I just found a really wonderful blogger who is living an apparently parallel life to mine. She’s homeschooling, and running a start-up business, and apparently likes barnyard animals too. Twins separated at birth, I’m sure. She even has brown hair and likes to give advice. The only difference is that she loves herself enough to keep her natural hair color.
In a blog post from this past September, she talks about the career-ruining juggernaut of homeschooling and why she’s doing it even though she’s sure she’s screwing it up. And she wonders whether it counts as homeschooling if she’s doing it from a clothing store (where her adorable son is pictured gaping at the rear end of a scantily clad manikin).
I don’t have time for this post so I’m only going to say one thing about that. The answer is YES it counts. YES YES YES. If my children have taught me anything in the 11 years they’ve been squeezing sustenance out of their association with me, it’s that they don’t need me to teach them anything. All they need is a rich environment, encouragement to explore, and support for their efforts, and they’ll teach themselves everything they will ever need to know.
I say this with great confidence, but that doesn’t mean I never have fears around their education. I periodically go through manic phases where I think if they’re not learning long division or how to communicate with our eventual overlords (by learning Spanish and/or Mandarin) then I’m failing miserably as a homeschool mom.
And then there are times like several months during the past couple years when Carey and I were running around trying to scrape a living out of this abysmal economy, getting our feet wet as entrepreneurs, and unable to afford anything like reliable assistance with the children, and there were many nights when I wondered whether everyone would be better off if I would just enroll them in school like a normal person.
But I’m not a normal person.
So instead they run around like little wildlings, trashing the house and scandalizing the neighbors with their lack of shoes, not to mention supervision. And then, when I’ve managed to squeeze a few moments to try and cram some learning into their little heads by asking them in a perky voice if they know that some bats make tents, they shake their heads wearily and look up at me with a patient expression and say: “Yes, Mommy, I know. The Honduran white bat cuts the veins from the Heliconia plant leaves to form a tent that shelters them from the elements and from predation. Didn’t you know that?”
So, that’s that then. And here’s a picture of two of my children in school. YES it counts.