I have to say that as we have begun homeschooling I've been shocked at the amount of support we have received locally. So very many people have stopped me to ask who my kids have for teachers or how school is going and they are often surprised to find out that we homeschool. However, I am usually the one left in shock by the tremendous amount of moms and dads out there who say, "I really wish we could homeschool our kids!".
This statement surprises me on two levels. First, I fully expected most people to think we were strange for homeschooling and to be treated more as an outcast for it. Secondly, I don't really understand why so many people "wish" they could homeschool, but don't. What is stopping them?
I've been mulling over this question for several days now, and think I may have stumbled across an answer. I do believe that there are some out there who truly would homeschool if given the opportunity, but for some valid reason cannot. Some parents both need to work in order to pay off debt, or perhaps their children have special needs that can be met more fully by a specifically designed classroom or program. However, I think many parents don't homeschool because there is such a stigma that goes with homeschooling. I'm not talking about people looking at you negatively or thinking you are trying to separate your family from society. I'm talking about the stigma of "If I homeschool, I'll have to give up everything I love in life."
Honestly, I somewhat bought into this. For the last week before we began school, I constantly thought things like, "This is our last Tuesday of freedom", "We have to enjoy our last few days of 'life'", etc. But, in talking with Josh yesterday, I realized that life is actually less chaotic now that we homeschool.
Take yesterday as an example: We did all of our school work for the day (3 kids), had a long (1 1/2 hour) science lesson, cooked a turkey and all the trimmings, attended two piano lessons, did the week's theory sheets, went to worship team practice, grocery shopped, had time as a family, and still had quite a bit of play time. In the public school scenario, our day would have looked like this: while the kids are at school, grocery shop with the little one; once the kids are home, quickly do homework; have two piano lessons; save the theory work for a less busy night; throw together dinner; rush out to worship practice. Forget having play time or family time or even the nice dinner (although to be fair, we did sometimes have big meals on school days). My point is that even though I thought homeschooling was going to end my wonderful, carefree life, I actually have more time with my family now. And, I accomplish more - imagine that! And my kids have time to actually play - even on days when they have other activities besides school.
So, it makes me want to really question those who say, "I wish I could homeschool". Aside from those with a valid reason not to, what is holding everyone back? It's not going to ruin your life! In fact, it likely will give you and your kids more of one! Try it!