Many thoughtful books on the subject of homeschooling have been published in recent years. Some are full of ideas about learning and take the reader into the depths of philosophical thought. Some are full of specific resources and advice about how to homeschool. This isn’t one of them.
Highly intelligent people wrote those books. I’m not one of them.
Let me give you some background. My husband John and I have two children, Melissa and Keith. I was a full-time mom from the time my first child was born. I didn’t want to miss a thing motherhood had to offer.
I wanted to be the one my children spit up on. I wanted to be the one to endure the whines and the screams. I wanted to be the one to clean up after they found the open box of cornstarch and maple syrup and thought the mixture would make a great skin lotion. But after about 6 years of this, life changed. My kids entered school.
It didn’t take long to realize I had a huge problem. I did not have enough stress in my life. So in October of 1991, when my daughter was in second grade and my son, first grade, I decided to homeschool. I saw how classrooms operated and felt confident I could do just as good a job of ignoring their individual needs.
Okay, my husband thinks I need to stop joking around, if only for a moment, and give at least some explanation of why I decided to do such an offbeat thing. He said some readers would actually want to know why our family thought homeschooling would be a good idea. For some reason, he still lives under the delusion that I might one day take his advice.
Okay, okay, readers genuinely interested in a more serious description of why I made this decision can consult the Epilogue. It contains my comments as well as interviews with the family. I apologize for not including an Appendix, but unfortunately it ruptured and had to be removed.
Let me start my story by describing the night before our first day of officially homeschooling. My memory is a bit blurry so wait a second while I find my glasses. Ah, that’s better. Anyway, on that first night, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. I rolled around imagining the wonderful experiences I would share with my children as we explored the world together.
My stomach tingled with the same excitement I feel when I am about to go over the first hill on a roller coaster. I ignored the fact I hate roller coasters and scream through the entire ride while clawing at my riding companion until I finally get on solid ground again. I don’t know when I finally fell asleep, but the last time I looked it was 4:30 in the morning….