I’ve been attracted to the homeschooling/unschooling/homelearning philosophy ever since I first learned that it was not sitting your kids at desks in the living room while lecturing from the blackboard. But I’ve been on the fence about it, wondering if I would be able to do it, if it was right for us, etc. Recently, a friend asked some questions on our discussion board and I was one of the more vocal proponents. We later went on a playdate and talked about it some more, and I realized that I was giving so many reasons to homeschool that I couldn’t figure out why I was hesitating about it.
I decided that it boiled down to two fears: 1) being singularly responsible for my child’s entire education and 2) being burnt-out by extending my SAHM career by another 15 years or so (otherwise known as “not having a life of my own”).
The first is more readily addressed: even if you send your kid to public school, you are still singularly responsible. You choose your school, you meet with the teachers, you get involved. There is a large, resource-rich homeschooling community here and I already know many families. Our kids play together. They and the other homelearners are full of information – places to go, courses and camps and activities. You name the subject and there’s a huge yahoo group List of local HS’ers who can give suggestions on where to go for fun information and learning opportunities. I will not be doing this “alone”, and I will have the wisdom of many who have gone before me.
The second fear was also addressed to my satisfaction when I stopped to think about it. The only reason I don’t “have a life” is because my kids are young and still quite dependent on me. They will get older and they will be able to go spend an afternoon at Science World with our friends’ family. Or attend a day camp on circus moves without me. They will want to go hang with their friends (who are already mostly homeschooling families). We will have other families we know and trust to do child-swapping…there will be ample time for “me”. Not to mention, the money we save on private school can pay for my Mother’s Helper. And, in fact, not only will I be able to carve out all the me time I need (which isn’t alot), I will probably be much better off than schooling families, because at 4 o’clock when they are running around between extra-curricular activities I’ll be relaxing with my family because the kids will have done all that during the day. While the schooling families are trying to fit in a sit-down dinner between volleyball practice and music lessons, get the kids’ homework finished, make and pack lunches for the next day, and pack whatever items are required for the next day’s special event…I’ll be doing what I’m doing right now – watching DH play with the kids while I surf. 🙂
I’m really happy about this decision because I like making decisions and because I know this one really fits us. It’s official – we’re Homelearners!