Friday, May 25, 2012


One of my best friends from college, Kelly, used to engage in lengthy campaigns to convince me to homeschool my hypothetical future children. I always argued her down. I have a lot of reasons why not to homeschool, which probably aren't what you would expect. I'm not worried about the socialization aspect or any of those other newb complaints - I had enough home-schooled friends in college to know that the home-schooled kids were usually the friendliest and most outgoing. My main reason is that I'm lazy and don't want the pressure and stress of being solely responsible for my children's education. On top of that, my mom started her own school and I always assumed my kids would go there.

Frank was home-schooled, however, and he loved it. He attributes his swoon-worthy knowledge of the Anne of Green Gables series books and movies (Anne is his favorite movie) to his homeschooling past. He always kind of imagined that his kids would be home-schooled, although he's ok with Catholic school too.

Recently I watched the movie The Business of Being Born and since then I've been doing a lot of reading and research about natural childbirth. I share what I learn with Frank from time to time - thoughts about midwives, ideas about birthing at home, dreams of a water birth. We joke that I'm a conservative Catholic hippie. And recently he pointed out, "I'm surprised you don't want to home-school. You want to be counter-cultural in almost every other way." Hmmm.

Today I stumbled upon this gorgeous article that really gave me pause. The picture it presented of homeschooling surprised me. I expected it to feature the beautiful rhythm of family life centered on the Faith. But the idea that home-schooling is more efficient? That it saves time? I did not see that one coming. It made me re-examine my reasons for not wanting to home-school. Yes, I'm lazy. But if home-schooling actually saves time...

At this point I have no idea how I'm going to educate my hypothetical future children. I suspect that I won't decide until I actually have children, and that even then it will be on a case-by-case basis, since every child is different. But maybe when the time comes I won't automatically rule out home-schooling right off the bat.


  1. I was homeschooled. I feel really intimidated quite a bit of the time at the thought of homeschooling my own children someday - what a huge responsibility! - but I want to do it. I had such an amazing childhood that at times I can't believe it was for real... and a large part of it was from having all those days to play and imagine with my brothers, and to always be with my family. If I can give my kids half the childhood I had, it will be wonderful.

    God bless!

  2. I can't tell you how much I love the movie "The Business of Being Born", its so life changing. I'm a Catholic hippy too!

  3. Sally Thomas' article is a beautiful one - thanks for sharing. And, you know, you don't have to make the homeschooling decision *now*... :)

    I'm with you, though - we have an almost-two-year-old, and (both the hubby and I being teachers/former teachers), of course we're interested in homeschooling. And yet... I think the thing to realize, for me, is that while it's our decision, it's also *my* decision, because I'd probably be the one doing the bulk of it. And I can't say that, given my temperament and some of my (very important) pursuits outside my son, I'm ready to make that decision, today. We'll see. Raising our son well, in the Lord, is the first concern, and we'll cross those bridges when they come.

    Oh, and, speaking of Crunchy Cons - before our son was born at a birthing center in the middle of a cherry orchard in the Oregon countryside, my father asked me, "WHEN did you become SUCH an Earth Mamma?" Perhaps one of the funniest things to have ever left his mouth. And it's so, so true.

  4. lol, I think homeschooling was about the same work for my mom - not less, but not a ridiculous amount more. I was homeschooled in 7th and 8th (IMO, the two most immature years of a person's life, and consequently two GREAT years to be away from the regular school scene!) - my mom picked out the textbooks and set lesson plans for math, french, and english. But I would do the lessons on my own, she would just check them. Then I spent the rest of the time reading - ours was a PLS house, so there were *plenty* of books around. :) We once made a list, and I read almost 200 books during those two years. Just for that experience and the freedom and time to go through our household library, I'd say the homeschooling was worth it.

    My brothers were also homeschooled for middle school, but with them my mom used K12, which was (is!) a great online homeschooling system - they have really cool lesson plans and they even send you computers for the kids to use!

    NOT that you need to decide about homeschooling any time soon, lol! I love reading your blog updates, Tess! Miss you!

  5. Actually Tess, I was hoping you would homeschool my kids too. xoxo,