I’m Too Busy NOT to Homeschool

March 5, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Filed under:

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!

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14 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    So true! We had my daughter in a two day supplemental K program last year and those days were harder than when we did all the lessons ourselves. The silly homework, the required photo/party/lunch etc. goodies to gather. The matching clothes, having to wake baby up from his nap to go pick her up – it was all a big headache. When moms talk about how they need school “for the break” I don’t know what to say!

  2. Kristen Laurence says:

    What encouraging responses! Happy to have them in my pocket for the neighbors!

  3. Denise says:

    Totally and completely agree.

  4. jen says:

    I was asked by my church preschool to represent the homeschoolers at a private school fair they were having, presenting homeschooling as a viable option. It was very generous of them to include us. Even so, I repeatedly joked to the parents who stopped by my table that I should have come in my pajamas since that’s how I homeschool most of the time.

  5. Rhonda says:

    This is so true! My two kids were in private school until halfway through 2nd and 3rd grade. Since we started homeschooling, one of the best things is our relaxed pace in the morning. No packing lunches, no finding the belt that’s required with the uniform, no “hurry up-eat your breakfast-get dressed-get out the door-you’re going to be late”. Now we start every day in our pajamas, sitting on the couch, snuggled under blankets, in front of the fire (at least in the winter!), reading. How could anybody not love that?

  6. Judi says:

    “good, involved school parent” This is the key point. One of the reasons kids are failing today is because no one has time to be involved in all the things that it takes for them to be succesful in school. It’s tragic, really. I have a close friend who’s a single mom and she wishes so much that she could homeschool. Instead her dd spends all day at school and rushes home to squeeze homework, family time and dinner into just a couple of hours. I always tell her to pray hard and do her best and our Father will do the rest.

  7. Theresa says:

    I agree totally. We are NOT morning people and this lifestyle suits us to a T! No pressure to start early, no problem ending late. Relax and enjoy!

  8. JoVE says:

    Yep, sleeping in is a big bonus for me. Tigger has been playing basketball on Saturdays though and sometimes that is at 8:30 a.m. I really resent having to set an alarm on Saturdays when I don’t do it all week.

    And when my daughter was in school, I resented that I was expected to do all that other stuff, usually stuff that I didn’t even think was important. I guess I felt that if she went to school they ought to do the work. Now she is home we do stuff we think is important at our pace. Way less stressful.

  9. Becky says:

    Our eldest was in schoolway until partway through first grade, and the biggest difference between those first few years and our new life as homeschoolers is that our life now revolves around our family’s schedule rather than around the school’s schedule, which makes a world of difference.

    One more way of taking back your own family 🙂 Oh, I’m such a revolutionary lol.

  10. angie says:

    I remember when my daughter was in school, we’d be humping trying to get to school before the announcements, and never getting there in time in 3 years! My 3 year old son got ringworm from my volunteering at my daughter’s school. When my husband told me I was more committed to the school than to him, I was forced to give homeschooling a serious look. I resigned as president of the PTO, and made plans to homeschool my children the next year. My son has never been in school, and after a year of complaining, my daughter was very glad to be homeschooled.

    I’ve since had four more children, and I can’t imagine trying to race to the school with all the babies in tow. It’s hard enough getting to church, or swimming.

  11. guitarnan says:

    What?!! You don’t homeschool so you can eat bon bons? For shame!

    I homeschool so I can go to the Jamestown/Yorktown homeschool events…we spent Monday and yesterday down there…wow. The kids LOVED it.

    I homeschool so I can hug my children when they are sad and so I can hug them when they are rejoicing.

    I homeschool so we can spend time with Navy Dad when he is actually at home…regardless of what “school” day it is.

    I homeschool so we can stay in touch with the liturgical year, and the growth of our children in the Church (this is my son’s Confirmation year). We can put the special days and celebrations first, rather than shove them aside so we can finish homework or turn in fundraiser paperwork.

    I homeschool so we can read REAL books and learn together.

    I like bon bons…but I LOVE homeschooling.

  12. Elaine says:

    THAT IS MY LIFE … the one I hope to leave behind come next fall!

    THANKS for the words … very inspiring. Come next week, I will be attending my very first Catholic homeschooling conference. I am excited!

  13. kailani says:

    I give homeschoolers so much credit. I don’t think I have the discipline to do it.

    Here from the Carnival of Family Life.

  14. Margaret in Minnesota says:

    Lissa, I’m reading this post almost three years later to the DAY and am reminded, all over again, of why I am tremendously blessed to be a homeschooling. Thank you.