I popped down to Utah with Miss K & Mr. B to try and make it to my nephew’s baptism this weekend, but we forgot about K’s dance photos on Saturday so we have to head back in the morning. I totally win at parental scheduling.
This brings me to one of the reasons I homeschool. I was chatting with my Sister in Law last weekend and she didn’t believe me when I said part of the reason we homeschool is out of laziness. I think… I think she has me, well, all homeschoolers on some kind of pedestal made out of wariness and awe. But it’s true – I mean I have noble reasons for homeschooling too, but I also have some big fat lazy ones. Let’s list them, shall we?
1. Mornings. You know how I feel about them, and I’ve birthed two children who are in complete agreement with me. The thought of getting these little people up and ready and looking presentable and on a bus by 7:00 in the morning (in the pitch black of night during the winter) is impossible-feeling.
2. Clinginess. The schools around here are far away. The kids get on the bus during the butt crack of dawn hours and come home around dinner time. I’m only slightly exaggerating. The middle schoolers and high schoolers are seriously gone ALL DAY LONG. For nine months out of the year. Then their evening hours at home are filled with homework and cramming in extra stuff like youth group stuff at church, friends, scouts, sports, etc. I… I seriously do not know how my friends manage. I would really miss having my kids around. I joke and call it clinginess or sheltering them all like little Amish children, but that’s not really it. I just kind of hate how the system is set up, and I get that it has to be structured this way — you have to have that much time to pick up all the kids in a rural area and bus them to school in time for it to start. Teachers need the whole day to try to help and teach a frillion kids in their classrooms — all with different learning needs. I just really enjoy the slower, more focused, one on one, not-gone-all-day pace at home.
3. Remembering. I was looking at my sister’s school schedule on her fridge and then listened to her schedule for today. And then I had to take a nap. Various pick ups and drop offs and carpool schedules and remembering whether or not it’s a half day / early day / teacher’s day / holiday / your day to bring the snacks / report day / bring the diorama you were supposed to make over the weekend to school day. For the part year J. was in kindergarten I failed at this so badly. I forgot the snacks and forgot which days school was out, and forgot which days school was in. Let’s not even talk about PTA meetings or parent teacher conferences. You organized parents go ahead and scoff, but I am terrible at this stuff. We regularly forget and are late to orthodontist appointments, dentist appointments, flute lessons, scouts, and church. And nobody flunks out or has to do community service hours for 230 tardies when those things occur — though I’m pretty sure several teachers and medical professionals want to fire us.
3. Extra curriculars. Okay so when your kid is at school all day the extra stuff like soccer or scouts, and even haircuts has to occur in the evenings. Actually I should have entitled this section “Freedom.” Because I really, really like that the music teacher can come at 2pm. I love that if a bunch of homeschoolers put together something like a gymnastics class or a baking class or a co-op or whatever, we can go at like 11 in the morning rather than at 5 at night.
4. Musical school breaks. I super wish that meant we were a homeschooling version of High School Musical, but alas. Only three of us can carry a tune. When we moved we magically made the month of March our spring break. I didn’t have to worry about keeping the kids on schedule AND packing up my entire house. They could help, and they helped a TON. Sure, we’ll have to school a little farther into summer this year, but that’s okay, because that’s what worked for us and what we needed. It makes me exhausted thinking about getting them on busses and picked up and shuttled around and whatever else we needed to remember while in the middle of moving. I know it can be done and better parents than me have achieved that and more, but I was really glad we didn’t have to.
I know a lot of this might sound like we homeschoolers just run around in our underpants and never learn algebra, and for us anyway, that isn’t true. We completely and totally enforce learning algebra in bathrobes at least. But for serious, my kids complete pretty rigorous courses in math, reading, spelling, history, science, writing, penmanship, and more. And they are usually a grade or two ahead of the school system here. It isn’t hard – even with the freedom we enjoy – because teaching one kid is so much easier than teaching 35. And they really do get to a point where they take off and do a ton of their stuff on their own.
I think it’s wonderful that your kids go to public school or private school or charter school or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I’m totally not trying to convince anyone that my way is the best in the land, and I’m in total agreement that learning and teaching things like punctuality and honoring one’s appointments is an excellent thing and I think public schooled kids learn lots of great skills like how to wake up in the morning. And I know the laziness motivator goes both ways. My sister is like, “Dude. I can get them dressed and out the door and then go back to BED.” And she has a point.
What are your favorite reasons for whatever you do with your kittens? I mean kids?