Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Could Never Be with My Child(ren) All Day!

One of the most common comments I hear from parents when we tell them we homeschool is "I could never spend all day with my child. S/he would drive me crazy!". It's almost always said in a tone that is supposed to imply that I must be either weird or very special to be able to do so with my own children, but let me tell you why I can spend all day with my children.

First, they are mine. God gave them to ME(and my husband of course) to raise. If I send them off to someone else for six plus hours a day, to sit in a room full of children from backgrounds I know nothing about, and who themselves are in need of guidance, how can I expect anything but for them to pick up behaviors that I don't particularly like?

Second, at home, we can discipline our children. Schools no longer have that option. They are afraid of damaging the child's spirit, or having charges pressed against them, or maybe even having the child retaliate with violence. At home we stop the behavior then and there. We discipline and we teach them how to replace bad behaviors with good behaviors.

Third, when we are in public places(Yes, I know! We are homeschoolers that are hardly ever home, shocking!) and my children see behaviors that we do not approve of, we can stop and talk about it and I can guide them through the world instead of throwing them into it and expecting them to come out on the otherside unscathed.

To be able to be with your child all day, you need to know your child. I mean really know them. The kind of knowing that can only come from being with them all day.

Do I need a break every now and then. Oh yes! But I can tell you that after about an hour away, I am wondering what they are doing, if they are missing me, and when I get to go back and give them some big cuddles.

(While my son is still young and doesnt get the strange looks that we get with the girls, I expect that it won't be too much longer!)


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post

seekingmyLord said...

I so relate! And the really funny thing is the Catch 22. Most parents don't like being with their children all day because they do not really parent them...that is, they spend 6+ hours a day away from each other so the children are not disciplined daily and consistently, resulting in children who don't even have the opportunity to connect as well with their own parents and visa versa so when they are together they *will* drive each other crazy.

AFwife99 said...

Amen to that! A thoughtful post. Found your blog from the carnival of homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

I actually had a public school teacher tell me last week that she couldn't homeschool because she doesn't have the patience for her own kids. That made me sad. :(

Laura said...

I hear you... I get comments like that too. My DD is 12, and I get remarks like "Wait until she's a teenager!" Some have even said they are sorry for me, being "stuck" with my daughter all the time... I guess I just don't get that mindset. Thanks for this wonderful post!

Anna said...

A similar comment to that(among others) was what prompted me to write the article. I was "mom bragging" about how well my kids get along with each other and someone posted the "wait until they are teenagers" comment. I was so sad. Why couldn't they be happy that my kids get along?

Anonymous said...

I used to be one of those parents when my kids were in school. It's so hard to have a good time with your children when the hours that you do have together are spent waking them up before they are ready and shoving them out the door in time for school and then as soon as you get home you have to force them to do homework, rush to get a bath and dinner, and then off to bed before either one of you had time to relax and enjoy each others company. If parents think everyday spent together would replicate the kind of stress that comes from a normal schooled day, it's no wonder they think they couldn't do it.

Anna said...

Very good points. Since we have never done the PS mad dash, I don't always think about things like that. I could only imagine the stress and chaos that having to deal with all that would cause. Some days, even with us together all day, I feel like we don't really get any quality time together.

Anonymous said...

Very eloquently stated, Anna. Thank you for voicing a situation I encounter weekly.

We too are seldom home, as our homeschooling style includes selected enrichment classes, field trips and study-the-real-world outings. My son is very proud of being homeschooled and announces the fact the moment an opportunity arises. While people are generally well-meaning, they air their views which tend to echo the mainstream press' anti-homeschooler soundbite wisdom. Thank you for writing about this particular situation with clarity and compassion.