Am I The Only One Not Homeschooling? 6 Guilty Reasons I'm Sending My Kids To Public School
Whenever I follow someone on Twitter I always read the little description under their Twitter name for a quick snapshot. I mostly follow women and many of them happen to be moms too. Lately it seems like a ton of the descriptions include 'homeschooler' or some variation of that. Ditto with Blog 'About' pages and Facebook fan pages. The only evidence I have that anyone is still sending their kids to public school are the Facebook posts I see complaining about snow-related school closures causing kids to be trapped at home for days on end leading to many cases of mommy lunacy. Education News published an article in 2012 stating that the number of kids being homeschooled has increased 75% since 1999, so I guess I am not losing my marbles and there is a big uptick.
This post isn't about me having a problem with homeschooling. My sister home schools her kids and is fabulous at it. I imagine it can be especially effective for kids with learning differences or other social and emotional issues who thrive in an environment with lots of direct teacher attention. I could write a LONG article about the benefits of homeschooling. My take on parents who home school is that they are probably super smart, dedicated and selfless. As much as I think moms who can do it are the bomb, I think there are a lot of us (like myself) who should run as fast as they can in the other direction.
In much the same way as I feel subpar for not pinning a new gluten-free chia seed scone recipe every weekend or never having come up with a DIY project for how to turn a kids closet into a fun fabulous fairyland, I am now feeling the homeschooling peer pressure. I have considered it very BRIEFLY but very seriously because of the peer pressure and also because my husband suggested this would let us travel the world more easily as a family. I quickly reminded him that we don't have any standing play dates with the Brangelina kids in Malaysia and my 50 city concert tour opening for J-Lo had been cancelled due to the fact that it never existed. I think he realized that the 10 hour annual car trip to Hilton Head is about as much travel as we have the time, energy or budget for and laid off of the homeschooling requests. I think he also heard my 6 reasons for not homeschooling (and the tone that went along with them) and realized that maybe I was not the best choice to be the kids teacher for 13 years. Judge for yourself...
1. I Don't Like Learning - Okay, I know this doesn't sound good...probably because it isn't. My husband who loves nonfiction books, self improvement podcasts of any kind and anything having to do with an algorithms is my hero, but if I'm being honest and not trying to impress you, I would much rather spend my brain cells blogging, evaluating outfits on Fashion Police and staring mindlessly at a cross stitch (hey, there is counting involved, so maybe that is math?). Think tree sloth but not as cute. I feel like my brain cells reached max capacity in my early twenties and I don't want to do anything to push myself over the wisdom precipice. Reading a book aimed at teaching me a bunch of new stuff makes me want to cry a little. I'm pretty sure that this isn't the best teaching role model for my children.
2. I Don't Like School - I got up from the carpet, grabbed my Snoopy lunch box, and took off down the hall to leave on the first day of kindergarten. I was shocked and felt trapped when they wouldn't let me leave and that was pretty much my outlook on school for all the years I was there. It was jail. Most of the time I wasn't paying attention to the lesson, and was just doing my homework ahead so I didn't have to bring it home from jail I used any extra time to plan my escape like a mini Michael Schofield. I was ousted from the accelerated path at 8 years old because I refused to memorize a poem and as I told the teacher who quickly dismissed me 'Why would you waste your time memorizing something that you can just read aloud off of paper?' I stand by it still. I always got good grades and got into a good college, but this was because I knew how to take a test and learned just enough for just long enough. In a strange twist, I got a Masters degree in elementary education partly because I always felt like teachers could have made school more fun and I thought maybe I could do it. Nope. This is a lot like when your most looney tunes friend becomes a psychiatrist (p.s., I was a psych major). After a very short stint, I realized that I still didn't like school and moved quickly into the corporate world.