This blog post seems to have been very widely read. Even though this family’s approach may not suit yours (including their approach to discipline), or the one you would take if you homeschooled, I like the post because it’s honest and has some good reasons for why to try homeschooling. I like the author, Kathleen Berchelmann’s point 6 the best, “I like parenting more, by far. As a mom of school-aged kids, I felt like my role as parent had been diminished to mini-van driver, schedule-keeper, cook and disciplinarian.. Every day I’d unpack a pile of crinkled notice papers from three backpacks and hope that I didn’t miss the next permission slip. I was not born, raised and educated to spend my days like this. Now, I love being a mom.”
Sooo many parents I meet say they couldn’t possible homeschool and how brave I am. It’s very frustrating because homeschooling, especially when you don’t take a ‘school at home’ approach, is entirely different from the way life is when kids go to school. Parents assume all the bad bits about kids going to school will be amplified, the arguments and the stress, whilst the good bits, the quiet time, will go away. Well, quite a bit of the uninterrupted time does go away, especially if you don’t have any support eg from a spouse BUT it’s more than made-up by the quality time spent with your kids – as long as you enjoy your kids’ company when times are good. Your kids will be different kinds of kids when you homeschool. They will be much more like the kids you see on holiday – cuddly, relaxed, chatty and fun. As Kathleen says in points 7 and 8, “Our family spends our best hours of each day together. We were giving away our kids during their best hours, when they were rested and happy, and getting them back when they were tired, grumpy and hungry. I dreaded each evening, when the fighting and screaming never seemed to end, and my job was to push them through homework, extracurriculars and music practice. Now, our kids have happy time together each day.” and “We yell at our kids less.”
Homeschooling is entirely different from doing homework with schooled kids. ENTIRELY! I wish this huge misconception could be cleared up. It might help bring many wannabe homeschoolers into the fold, for the kids and for themselves to BOTH lead happier and more fulfilling lives – certainly lives with more freedom and joy.