So often I hear this sentiment when talking with people about the fact that I homeschool my children. And just as often I have wondered….why? Why do people feel this way? Do they dislike their children that much? Is the burden of their education being solely on them too overwhelming?
While having a conversation with some other homeschool moms, I think I came up with a theory as to why. Or if I am in a bragging mood, “I had an epiphany!” as to why. Why this mystical concept of being with your children all day, and being responsible for their education might seem so overwhelming to our public school parent counterparts.
It came to me while talking about a friend of mine, who has recently felt so overwhelmed with the schedule she is trying to keep. Between two working parents, multiple school aged children, homework, dinner, housework, and outside/evening commitments (like sports teams and music lessons), there just isn’t enough time.
Imagine working out of the home all day and convening at home around 3:30pm with all of your children. In less than two hours you have to address all their homework needs, make, eat and clean up from dinner, prepare to have all children and their corresponding equipment loaded and ready to leave for the evening. Then you spend the next 3 plus hours caring to music lessons, school events, and multiple sports, only to arrive home at 9pm exhausted, with still more to do! There is homework to be finished, dishes caked with food in the sink, on the table, etc, showers to be taken, and preparation for the following day to be done. All of this does not account for the tired, cranky children that have been held up in school all day, now even more miserable to be doing homework and cramming food in and taking showers.
Does this sound like fun to you? No? Me neither. The reality is that this is what most public school parents base their thoughts on. Who would want to go through that all day, every day?
I realized that the tiny compressed amount of stress and chaos is what their reality is. Now I am not implying that we are singing Kumbaya and dancing through the fields of tall green grass all day, but I do know we find many more moments of deep breathing, belly laughing and moments of joy than the above scenario of the night time ritual allows for. How do I know? Because we have a similar nighttime ritual, only I am home to prepare our meal and do the housework, and there is no homework to be done! I can tell you it is a race to the finish in our home without all the added stress! If that is what I had to base my decision on, then I would say, “I Couldn’t Homeschool My Kids” too!
The fact of the matter is that in our home we have time to dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s”. We also have time to make play dough, drop everything for a nature hike on an Indian Summer Day, sled on an empty hill when the snow is just right, and eat a banana for breakfast and call it “Continental Breakfast” like the one we experienced on our much loved Florida vacation.
I would like to think that if more parents could see what life, love and joy they could find in the daily grind of a life at home, a life homeschooling their children, a life where you get to enjoy so much of the good, and not just the rushed stress of a busy schedule, that they would say, “I Could Do That, I Could Homeschool My Children.”