That’s what I always thought. My husband, brilliant though he is, wanted to homeschool from the time the boys were small. I refused to even discuss the idea, because I figured he had somehow crossed that invisible line in to crazy-town, but in reality, I felt inadequate to the task. I couldn’t understand how people could homeschool their children, be around them all the time, and not need to be admitted into an asylum. I would think back to times when moms and dads did this every day, before public schools. There was something about it that seemed attractive, almost mythical, but at the same time, those moms were somehow made of significantly stronger stuff than I was.
Yet, years later, when school was obviously not working, we made the only logical decision for our family: to homeschool. We decided it was time to bring our kids home to educate them in the best way we could. It seemed so natural, so obviously right, that we didn’t hesitate. Sure, we were terrified about whether we would somehow completely mess up everything (maybe that was just me), but I think that fear can drive us to be better than we would ever possibly be otherwise.
Do they drive me crazy? Sometimes – and sometimes I want to hide in a corner somewhere – but our family has grown closer than we would have otherwise been. I’m not saying families who don’t homeschool are not close and fully functional, but I am saying that our family generally gets along better, we fight less, there are fewer power struggles, and we are all happier. Really and truly happier. Freedom does that to a person.
Still on the fence? Worried you’ll turn into a screaming maniac all day, every day? Here’s some food for thought:
- I yell less now than I did when they were in school. (edited to add: this is still true, and they’re 13-year old boys)
- I don’t yell (often) about getting their schoolwork done.
- I don’t have to explain why a seemingly pointless subject needs to be learned.
- We have the freedom to openly discuss and debate and decide when or whether we’ll dissect a frog.
- We have the freedom to help each of the boys reach his potential in a field (or fields) of his choosing.
- They can spend all day on animation or programming, or Arduino projects, and I won’t stop them. I’ll just ask that they at some point during the week, get the rest of their work done.
- Schools are designed according to the Prussian model which helps train up the next generation of factory workers, not to help individuals reach their potential.
In the end, homeschooling has made us better in more ways than I could ever count or quantify. Our schools are set up in a way that pulls kids away from their families, and teaches them that schools and teachers are the authority in all things educational, causing friction between parents and children. I once spent 15 minutes arguing a simple math question with one of the boys – because his school teacher had actually taught him the wrong thing, so I was trying to correct it. Yet, he had come to believe that his teacher was the authority and because she said it was so…it was.
Help moms out – what was it that pushed you over the edge into homeschooling? Share it in the comments below!