Thursday, May 4, 2017

Public School Is Not the Easy Way Out

Sometimes other homeschool bloggers say that on the hard days they look wistfully out the window at the passing school bus and feel tempted to send their kids back to public school.  I have never felt that way.

November and December were absolutely crazy months for me. I was very busy with my home business so that meant many very late nights. And lack of adequate sleep makes for a very cranky mommy. Plus my brain and calendar were full to capacity juggling several things and I was so stressed out that I couldn't even think straight. I felt like I was drowning and doing homeschool on top of all that sometimes felt like another brick holding me down.

And yet I still didn't even entertain the thought of enrolling them in public school, even for an instant. For one thing, I knew that homeschool was the right choice for our family and that this crazy, busy season was only temporary.

But more importantly, I knew that public school would not really be much easier.

If my kids went to public school:

*We would have to be awake, prepared for school, and out the door earlier than we typically start school now.

*I would have to deal with the insanity and frustration that is school pickup.
 I can't even explain succinctly here all the reasons why I hate pick up and drop off times.  I remember them from when I was a child, when I was high school/college age and helping my mom with my siblings, and doing it for a friend of mine.  I always knew I would hate being a slave to typical school pickup/drop off schedules as a mother.

*I would have to spend after school time helping with or monitoring homework time.
With the typical amounts of homework that are assigned, we would be spending almost the same amount of time on homework that we do now during the day when the kids' brains are fresh and rested.

*I would want to take the kids to extracurricular activities after school time.
There are only so many hours in the day.  For the day to be full with school, homework, and family dinner, I don't see how we would have enough time for extracurriculars and the relaxed family time that we prioritize.

*I wouldn't necessarily gain that much more free time during the day because I would be volunteering in classrooms as much as I could.
That's just who I am.  I love working with children.  I love teaching.  I love helping teachers.  I believe that a child's academic success has more to do with parental involvement than anything else.

*I would have to pack lunch every day.
As it is, we pack lunches to eat out of the house once or twice a week.  And I hate it!  It takes more time than just preparing lunch right before we eat it.  Also, I like having the option to feed the kids leftovers (warmed up in our microwave...cold spaghetti sitting in a lunch box all morning isn't nearly as appetizing.) (I realize that buying the school's hot lunch could be a possibility, so this scenario might not be significant.)

Homeschooling is right for my family.  On the easy and hard days.  And on the really hard days, I enjoy the freedom to either use a vacation day or have the kids spend the day reading independently and watching educational videos. 

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