September 30, 2020

Homeschoolers Miss Out On A Lot

For 7 million Canadian children, this is the season of new: new backpacks, new clothes, new notebooks, new pencils, new teachers, new classrooms, new experiences… and if you lived in Ontario, new sexually graphic curriculum instituted by their openly gay Premier, the former Minister of Education.

Except for that last bit, all the new and exciting things that seem to be taking place for everyone else can make a homeschooling Mom feel a wee bit left out, maybe even a bit guilty or jealous – especially if her morning has gotten off to a rough start.

For us, it’s more of the same: same house, same clothes, same routine, same principal. There’s no renewed time for ourselves to celebrate over, no special Mom-to-Mom conversations at the bus stop, no “real job” to get back to.

Maybe it’s true what they say, that homeschoolers miss out on a lot.

  1. We have no daily drop-offs or pick-ups,
  2. no car lines,
  3. no school buses,
  4. no security guards,
  5. no background checks to enter our child’s classroom,
  6. no PTA meetings,
  7. no school office (unless you count the kitchen),
  8. no cafeteria lunches,
  9. no lack of information (Were they full of smiles? Did they really understand what was being taught? Did she eat her lunch or throw it away?),
  10. no rushed breakfasts,
  11. no shooing through the door,
  12. no wrinkled uniforms,
  13. no forgotten lunches,
  14. no lost lunch money,
  15. no homework,
  16. no being the fifth person in your friend group to the four-person lunch table,
  17. no school dance,
  18. no hour-long bus rides where education of another variety takes place,
  19. no classroom hierarchy,
  20. no arbitrary letter grades,
  21. no lockers,
  22. no bullies,
  23. no lockdowns,
  24. no blaring buzzers to interrupt the study of a subject you’ve just fallen in love with,
  25. no backpacks to empty and fill,
  26. no lies about origin and identity,
  27. no absence of God’s Word,
  28. no rigid schedule to follow,
  29. no detention slips or discipline notices,
  30. no Ritalin,
  31. no teacher’s pets,
  32. no predetermined vacation times,
  33. no Summer learning loss,
  34. no six weeks of review,
  35. no metal detectors,
  36. no limitations on family time.

But, for all homeschoolers miss out on, they still experience a lot. Our favorites?

  1. relaxed breakfasts with the family,
  2. reading on the couch,
  3. PE at the park,
  4. swimming lessons on Thursdays,
  5. finding the price per pound at the grocery store,
  6. world maps on the kitchen table,
  7. figuring out fractions and circumferences with a measuring tape,
  8. audio history books in the van,
  9. hunting for beetles at Grandma’s,
  10. wearing a Princess dress every single day,
  11. waking up early and finishing school before breakfast,
  12. sleeping in after staying up late to find The Big Dipper and Orion The Hunter in the sky,
  13. art lessons from a local artist on Friday afternoons,
  14. making birthdays holidays,
  15. witnessing your child grasp phonics and discover the joy of reading,
  16. rushing over to a friend’s house in the middle of the day to watch their dog give birth,
  17. dealing with wrongful attitudes and behaviors as they arise,
  18. running twenty laps around the house because we’ve all got a bad case of the fidgets,
  19. delving deeply into a subject we love for as long as we’d like,
  20. collecting electronics to dismantle and put back together again,
  21. being there to provide guidance, love, and affection in the defining moments of your child’s life,
  22. selective socialization,
  23. peanut butter cookies,
  24. doubling up to take the next day off,
  25. taking as much time at a museum exhibit as we’d like,
  26. listening to classical music while we work,
  27. hot chocolate during a science lesson,
  28. time to pursue personal interests,
  29. Jesus is not a curse word,
  30. freedom to shelve curriculum that’s not working,
  31. flexibility,
  32. skipping ahead if you want to,
  33. slowing down if you need to,
  34. hugs from the people you love most,
  35. fostering good friendships,
  36. siblings teaching siblings,
  37. experiencing real life in the context of family.

No matter which educational choice you make; your children will miss out on things other children don’t, and they’ll experience things other children won’t. There’s no shame in this, no need for guilt, no need for justification. Contentment and confidence in your decision don’t come by comparing, but from believing that this is what God has called you to do.

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