March 5, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Filed under: Homeschooling
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you’re interested in homeschooling but worry that it would be too time-consuming and you couldn’t juggle everything, don’t be. Worried, I mean. If you can handle the time commitments required of a good, involved school parent, you can handle the time commitment of home education. Don’t let worries about time be what deters you, if everything else about the concept is appealing.
This morning I had to get Wonderboy out the door by 7:20 for his half-hour speech therapy session at the elementary school down the road. As I hustled him out of his jammies and rushed him through breakfast, I silently thanked "the Johns"—that’s Mr. Holt and Mr. Gatto—for the zillionth time for hepping me to the whole notion of a way of life that doesn’t require the frantic morning rush-out-the-door on a daily basis. I cherish our relaxed mornings: the pile-in-one-bed snuggle time, the lounging in pajamas with a book at the breakfast table, the impromptu piano recitals, the leisurely pace at which we move through our morning chores. Our Charlotte Mason lesson time begins around nine. Nine-ish. The schedule is fluid. It’s a luxury, and I am deeply grateful for it.
Of course speech therapy is going to muck that up a bit twice a week, but only for two of us. The advantage to having an early session is that we can squeeze it in before Scott leaves for work. The girls can stay home with Daddy, moving at their usual
molasses relaxed pace.
Once, back in Virginia, a local newspaper reporter interviewed a bunch of us homeschooling moms at a park. She asked me why I had chosen to educate my children myself, and I gave what I hoped was a succinct but illuminating explanation of our belief that we can give them an outstanding education and a happy, wholesome childhood. Later I made a silly quip about how "also, it means we get to sleep in every day" (which wasn’t even true, since Wonderboy was about three months old at the time, and sleep=ha!), and wouldn’t you know that’s the quote that made it into the article. All my neighbors got to read about how the reason I homeschool my kids is so I can sleep late. And actually I think that notion made homeschooling look attractive to some of them for the first time, so go figure.
Being a good school parent takes a lot of time. Packing lunches, getting the kids to school or to the bus stop, checking backpacks, signing off on reading logs, volunteering in the classroom and at fundraisers, going to conferences, making costumes, helping with homework, running out for supplies for that project that’s due tomorrow—I know the list goes on. I have lots of friends whose kids are in school, and I am mightily impressed with how they juggle the many tasks required of them. And I’m super-thankful I don’t have to juggle that load myself. Honestly, I don’t know they do it!
Stuff that’s working
Homeschoolers and Special Education
Is the Mainstream Press Finally Starting to Understand Unschooling?
Gearing Up for a Charlotte Mason Term