I was being interviewed on the affordability of homeschooling versus private schooling. The interviewer asked me if I would recommend homeschooling to others. I was surprised by what rolled off the tongue. "Yes," I responded, "if when summer rolls around you are happy that you will be spending your days with your children, and if you have an interest in education." I am not sure of my exact wording, but I do believe it's true.
Homeschoolers spend a lot of time with their children. A friend of mine who began homeschooling her previously schooled children said that it was like having toddlers again. You are constantly "on" for driving, feeding, answering questions, providing entertainment, and educating. At my house, it is like Grand Central Station from about 7 am until 10 or 11 pm when the teenagers finally turn out their lights. That makes for a very long day spent with your children.
Homeschoolers also spend a lot of time reading about, thinking about, and researching education. Even unschoolers, who may not use a set curriculum or "teach" their children are immersed in education. Homeschoolers talk about learning styles, multiple intelligences, curriculum, art supplies, testing, phonics, models of education, John Holt, and transcripts.
Homeschooling parents "work" at homeschooling. We research the best math curriculum, and if it doesn't work, we may try another, find a tutor, or look for a class that may have us crossing a bridge during rush hour traffic. It can be type A parenting on overdrive.
Yet, it is somehow all worth it. There is unbelievable joy in having struggled through the first 13 lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and finding that you can toss the book aside after lesson 37, since your child just picked up Little House on the Prairie and is on chapter 2.
So, is homeschooling for you?