Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Muddling Through, Yet Again

After absorbing some of the comments from yesterday's post I feel sort of guilty because the truth is that home-schooling is hard work. But the other truth is that it is not as hard as you might think.

I have tried, unsuccessfully, in the past to try and illustrate what home-schooling is like for us. Because that's the other truth about home-schooling-- it looks different in every family. I have tried on occasion to show what it looks like in our home, and ultimately failed, because every time I write something down it feels flat. It's missing something. It never paints a complete enough picture.

So I share vignettes here and there, usually when I am especially frustrated or especially excited about something we have done. And I think-- no, I know-- these ultimately give the reader an inauthentic impression of what home-schooling in our home is.

I wonder at the impossibility of accurately describing what happens in our home. Maybe it really is an impossible feat or maybe it is a failure on my part, a lack of the right words or an inability to string those words together in such a way that presents a cohesive, detailed picture.

But lest other home-schoolers begin to boycott my blog on the basis that I paint a sunnier picture of home-schooling than warranted or, worse yet, make it seem too awful for other families to ever contemplate, let me share one last truth: any parent could do this.

Please do not misunderstand, I am not suggesting every parent should home-school or that all parents should even want to, but I am saying that every parent has the innate ability to have their children home every day, successfully teach them everything they need to know to go out into the world as competent adults and even enjoy doing it most days. It is simply that desire to have our kids home coupled with the love we have for our children that gives families the ability to home-school and not anything else. The balancing act of school versus household duties versus free time are the same challenges all parents face, I suspect, whether they work outside the home or whether they're home with their kids and don't home-school and it is one that is just figured out, somehow, over time.

Anyway, I feel like I don't do this topic justice, which is why I rarely tackle it and I know this post has fallen short also, but I just wanted at muddle through one more post so as to not leave the impression that I have things all together (I do not) or, conversely, that I am ready to sell my kids to the circus and on the precipice of a mental breakdown (I am not).


Katie said...

I really enjoyed this post. I never considered homeschooling as I went through college; I was studying to be a teacher, but I never pictured the possibility of teaching my own children. An interesting turn of events had me not completing my teaching degree, but staying at home with my son. I have a few friends who do and/or plan to homeschool, and have thought about it a lot. I seek out homeschooling blogs (especially those with a Christian base), looking for encouragement that homeschooling is something I could do. Your post did that today, so thank you.

shanz_matesse said...

I would have never considered home schooling until you. Even-though I still do not home school, you have inspired me to work harder at home with homework and other learning opportunities with my children to fill the "gaps" I see in public school education. I have been inspired by you!