Being Sent To The Principal’s Office: As A Homeschooler.


Life is good when you’re a free spirit. Until someone invites you into the box.


The concept of going to the principal is daunting for anyone.

Well, maybe not anyone. I remember friends in school (way back when) who enjoyed talking with the principal in their office, and were on good terms with them. All buddy-buddy with school officials.

I, on the other hand, did everything in my meager power to stay out of their overreaching eyesight. Anyone want to run Student Council? Nope, not me. Hall Monitors?  Non, my freund. Break the rules and get in trouble? Nein, frauline!

My entire purpose in school was school. I wasn’t in Drama club, I wasn’t involved with Art class, I was kinda on the swim team for a year but I also wasn’t in a rush…so that was just a thing. I just wanted to get in, and get out, and move on with life. That’s about it.

Life is organic, man.

You just gotta go with it, and let it go with you, and life can be super chill if you let it.

Life can be amazing, if you notice the little flags of opportunity surrounding you.

That’s my philosophy on the matter.

This is why homeschooling is the best opportunity I ever took up. I really thought I was going to go into teaching after college; and I did, in the beginning. There were state tests to get credentialed that I passed with no problem. I took advantage of the substitute teaching opportunities to get experience in different environments, and I loved that season.

I just love teaching. I love the passing of information, and discovering new ideas with people all over. You want a good time discussing the similarities and differences of philosophies, successes and losses between the French, Russian and American Revolutions? I am so your gal. I am all over that conversation.

Homeschooling has raised the bar of my teaching career by leagues: when you are teaching your own kids, the stakes are high. These aren’t students who have a future ahead of them that doesn’t involve you. Your classroom is your blood. Your sweat. Your soul.

This all being said, when I saw an opportunity to get involved with a public school homeschooling program, I was ecstatic! What could this mean?? Something new, blended with something old school…who came up with this idea? This is crazy exciting!

So I signed us up, and we have been loving ever second of it.

Well, until today.

Today, my worst fear called me on the phone. My phone. In my house. And this worst fear spoke the words I have desperately tried to avoid throughout my entire life:

“The Principal wants to have a meeting with you at 2.”

*insert hyperventilating here*

I am sure it has something to do with the testing that I haven’t Opted-Out of, because I would like to be a team player…and tests won’t kill anybody. It doesn’t identify my kids, and I am not intimidated by them. Testing days? That’s cool. No biggie on our end.

However, I know that since we are moving on a different streamline than public schools, and I am not drilling the kids on how to take tests properly or what is on the tests, there are going to be academic discrepencies.

Still, nothing I’m worried about.

I am not worried about my kids’ academic performaces because I take our schooling very seriously, and very personally. It is my goal and purpose to teach my kids to a high standard, and to make sure they are proficient in their grade levels; according to state guidelines.

So, when I showed up to the principal’s office this afternoon, I had a binder filled with work samples, state guidelines, standardized tests my kids have finished, reading samples, charts, printouts and a video of my son reading fluently.

Listen. I don’t know what this meeting was going to be about, but damned if I am not coming in fully stocked and prepared to own this meeting with everything I got.

It’s funny when public school and homeschool circles meet. There is a virtual Venn Diagram in the room, where we meet in the middle with shared love of our profession and genuine concern for the kids’ well being.

I know it feels a little intimidating talking with professional homeschoolers, since we’re all free spirits. A little wily, a little rambunctious, maybe a little opinionated. We have the authority to pull the plug on this program whenever we want, which also means it is in everyone’s best interest to remember what we all learned way back in school:

Be a Good Listener.

And that’s what I did. I listened to what they had to say first, and was able to pull out my handouts, worksheets, and tests and ask where the discrepancies were, and, most importantly, what did they have in mind to fill in the gaps?

Turns out, they just wanted to have a reading group for a few weeks.

Who is fine with a reading group? This Girl Is.

The only thing I was worried about was whether or not she needed help with the class, since she would be fielding such a range of grades in one hour. I don’t mind helping in the classroom before school to make sure the kids are great readers! Are you kidding?? This is my zone.

And that was when she realized we were on the same side.

It’s funny how life, being the organic being that it is, can sometimes float us into uncharted currents that take us way outside our familiar comfort zones.

But the best thing to do is to hoist the sails and own that current.

Fears can’t keep us back. We got things to do.