When I first started home schooling, my mother told me, “You know, the thing about home schooling is that it’s impossible.”
She was not only experienced but a pioneer, one of the first in the region to even attempt such a thing as home schooling. So she knew what she was talking about. But a ray of sunshine she was not.
It was the last thing I wanted to hear, that my new plan was impossible. Who could wake up each morning and willingly set out to do a thing that cannot be done? I knew I was born to home school my children. We would be courageous explorers on the sea of ideas, ravenous guests at a banquet of wisdom and culture. My children’s 12 years of school would be only the beginning of their education, and they would graduate with a lifelong thirst for learning.
Well, we did make a sundial one time. And a bean mosaic. All my kids can read and add and tell jokes, and no one has once suggested they would be better off learning how to make brooms. After six years of home schooling, we realized it was time for a change, and since then, we have tried private school, charter school, public school and this coming year, parochial school. We have at least dipped our toes into just about every form of educating children, and guess what we learned?
6 thoughts on “Returning to school? Don’t worry: It’s impossible”
Thanks for this! My homeschooled daughters are now raising their children, some in school, some not. It’s early days for them, but I shared this article hoping it would ease some of their concerns. We were a fairly “relaxed” homeschooling bunch, so I think they are fairly chill about education, especially for grammar school. I sent them to high school because I figured they needed to learn about deadlines from somebody, cause I sure wasn’t good at enforcing them.
As a first-time homeschooler (bc distance learning was a nightmare in the spring), I thank you for this. We’re three weeks in and I needed the reminder to chill a little. The kids are going to be ok. Better if I relax a little and yell a little less…
“Comfy despair” – I like that. I like that quite a lot.
It has been a long time since I attended a Catholic parochial school.
I’m shouting “AMEN” at my computer screen right now.
We started back in-person this week. I work at the school–this year with kindergarten and 1st grade–and the logistics involved in bringing back our tiny number of students in a way that complies with all our state’s guidelines for in-person instruction was exhausting. And it is hard to police masks and sanitizing and not letting the kids in my own little group go over to hug their friends from another group when they see them across the playground on the sectioned-off basketball court. Or even play with each other without touching all the time. My own kids, however, say it’s worth it to be back at school, even with all the hard things. They also know that it could end at any time and we’ll be back at home with four laptops. It makes them appreciate being at school more, for sure. Which is nice.
Oh, how I wished I had embraced the impossible when my kids were in school. I worried about so, so many unimportant things and made myself a neurotic mess in the process! It was such a relief to be done with K-12 education when my youngest graduated. I think we would have all been better off if I learned to just learned to unclench my hands from the illusion of control.