Busting the “I Don’t Have the Patience to Homeschool” Myth [Excerpts]
There were several reasons I said I’d never homeschool. Teach a kid math? Are you serious? And what about the time commitment involved in homeschooling? How was a mom to get anything else done? Besides, (and please pardon my past ignorance here,) why on earth would I devote years to educating my children when there were good schools available everywhere for just that purpose?
But this was my favorite excuse. If anyone managed to derail my other defenses, I could always fall back on this one. It was, after all, at the core of all my other objections: “Me, homeschool? No way! I don’t have the patience for that.”
Yes, it was a copout, but it also perfectly reflected the attitude of society at large. When the subject of homeschooling comes up now, without fail someone will raise the patience issue. And moms bewildered by my decision to homeschool, by the fact I actually choose to keep my four children home with me all hours of the day, will often add things like, “You must be a saint,” or, “You are Superwoman!”
Now the vain side of me would love to revel in such compliments, but I’m far more troubled by statements like that than I am flattered by them. For one, I know I’m far from super or saintly! But I’m also a bit befuddled as to why a mom who does what moms have done from the dawn of time should be considered superhuman for it.
Our culture has a sadly negative view of children and it’s naïve of us to believe those attitudes can’t affect us. In subtle and often not-so-subtle ways society teaches that children are an incredible inconvenience. They drain our pocketbooks, over-expend our energy, limit our abilities, and stifle our dreams. If we’re to believe what the culture implies, children are a source of great physical, mental, and emotional stress and the sooner they can be shipped off to someone else’s care, the better.
Of course, isn’t it ironic that the same society that tells us we can’t manage our own children also assures us that perfect strangers can! Mom, you can’t deal with you own child, but a school teacher or day care worker who barely knows their name can handle them and 29 others without a glitch!