Monday, August 31, 2009

Do I LOOK like Superwoman?

Homeschoolers encounter a variety of attitudes regarding their educational choice, ranging from curiosity to outright disapproval. In most cases, I am prepared with a calm, rational, often-used response. We're accustomed to answering questions, and this becomes a normal part of our day.

One comment always stumps me, though. "You must be Superwoman!" an acquaintance might gasp, upon hearing that I homeschool six children. Although some people assume super powers are necessary to teach your kids at home, a glimpse into my closet will quickly reveal that I don't even own a cape.

The "Superwoman" comment is often followed by the reasons this person could never homeschool. "I can't teach all that stuff, because I don't know it myself," is a common observation. How do I admit that, in many instances, I learn right along with my children? This isn't a secret to my kids. They like it when I pause in my reading to them and exclaim, "Wow, I never knew that!" I'm modeling a love of learning for my children, but would a stranger understand?

"I just don't have the patience," a parent might lament. This is probably the most important example of something I've learned through homeschooling. The homeschooling parent is forced to practice patience . . . or else! Practice makes perfect and, while you might not end up with patience to spare, you'll soon learn to be "patient enough".

"I'm not organized enough," is another excuse, to which I reply, "HAHAHAHAHA!" Did this person notice that I blocked her view of the interior of my home when answering the door? I didn't want her to see the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, the socks left on the rug or the BANANA peel draped over the sofa! I prefer to teach in a tidy space but, when things get bad, the important things get done. Our Time4Learning lessons are our lifeline during our busy, disorganized weeks. It's a matter of setting priorities, another skill I've honed during our years of home education.

The saddest comment is, "I couldn't teach my kids, because they don't listen to me." How could I tactfully suggest that the parent-child relationship might improve if they spent more time together? Homeschooling parents learn to observe their children carefully and get to know them very well.

If you think it sounds like Mom learns more than the kids, you could be right! The truth is, it doesn't take a Superwoman to homeschool. Homeschooling isn't for everyone. There are a lot of reasons people choose public schools, and I'll fight for your right to choose your own child's educational method. If you DON'T want to homeschool, just say so. If you DO want to homeschool, don't think you can't take the plunge until you become a perfect parent. That hasn't happened to me yet, and my kids are just fine.

1 comment:

  1. As Edna said in The Incredibles, "No capes!" (choking hazard)


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