Whenever adults ask my children where they go to school and they answer “We’re homeschooled”, their second reaction (shortly after “That’s great!”) too often is to say “I couldn’t do that, be with my kids all the time!” I never can understand that. Silently, I always wonder “Then why did you bother having kids in the first place, if you can’t stand their presence?” Not that mine are always a bundle of joy, of course; they are people, as am I, and in either case we all sometimes need alone time, or get annoyed with each other, and so on. But the idea that my own children bother me so much that I couldn’t actually imagine spending more than an hour in the morning and maybe 3 or 4 in the evening with them is unfathomable to me.
Today, my daughters showed me another reason why I love schooling at home.
It’s been a great day, and I can’t imagine having been able to muster the enthusiasm for it had we lived a more “normal”, standardized life. When you live by the “children belong in school (away from their parents)” mantra, it’s difficult to imagine such a day, or such generosity coming from children so (relatively) young. How could it be otherwise? The “normal” way serves to alienate parent and child, while pretending that it is for the good of both. Now there is nothing wrong with children being in school, parents earning a full-time living, per say. The problem lies in the reasoning it has engendered. I am regularly appalled at the number of mothers, especially, who blithely quip how they can’t wait for their toddlers to start going to school, excited at the idea of not having to care for them all day. Sometimes, the comments come from mothers of children not-yet two who can barely walk yet. Summer always brings a further continuation of this theme. “Oh man, the kids are going to be home all summer, what a drag!” these women groan. Groan! Yes, I know their constant presence will disrupt the routine you’ve been living with for 10 months out of the year, but considering that by the time these children have finished all their extra-curricular activites, you’ve actually spent more time with your co-workers than your own flesh and blood, I think such logic borders on the insane.
I’m not the crazy one.