Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homeschooling is a Bad Idea

School...now that makes sense. I mean, I have things that must get done in order to live a sanitary life. Dishes, clothes, bathrooms, floors, on occasion must be cleaned. Air conditioner filters need to be changed, the cats need their shots, dinner must be prepared...At the moment my lawn looks like the boogey-man could rise up from the grass and weeds at any moment because there has been no time to mow or weed back there. Once in a while I need to sleep. and shower.

So I hear that it works like this--in the morning the kids walk down to the corner, jump on the bus and go to school. The teacher gets all her plans for the day done. The lunch ladies serve food.  The principle  manages disorderly conduct, and the secretary deals with all the interruptions. The kids come home relatively clean, supposedly better educated, and richer for their experiences. I know, right? Sounds like a great deal. I mean, we did it and turned out okay (don't laugh). (Oops...I meant principal. I would edit the error, but the comment below from a kind anonymous reader who felt the need to correct my spelling deserves to be noticed)

This homeschooling life is balanced on a very thin thread, I find. Whether we start math at 8:30 or 9:00 can affect the entire outcome of the day. If something comes up that cuts into lessons for too long on any given day it can throw off the whole week. I get so sick of thinking what we're going to eat for lunch that I could scream sometimes. I look in the laundry room and realize that the wet clothes have been in that washer for days--so much for my water-saving washer--how do you get rid of that smell again?

But there is this thing that I find I am so addicted to that I can't consider the alternative. It is the time that we spend face-to-face, side-by-side, heart-to-heart reading, looking up, cutting and pasting, discussing, watching...praying. Today my kids and I started our day by talking seriously about 9/11, an opportunity that I would not trade for anything. It was not on my "agenda." Later they jumped into their science lesson with both feet, and while I read they made collages of swimming creatures to put on their science notebook covers. One of them learned how to receive a compliment from the other without boasting, and how to ask forgiveness for careless words when they were done. They learned how to be ready to serve when the neighbor had to take her sick son to the e.r. and we watched her two other little ones. A blogger I follow has a title description on her front page which reads "living. lovely." And I think "of course." It just makes sense.

And while all the little frustrations seem to add up at times, there is just nowhere else that a kid can do his physical geography lesson outside in the sun with good friends, wearing an army helmet for no apparent reason without someone noticing. Really, not one person even mentioned it...

Maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all.

12 comments:

  1. I've spent the past couple of days thinking about the ease of just sending my kids to school. But I just can't do it because I'd miss all the stuff we get to do together during our days. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, I needed to hear from another fellow homeschooler.

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  2. I love, love, love this post. I think your honesty comes through. I can so relate to the clothes in the washing machine growing who knows what. (sigh) But the time spent with my boys is weill worth it. I don't think a public school teacher will give them a hundred kisses a day just because.

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  3. Great post! When I think of all the things I could get done, all the "peace and quiet" I would have if I sent my kids off to school, wow, does it sound appealing! Then I remember that I only have them for a brief time and in the blink of an eye they are grownups - like my 20 year old ds who I remember giving birth to like it was yesterday. It all passes too quickly and I want to be there for all their "a-ha" moments and to see them giggle over gross science experiments!

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  4. Tiffany, if the public school teachers DID give them kisses, we'd be worried!! :-) And to Mary, true--peace and quiet will come too quickly I'm afraid.

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  5. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing. I've had more than my share of "if I just send them to school" moments this week, but this helps put it all into perspective.

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  6. LOVE this :) and i can so relate to all of it.... especially the helmet ;)

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  7. The principle manages disorderly conduct, and the secretary deals with all the interruptions.

    No, a principal manages disorderly conduct. Not to be a jerk, but I think this demonstrates why homeschooling can be so ineffective.

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    1. Oh, excuse me...typos and spelling mistakes never happen to people who attended public school. Not to be a jerk, but my homeschooled students did not write this piece, I did--a poor product of public schooling.

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    2. Excuse me, but you'd be shocked at what your child's teacher is misspelling. I WAS a public school teacher and now I am a homeschooling mom. I once had to stop a colleague in the hall because I overheard her teaching her students that a cone was a sphere.

      We aren't perfect. Get over yourself.

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  8. What a great post! My thoughts exactly. We only have these precious children for a short while. Why not enjoy every minute together. I love your blog and look forward to reading more.

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