Wednesday, August 19, 2009

5 Not-So-Great Reasons to Home School

So I was driving along, listening to talk radio, and the topic was getting your children ready to go back to school. And as I listened, I realized I could compile a list of not-very-great reasons to home school. (Not very great because if these were your only reasons, it wouldn't be enough motivation. Possibly these are the fringe benefits of home educating.)

First: I do not have to shop from one of those amazing, ridiculous supply lists that schools send to Staples and Wal-Mart, causing mothers to wander the aisles looking for 30 Duo Tangs in at least three colours, or the prescribed brand and size of crayons. I buy what I want, what we'll need and use, and I can pick the cheap size!

Second: I do not have to pack a daily lunch that conforms to allergy standards, that my child will enjoy eating and that meets nutritional standards. We often eat leftovers for lunch. It's fast and easy. Or we eat peanut butter sandwiches! Because we can!

Third: Also very little back-to-school clothing shopping. This is actually a more serious issue in some ways since the pressure to conform and the way that even young children learn to judge on appearance is a big problem for our children. We've opted out of that.

Fourth: We do not have the morning rush to leave the house on time. Our mornings are shaped by us. If either mom or child is tired, we start slower and later. If we're perky, we can proceed more quickly into school. If it's lovely out, we can give the dogs an extra long walk first because there is no bell ringing.

Fifth: No homework. Well actually it's all homework, but there's definitely a reason for all the work I have my child complete. I often tell her that if she completes the first half or two-thirds correctly (and quickly) then she can leave the rest. If there's a busier week in some of our activities, we can have less homework to compensate.

I have solid, well-thought out reasons for home educating, developed over twenty years. But these are some of the lesser ones. Maybe funny, maybe true, you decide.

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