Confessions of a Lazy Homeschooler

I confess to you, dear reader, that I feel I am the soul of laziness. I am not certain whether the trait is inherited or learned but it is at the very least imbedded rather deeply at this point. I keep thinking that I am tired, yes, it must be that I am tired. I am, it seems, rather overwhelmed I suppose, what with my writing, my domestic puttering about, my childrearing, homeschooling and all the other sundry tasks with which I busy myself.

I have so much to do and find that I might even get the time to do some of the “list” I keep but I feel lazy, unable to move, unwilling to participate, depressed and downright defiant…no matter how many cups of coffee I imbibe.

Someone suggeted to me recently that I consider putting my children into “regular school” and for a brief moment it did sound appealing. The suggestion hung there weightily, a red delicious apple gleaming in the sunlight, hanging from a branch labeled “free time” and I reached for it with both hands…and stopped. “Think” says I, to my greedy subconcious self.

All I could think in that moment was “what will make my life easier?” Layered under that brief question however were other, more specific things I hoped would be solved by this momentous decision…what will make my house cleaner? what will help me sleep better? what will make me feel more satisfied? what will make me less cranky?

Will putting my children in school and daycare do all that for me? “Sign me up!” thinks I, yet I stay my hand another moment from grasping the succulent fruit before me.

Will putting my children in school and daycare do all that for me? This is the question and one not so easily answered, “yes” in sudden haste. Moving back from the tree of institutionalized education for a moment I ponder. Why did we detour from the given educational road when my daughter reached the first grade; my first born, my early reader, my incredibly social, super friendly and outgoing child?

I suppose the easy answer to that hard question is that it felt like the right way to go. I felt a crazy pull toward homeschooling that is hard to explain. To be perfectly honest homeschooling was NEVER on my radar, I thought it was a rather crackpot way of doing things. One summer day after the last day of kindergarten I felt this tug. I knew that the school my daughter attended was perhaps not the place I wanted to see her live out her gradeschool years and was examining our other options. The most basic and yet the most complex reason I chose to homeschool was that my heart kept coming back to it, over and over. Finally, annoyed with the whole idea I prayed about it. I gave God this little ultimatum, because that’s how I am with Him (I hope He finds it amusing…) “I’ll pray for one week about this God and I’ll homeschool if that’s what you want but you have to change my heart, because I DON’T want to do it.”

So I prayed for a week and began on monday with a heart of concrete. By wednesday I was looking at homeschooling laws, by thursday I was picking out curriculum and by saturday morning I was doing a “test run” with my daughter in our livingroom to see how it would feel…and it felt right, my mushy, slobbery heart leaking all over the couch as we read together…so we began that way.

Would it really make things easier to put them in school? There would still be driving from place to place, lesson to lesson. There would still be projects to complete, models to make, spelling tests for which to study, math homework to tackle. I woudl still have the “hard ones” running around my feet…the ones too young to put into school, the ones who need the majority of the attention.

What would it really change? It would mean that new deadlines would appear, ones which could not be moved because it’s a beautiful day for a nature walk, because it’s pajama day at our house, because gramma is visiting from out of town. We have this remarkable gift of making our own schedule, making our own rules, making and moving our own deadlines if we’d like. When will they ever get this opportunity again? When will I ever get this opportunity again?

Alas…the apple, she dangles there…ready to be plucked…all I must do is reach and pull. I find though, in that moment that I do not desire an apple but rather a plum…and that tree is planted, already bearing fruit in my own back yard.


6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Lazy Homeschooler

  1. “what will make my life easier?” is a the question behind most of the world’s great inventions.

    I hear you about this one. I am a home worker after all. I miss being in an office and taking the mick out of my friends but I don’t miss the 2hr each way commute, I don’t miss the politics or the stress… and I don’t miss the hidious guilt I used to feel every time Mr BC suggested a holiday in the busiest week of my working year – which he still does except that I don’t work there any more so it doesn’t matter.



    PS Your relationship with God sounds a bit like minee, he’s my mate and I like to hang out with him but I often swear, shout at or rail against him. I often neglect him terribly and yet I find, when I’m up against it, that I just can’t forsake my Anglican principles! God and I are kind of stuck with each other.

  2. I know a lady who homeschools. I think it is wonderful but don’t know if I could or would be willing to do it. Will the children still learn about deadlines somehow? Healthy competition? Those would be my concerns. No judgement here, just reading the blog and loved the interesting post. It really made me think.

  3. Hey BC!
    Sorry for the late response…

    What I love about the idea you state above about God being stuck with you is so spot on…I love the idea that come what may, my Creator will always want me back, He will always pursue us! What a good parent, He is…

  4. Hi MKrules
    Good to see you here.

    This may be quite a flip sounding answer but I just think that they will “get” it at some point. The kids do have deadlines for assignments here at home however what I stress for projects we do is not the deadline but rather the process. I’m teaching processes here, the “how to” of doing things. It might not seem as though it correlates but I feel that in teaching the importance of respecting others, respecting their time and being people of our word, keeping our commitments, I am instinctively teaching the importance of deadlines, yes?

    I have 4 children of similar ages and some similar places of giftedness as well. Their leadings seem to be in the area of the arts. In teaching the importance of learning one’s craft, increasing one’s knowledge and discernment all from within the context of God’s immense love for us and His grand design for us and how we are made I am also teaching the importance of looking to one’s collegues and instructors to monitor our progress, RATHER than one’s peers, which offer a demoralizing and warped view of ourselves.

    So, “healthy competition” seems an inadequate goal to me, overall. I suppose what I hope to do in some small, organic, consistent and intentional way is to offer up something a bit weightier and more nutritive than the status quo.

  5. I have home schooled my daughter for 2 years now. (she attended public school until 8th grade) She wants to attend 11th and 12th grade at public school, and I am ok with it. I stopped with public school because she wasn’t being challenged and had become bored even in the GATE classes. The last 2 years have been a blessing for her and I. She takes all the state benchmark exams and scores well. I am convinced she retains more information long term with homeschooling because I know what her learning style is and we focus on subjects from that angle. With 1 on 1 instruction the flexibility to linger on a subject she needs more help with and moving quickly in areas she understands is a huge benefit. What has been priceless is that our mom/daughter relationship has grown so much closer. I commend you for your decision to home school. And to the readers whose children attend public school, I in no way think that it is bad or inferior. I just think that for us, this was the best choice for our family at the time and I am glad we were able to spend so much time together and accomplish so many goals.

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