. It just means you prefer to visit places when you can actually see, hear, and move about freely.
7. You own any of the following:
• A laminator
• A binding machine
• A paper cutter
• A flatbed copier
• An electric pencil sharpener
• A microscope
• A van (bonus points if it seats twelve passengers or more)
8. All of your kids are top in their class (unless you’re the parent of multiples).
Homeschooling moms have brilliant kids. They’re all valedictorians. If you have multiples, you may have to draw straws, but that’s okay. Even if you have quadruplets, it still sounds impressive when the kid who gets the shortest straw can tell people he had the fourth highest grade point average in his class.
9. You’ve ever been asked how your kids will survive without prom (and the oldest is seven!).
If you’ve got people worried about how your second grader is going to meet people, there is a strong possibility that you’re a homeschool mom.
10. You never punish your kids by making them stay inside during recess.
Recess is mandatory. Some days it’s the only thing standing between you and insanity.
Those are the undeniable warning signs that you are a sold-out homeschool mom. To how many do you relate?
Kris Bales is the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest voice behind the popular homeschooling blog, Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She and her husband of over twenty-eight years are parents of three amazing kids—one high school senior and two homeschool grads. Kris has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. She also seems intent on becoming the crazy cat lady long before she’s old and alone. Except now she’s started collecting birds. Live ones.
This article originally appeared in the 2018 Spring Issue of Homeschooling Today magazine.