I’m used to certain set comments when people find out I homeschool. There is the variant of “Wow! I don’t know if I could do that.” I’m fine with that. I’m not a believer that everyone should homeschool. There are also the people that ask really specific questions, usually ones that’ve I’ve heard before. (How do you pick what to teach? What about socialization? What about testing? Do you have to report to the state?) I don’t find these offensive or annoying, for the most part. I’ve only had one person be really openly hostile about homeschooling and it was just sort of funny to me. Most people I find are genuinely curious or sometimes just making polite conversation. Increasingly I find I meet people who are asking because they are considering homeschooling for their family.
There is one comment though that I have a hard time responding to: “I could never be with my kids that much.” I have to admit I really don’t get that and it leaves me somewhat speechless, especially if their kids are nearby.
I believe in having time away. I go out semi-regularly for coffee with friends and it’s sanity-saving for me. H. and I treasure any precious date nights that we are able to have. I love the time at the end of the day when the kids are asleep and he and I can talk alone. I just got back from a women’s retreat and it was fabulous and refreshing. We have bad days where I’m frazzled and make it clear to everyone that I just need to be ALONE for a little while. So I understand the need to get away.
I can also understand that homeschooling isn’t right for some families. I understand that many parents either want to work outside the home or have to work outside the home. I do understand the desire and need to work and I realize that I’m blessed to have a situation that allows me to both work outside the home and be at home.
Last week, we had a day where I barely saw John. We got up and went to our weekly co-op where he is in classes away from me. Afterwards, he went home with a friend. He came home for about one hour before needing to quickly eat dinner and go out for basketball practice. We’ve been lucky enough this season to have a coach who drives him to practice, so we said good-bye and he came home right in time for bed.
For him, I think this was a good day. He enjoyed it. Increasingly, I’m realizing that time away from us is going to be something he enjoys and that is good for him. However, in the middle of the day I realized I missed having him home with us. It was just one day but it made me think about how much I’d miss getting to see him if he was in school 6-8 hours a day. As I’ve said before, we aren’t die-hard homeschoolers. I can imagine times in the future when we might think that what is best for one of the kids is to be in another school setting. But I can’t really imagine a time where I’d say that what’s best for me is to have the kids in another school setting. So, the selfish truth right now is that homeschooling lets me spend the day with the three of my most favorite people. And I can’t understand not wanting that.