I have a little secret. A confession to make. But I'm just kinda...nervous about saying it out loud. Because you see, once I say something, well, then I have to do it. "We should get married someday..." BLAM! Married. "Oh, it'll be so fun to have kids running around..." BLAM! Four kids. "Hey, maybe we can buy this house off the internet..." BLAM! Moving to Michigan. "Chickens might be fun..." BLAM! Eight pullets. And I just don't know if I'm ready for another BLAM! right now. Can't I go for five measly minutes without BLAM-ing my life and by association the lives of my poor, poor family who have to endure living with me and my predilection for constant "improvement"?
Before I even consider sharing my dirty little secret with you, I want to be sure we're clear on a few things. 1) The house is a wreck (as usual). 2) I am still wearing my pajamas. 3) My patience capacity is approximately a 4 on a scale of, like, a million. 4) I have no formal training or experience in the matter. 5) I am still getting used to Tommy being gone all day, five days a week. 6) Our house is full of animals. 7) I have done approximately zero hours of actual research on the topic. Aren't those the seven habits of highly effective people or something? Stephen Covey would be so proud.
Keeping all of that in mind, I want you to come in real close because I'm only gonna whisper it (which is totally different than actually saying it out loud): I'm thinking that perhaps, maybe, someday, if I could ever manage to be brave/foolish enough, I might want to homeschool my kids. Shhhhhhh! Ohmygah...what???? Who said that? Nononononono....not me. I mean...me???? You're obviously hearing things. Didn't you learn anything from Nancy Reagan? Just say NO to drugs. Especially on weekdays. Sheesh.
It's not that our district isn't good. No, it's actually one of the highest scoring school districts in the entire state of Michigan. It's not that getting them to school is some kind of hassle. In fact, the school bus picks up and drops off right in front of our dang ol' house. And I like their teachers. And the facility is awesome and the programs are great. Then why, Dwija? Why would you do such a foolish, crazy, wack-o thing????
Because I miss my kids.
There, I said it. I. miss. my. kids. Realizing how fast they grow up and how much of their daily life I miss out on seeing and how much of our daily life they miss makes me want to hold on to every second I can. The cruel joke of SAHM-ing is that once they're old enough to really remember and appreciate the time they spend with you, we usher them off to school to spend most of their waking hours with someone else. And then when they are at home, they have to sit down and do more school work in preparation for the next day of spending all their waking hours with someone else.
Now see, part of my "problem" is also that I had a bit of an...um..."unusual" childhood, which included attending a small homeschool/private type school with all the grade levels together in one room working on interesting projects and having classes like "Speech", "Map Skills" and "Logic". No, I am not making this up. And do you know what such a non-traditional education has resulted in? Me having the ability to speak in front of a crowd, read a map, and use logic when solving problems. And, as an added bonus, I can even read and do math. I know! Pretty crazy, huh? I whooped those SATs, oh yes I did. So my perception of what school is capable of providing can be a little...skewed.
I get that the public schools can't just cater to the wacky whims of every flower-child-turned-Catholic-mother-of-four, I really do. They have to streamline their processes to try and get specific results, within a very specific time-frame, out of hundreds of different children, each with their own learning style. Just because a certain child can only grasp mathematical concepts by doing (adding fractions by tripling a recipe for example) doesn't mean I can expect my daughter's teacher to set up a miniature kitchen in their classroom so they can all bake some pies together. Just because I think rote memorization of multiplication facts is a complete freaking waste of time doesn't mean I can tell my daughter she doesn't have to do it. Because, you see, I am not in charge here.
I want to be in charge. I want to know what they're learning. I want to be there to see their Aha! moments. I want to be able to decide that we're going on an impromptu field trip in the middle of the week instead of "doing school" one day without worrying about them missing something important or having to explain myself to their school. But I'm scared. I don't want them to miss out on the important social aspects of learning to get along with people of all different personality types. I don't want them to feel out of place if they go to a traditional high school or college. I'm nervous that their little bubble of interesting and reasonable things will pop someday and they won't know what to do with themselves. I want them to be...normal. But not regular. And I don't know if I can handle the responsibility, or stay on task, or stick with it for years and years, or manage to take care of the small ones while still giving the big ones what they need. Will they be happy and fulfilled or will they resent me? Can we afford it? Where do I even start? I don't know.
I just don't know.