When I tell people I'm homeschooling--good friends, acquaintances, strangers--the responses I get make me feel like what I've really just said is: "Please tell me right now everything you think I'm doing wrong as a mother and how I am failing my children."
Okay. I'm totally exaggerating. But it is true that the simple phrase, "We are actually homeschooling," turns out to be a lot more controversial than I thought. It's like I'm asking for opinions. skepticism. stares that say, "are you INSANE, woman?"
In response, inside, I am wincing. And saying, "Yes. I am. Totally nuts."
The daily tasks of motherhood are already overwhelming enough (anybody want to come help fold my laundry pile?) without adding the daunting burden of an academic education. I am not one of those mothers who has a sparkling sink, shining floors, and a cobweb free ceiling who is looking at homeschooling as a challenge to tackle because she has everything else mastered. (Anyone who is ridiculous enough to think that I approach decent housekeeping should note that I am currently sitting in a study nook which is littered with an extension cord, Claire's Sunday shoes, a 2.5 lb. dumbbell weight, a play shopping cart, and a dead basil plant.)
I am also not a social recluse who hoards family time and avoids sending my children to friends' homes because I can't stand being away from them. As it is, I spend about one hour of my day hiding from them, trying to finish my book club read. (Ooh. Book Club. That sounds so social and not-nerdy. Did I just hurt my case?)
And I am not convinced that public schools are the devil and that children who attend them will be morally corrupt and poorly educated.
But. I believe in homeschooling. For my family. Under the right circumstances.
I don't know how long we'll do it or even exactly why (!) we are. But in the two weeks that we have been, I have been learning a lot more than Grace has. I've been learning lessons that I think God has been trying to teach me for decades. Like how to say "no" to people who require my time and attention. And how to avoid being so controlling. And how to stop being afraid of failure. And how to make big decisions without needing the approval of everyone around me.
What I'm trying to say (but am afraid to for the risk of sounding prescriptive or self-righteous, so please read this with the understanding that this next part applies uniquely to me--it's all about ME) is I think homeschooling has the potential to turn me into the kind of mom I want to be. A mom who has her priorities straight. And that is worth a lot of craziness, I think.