Thinking about homeschooling? Here are 10 reasons to make like Nancy Reagan and Just. Say. No!\
1. You love packing sack lunches.
Do you tenderly pack your child’s lunch each evening, carefully balancing healthy and delicious for a perfect brown bag delight? You’ll hate homeschooling. For a homeschooling mom, lunch is most likely ‘reheated leftovers from dinner’ or ‘You’re 7. Fix yourself a sandwich, for goodness sake!” In fact, we’re so bad at brown bagging it that, on the rare occasions where a co-op or field trip demands a sack lunch, the results are often somewhat… nonconformist.
2. You believe that training for cubicle life should start early.
You’ve read Dilbert. You know what the workforce holds for your child. While he’s sitting up straight and obedient in his desk, those lazy homeschoolers are sprawled on couches, hopping on one foot, or flopped on the floor. Who’s going to do better as an office drone? Your guy.
3. You know that recess is dangerous.
You and your school agree. Recess is dangerous and should be limited to 15 minutes a day. Who knows what those homeschooled kids are getting into as they roam their yards and neighborhoods? Their parents better have insurance for all those inevitable ER visits!
4. You love the thrill of a last minute project. The bedtime confession. The late-night run to Walmart for poster board and markers. The hours of tears and yawns, culminating in a poster that would put Shepard Fairey to shame. You love those last minute projects. They make you feel alive and productive. Homeschoolers NEVER get that experience. In fact, they don’t even ASSIGN things like dioramas and toothpick coliseums. They figure if the kids want to build a model of the pyramids, they’ll do it on their own time.
5. Parent-Teacher Conferences provide you with a needed social outlet.
You get to dress up in your ‘professional’ clothes, sit in a room with another adult for 10 or 15 minutes, and discuss little Chrysostom’s strengths and weaknesses! It’s practically a vacation. I have parent-teacher conferences too, but they happen when I’m talking to myself in the shower.
6. Your children are boring, ill-mannered, and irritating.
You can’t stand your kids. That’s why you pay taxes to foist them off on some poor exhausted teacher, right? If you’d wanted to raise them, you’d have majored in Education, not Film Studies! Most homeschoolers really like their kids. We think they’re funny and cool and enjoy spending our days with them. In fact, we get a little confused when people ask us how we can stand being around them all the time. I mean, have you seen their latest Lego stop-motion film? I had no idea that it was possible to mimic blood so well with little pieces of plastic!
7. You love early mornings. Especially in the winter.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to be up at the crack of dawn and have everyone dressed, in matching socks, and ready to go in 10 minutes or less, you’re not cut out to be a homeschooler. We tend to have more leisurely mornings. Sometimes, my kids even do school in their PJs while they wait for the dryer to finish. And sometimes, we don’t start school until after lunch.
8. You equate tolerating boredom with perseverance.
Remember those long days in school, stuck at your desk, forbidden to read but waiting for the other kids to catch up? They taught you something! They taught you to conform, and to tolerate boredom. These are vital skills for success. Homeschooled kids don’t get to learn about boredom. They learn about frustration. They learn to avoid looking like they have nothing to do so that Mom doesn’t give them chores. But boredom? There are always Legos or books or woodworking projects or dolls or papers and art supplies or ants crawling on a stick in the back yard. How can they learn to be bored when their world is full of cool stuff? Only schools can really teach boredom.
9. You worry a lot about socialization for your children. You spend time trying to craft the perfect social setting.
As a homeschooler, you don’t worry too much about socialization. Your kids socialize ALL THE TIME. In fact, you wish they’d be a little more like hermits, since it seems unfair to have to shower and get dressed every single day when you’re supposed to be a stay at HOME mom.
10. You think age-based academic groupings mean something.
You know your child’s grade, and what grade level she’s at in every subject. You think it’s an achievement that she’s ‘above grade level,’ and it feels like a stab wound when she’s only average. You love comparing her to her peers. Homeschooling would be a major downer for you. Kids progress at their own rates, and you have no good way to make constant comparisons because every family has its own curriculum and its own style. You’re reduced to concrete assessments like “Jerome needs more practice with long division” or “Hildegard is having trouble finding interesting books that aren’t inappropriate for her age and experience.” When you homeschool, you’re forced to confront each child as an individual.