I’m having a little e-mail exchange with a hopefully-soon-to-be-new-homeschooler about the time involved in schooling. A friend of a friend of hers schools for EIGHT HOURS a day for her 2nd & 4th graders. Ack. So, her question to me was, basically, “How much time do you spend on schooling?”
It reminded me, though, of a story told by the lady who introduced me to Sonlight, also named Karen. Karen forever felt like a Lesser Homeschooler, compared to an acquaintance of hers, who also homeschooled, and who had five or six kids, but always had time for extended field trips, intricate projects, etc. She seemed to have a neverending supply of time and money to spend on her kids’ education. And here was Karen, just trying to keep her nose above water, schooling her own five kids, keep her house clean, food on the table, and herself sane, never feeling like she was quite up to par, and definitely not measuring up to her friend’s standards. Karen’s kids were friends with her kids, and they often asked her why she couldn’t do x, y, and z. Well, it came to Karen’s attention, after feeling like Lowly Worm for a couple of years, that her acquaintance had a MAID. And a COOK. And each of them came in FIVE DAYS A WEEK. And, on Fridays, the cook would stay extra-long and cook Saturday and Sunday’s meals, too! Holy cow.
Think how many “special projects” YOU could do if you had a maid and a cook.
Personally, I try not to think too hard about it, because I start feeling crabby that I don’t live in a culture and/or time where having paid help is fairly standard. It’s similar to the feeling I get from knowing California spends $8,000/year per child and still has some of the poorest results of any state in the nation. If only I could have a fraction of that money….
But, I digress.
I don’t know if this post has a point, other than that, well, you may hear of a fabulous homeschooling family who spends WAY more time or money than you ever could dream of spending, but there is likely more to the story, like:
- maybe that mother has academically precocious children who beg to be taught
- maybe she doesn’t and her kids will burn out because of being forced to do school for 8 hours a day and in another year (max, two!) she won’t be homeschooling
- even if they don’t burn out, SHE will, unless…
- she has a maid and a cook
- or, her house is a perennial wreck and her family eats out five days a week and she’s fine with that, as is her husband
- or, maybe her husband is NOT fine with that, and they’re continually at odds about how time and money are spent
- or, maybe she has no friends
- or, at least no blog. 😀
There is something to say for academic standards; I’m not against them entirely. But, you just have to find what works for your kids, your family, your own resources, and not worry about what Super Mega Homeschooler down the road is doing.