Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yes, We Are

Homeschooling, that is. Some of the people I know in real life are aware of this, but I guess not all, so here I am, finally coming out of the homeschool closet once and for all.

I've started to write this post several times and never gotten very far; I have been somewhat hesitant to announce this to my college friends and former coworkers, lest they beat me about the head and neck with my Teacher of the Year bell and then decide to take it back. Actually, most of the ones who know have been quite supportive, though I'm not sure if it's homeschooling they are in favor of, or just the thought of another person escaping the ever-increasing cascade of paperwork involved in teaching.

So why are we doing this? Lots of reasons. We're homebodies. We like spending time together. The thought of going back to teaching full time makes me want to crawl under the bed like Boris when he sees the cat carrier. The one time Jack had to go somewhere five days in a row, he was d.o.n.e. by Friday--and that was a fun dinosaur camp. We like going to see Jay at lunch. Grocery shopping is so much nicer in the middle of a weekday. If my kids have trouble, they won't fall through the cracks. No fundraisers. And on and on and on.

I guess the easiest explanation is that we want to do this, and we are fortunate enough that we can. And truthfully, this seems so much easier than sending Jack to school. As we have been trying to decide what to do about a job, housing, and moving next year, it has been nice to not have to take school into consideration. If Jack were going to kindergarten next year, we would be losing our freedom to the school system just as we were getting it back from the military. And as I discovered very (alarmingly) quickly after quitting my job, I love my freedom.

Now that Jack is four, many (well, almost all) of his friends are in some kind of school or another, and I guess he has been making his own observations about what it must be like. The other day we were headed to the museum to look at something and Jack said, "If I had to go to school, I couldn't be doing this right now." I laughed because it was clear the brainwashing is working (only kidding!), but it really was the truth. If we sent him to school, there is so much we would be missing.

Now I will make one more confession: I have nothing against public schools. You can probably find many homeschoolers who do, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I loved the time I spent in public schools--17 years as a students and 6 years as a teacher. I even miss teaching. It's just not for us now.

And now that I've posted this, I will even say it aloud when someone I've just met asks if Jack is in preschool. Currently I just say, "No." and nothing else. You know that makes me look like a great parent. And those of you who were not aware that we were indeed going down this path can rest assured that I am not some sort of control freak parent who is making her child do all kinds of work at school and home. You should know by now I am not that organized unless I am forced into it.

Now it's back to looking up pumpkin stuff. I've discovered there is a big learning curve when going from fifth graders to four year olds.


Amber said...

My sister-in-law is going to school to be a teacher. At first she wasn't too thrilled with my decision, but a couple of months ago she called to ask my opinion on a project she was working on for school. I was so excited! It took her a couple of years, but now she finally sees what I do as respectable! :)

Heather said...

Yay Jen! Welcome to the other side.

I loved public school too and there are times when I do miss teaching. I taught science in a middle school for five years and I thought I'd never leave.

I've been home 10 years already and this is our fourth full year (plus another half year under our belts).

Have fun!

Heather W

Julie said...

More power to ya, sister! It sounds like you and Jack are doing lots of learning.

Alana - The Mommy said...

Yes, but what about SOCIALIZATION?????

Just had to ask..

Welcome to the dark side! Mwaaahhhaaahaaa