Mailvox: Fear of a homeschooled planet

TT writes: i’m a Christian mom who loves her kids desperately and wants the best for them. i’m not too thrilled with public school either, but….the thought of home schooling truly terrifies me. the thought of never having any kind of break from them, or having time to ‘keep myself up’, so to speak, or of having any kind of existence of my own aside from being ‘mom’ seems like more than i can bear. i’ve been waiting for my youngest to start kindergarten so i could possibly take a class, or have the time to focus on exercising more and work on regaining some of the person my husband married, rather than being the frazzled creature i’ve become since having kids. but i feel all this guilt now about it, because i guess if i was a ‘real woman’ i’d be thin, have 15 kids, homeschool them all and be a harvard graduate myself, all while shining the floors and giving my husband a blow-job at the same time! 🙂 sorry.. see? frazzled.

I’ll skip over the psychological issues hinted at by the lowercase punctuation and start off by saying that it’s good that you’re at least thinking about the right issues. The first thing to note is that homeschooling takes a lot less time than public school, which is a pretty strong indictment of the latter right there. The second thing is that it does take a fair bit of sacrifice, both in terms of time and income opportunity cost. I know too many women who homeschool and are fitness devotees to believe that it’s impossible; then again, I don’t know how they’re doing with regards to the floors and husbands either.

The main thing is a question of priority. The hands-on aspect of homeschooling takes about 90 minutes a day, less for younger children, to stay ahead of their peers. Of course, if they’re reading well at four, it’s pretty easy for them to stay comfortably ahead even on a relatively lax schedule. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, an excellent education is much more important than shiny floors or a second car.

i’ve noticed that everyone, so far, who has commented on the topic has been male. meaning, that they likely aren’t going to be the ones doing the “schooling.” so maybe you could comment on this, because i can’t think i’m the only one who feels this way. i mean,surely there’s some kind of workable compromise if the mother is fearing for her sanity but wants her kids to thrive. and i’d TRULY love space bunny’s thoughts as well.

I handle the reading and language, so my take is that as long as you come up with reasonable goals and a strict schedule, it’s very doable. However, I’ve basically had to cut out television – 2 NFL games weekly excepted – and significantly reduce my computer gaming in order to handle schooling and my work. Space Bunny said she doesn’t have an opinion on the frazzled thing right now, but I’ll touch base with the Chilliette and others in the Perfect Aryan Bible Study to see what they have to say.

You can’t achieve perfection in all things. I’ve been intending to clean up my office for about nine months now, rewrite a six-year old business plan for three, and write a game design concept for one. None of that’s happened, and it won’t happen today either. I’m not pleased about that, but at least the important stuff has been done. So, forget Harvard and thrice-flogged floors, though not, for the love of all that’s good and holy in the sacrament of marriage, the blow jobs.