Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Homeschool Why

Contrary to public perceptions, I do not home school my children for lack of another alternative. Within blocks of my house are fine public, private and Catholic schools. I have looked objectively at these schools and can find no fault with their test scores, teachers, safety, structures, curricula or student populations. They have small classroom sizes, a plethora of extracurricular activities, exceptional parental involvement and services for both the gifted and L.D. child. Unlike some areas of our city, state and nation, those in our area are blessed with a large variety of excellent educational choice.

I do not home school my children because I think they are far behind or above their peers. I do not hope to keep my children sheltered from people and ideas different from my own. Nor do I wish to allow them more free time to pursue sports, dance, drama, music or any other dream they may have.

The reason I home school. The first, last and most important reason is because I like being around my kids. They are not perfect and sure, they drive me nuts sometimes. But last time I checked, that could be said about kids in school as well. I do not mean to suggest that people who home school like their kids more than those who choose not to. I actually didn't even say I liked my kids, though I do, what I said is I like being around my kids.

I am a quantity person through and through. Always have been probably always will be. No, I don't collect things. I tried once to collect pigs and ended up with two. That is not what I mean. My appetite is satisfied more by a big dish of mediocre ice-cream than a spoonful of Gelatti. My style is accomplished with six pairs of cheap shoes rather than one expensive pair. I like to spend hours on the phone not say nor hear pithy words of wisdom. I like my drinks in a tall glass.

So, it makes sense that with regard to my children, for me, more is how I like it. Even on those days when the quality suffers, I feel fulfilled.

I also adore childhood. I loved my own and love seeing the world again through the eyes of my children. I have spent most of my life trying to live in the present with little success. When the past and future stretch so much farther, it is hard to keep your eye on the now. I still have a hard time looking at my own present for very long. But with my kids, ah, that is different. I know how quickly childhood passes, how much they change from day to day. Somehow there is still not as much pressure to avoid missing part of my own middle aged life, but I don't want to miss a second of theirs.

Wanting to be around my kids more than being away from them may make me a glutton for punishment to some, selfish, I am sure, to others. What I seem to others is something over which I have no control. What I am... is happy.

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