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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

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Because someone needs to get up and go to work in the mornings

The boys are back in school. Although I engage in the customary mugging and groaning about having the kids home over Christmas, I enjoyed their break nearly as much as they did. It was nice to not wake up to the alarm clock, not to pack lunchboxes and backpacks, or do late-night loads of laundry ("Wear your shorts,'re just going to be inside watching tv all day"). Still, I am glad it is over, and we can resume whatever passes for normal programming around here.

Now that my husband and I both freelance, it turns out that the only thing that orders our day is the school bell. Our domicile is pretty unregimented in ordinary time, but over the holidays it felt like it was in free-fall. On the morning of our New Year's Eve party, my eight year-old was nearly as excited over the housecleaning as he was over his Christmas presents. You could see the relief on his face: finally, these people were going to TCB. "When are we going to start cleaning, Mom?" he asked eagerly, as I poured my second cup of coffee. "I made my bed already."

This is the child that I was going to homeschool. What a narrow escape, for him and me both. Not that I don't still love the idea of homeschooling. It just needs to be in someone else's home. Someone who has the desire, aptitude and organizational skills to teach schoolage children, for example. Maybe even enough to have gone to college and taken an education degree.

It took me a while to let go of the illusion that every learning experience was going to have to come through me to get to my son. Having a second, and then a third child helped, because my desperation to have a little bit of life for my own became stronger than my control issues. Also, it took more than one child for me to realize that they and I are separate, and that it wasn't healthy or fair to use somebody else's childhood as an opportunity to do over my own.

I am not saying these are the motives that drive other parents to homeschool. There are perfectly legitimate reasons to do so. For some families, it is simply the best choice. Like I said, I still appreciate the ideals.

But this way, I think my kids and I appreciate each other more.



Anonymous Nat said...

Oy. I couldn't do it either.

I agree that the kids going back to school forces you to get it together. I like routine, myself.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Heidi Renee said...

We did home school for one semester because we knew we were moving last January. It was both wonderful and horrible.

I know what you mean about school setting the schedule for your day. I too find a lot of structure in enforced schedules. Let to myself things get a bit sketchy.

We're on that good ole' Canadian schedule where the kids don't go back until Monday - again, wonderful and horrible. I think I'd rather have the week off in June instead!

9:08 AM  

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