When I tell people we homeschool, I get a wide range of reactions. I get strange looks and blank stares. I’ve had people ask is that even legal? Yes, in all 50 states. Is there a book that tells you how to do it? Sure. Enough to fill a library.
Most of the time, people tell me why they can’t ever homeschool.
It’s like when I was a vegan. People seemed compelled to tell me why they had to eat meat. They would cite nutritional evidence (which was always wrong) of why their bodies required red meat or how bacon was truly good for them.
I wanted honesty, like bacon tastes too good to give up. Then I could be honest and say I didn’t give up bacon because I prefer broccoli. I needed to give it up to feel better.
It’s the same with homeschooling. People want to tell me how their kids are a certain kind of crazy and they could not tolerate being around them all day. Basically, all I’m hearing is I don’t want to be around them all day. To which I say, you don’t have to be! I’m not trying to convert anyone.
My kids are not obedient robots who jump when I command. They aren’t calm and quiet all day. They’re kids.
In both cases, these are my choices. I was a vegan because it was what I needed for my health. I homeschool because it’s what I need to do for my kids at this moment.
I noticed this comment recently on a favorite homeschool blog:
“I could never homeschool…I love my kiddos but they would drive me CRAZY! LOL “
Another parent responded, explaining how often homeschool moms hear that, and how it is so not LOL.
It’s a little sad to hear people say they their kids drive them crazy or that they can’t stand spending an entire day with them. I want moms to see their kids in a new light, a gentle light.
I always want to ask these moms a few questions.
- Do your kids suck that much?
- Are you sure about that?
- Do they feel the same way about you?
- Are you happy that you feel this way?
- Would it be worth it to find a peaceful way of being with your kids (whether or not you send them to school)?
I get it. My kids went to school for 5 years. I had mornings free to do what I wanted. I worked from home with out interruptions. My house was clean.
I don’t have that anymore. I want you to know the truth. Being with your kids all day is not as hard as you think. And it’s not because I’m special or they’re different.
I’ve learned to live peacefully (most of the time) with my girls. I’ve realized that their presence is not a burden but a joy. When you take the time to really see them and hear them, you’ll discover they’re incredibly interesting. Their ideas are amazing. Their point of view is always unique.
I’ve learned to love having them around. It feels natural for us to spend this time together. I don’t think that I’m different from other moms. I’m not gifted with saintly patience. Teaching isn’t my calling in life. I want to give my kids what they need. Don’t we all?
I know homeschooling is not for everyone. I get that. I get that not all kids want to be home with their mom all day. They think it would suck. They could be right.
My kids don’t feel that way. If I interrupted them right now (one is working on her novel, one is drawing and one is playing MineCraft) and informed them that they had to go back to school, there would be tears. There would be begging and pleading and all sorts of negotiating.
They are free to go back to school if they choose.
They choose not to.
And I could choose to send them to school and take back my old life of writing all day, keeping the house perfect, waiting at the bus stop and spending what little time I have with my little women fighting over homework.
What would you choose?